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January 15, 2024

Drucilla Stender Ramey to receive ABA Robert F. Drinan Award

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2023 — The American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will honor Drucilla Stender Ramey, a national leader and speaker on issues involving equality of access and opportunity in the legal profession, with its 2024 Father Robert F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service in an online presentation at 6 p.m. EST on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024.

“Dru embodies the values of this award which ‘recognizes individuals whose sustained and extraordinary commitment has advanced the section’s mission of providing leadership to the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice,’” said Robin R. Runge, chair of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice. “She has worked tirelessly throughout her career to advance social justice and human rights and serves as a model for many young lawyers, demonstrating how to use a law degree to further civil rights.”

Ramey has held multiple leadership positions, including dean emerita of the Golden State University School of Law. Formerly a Nader Raider and MALDEF attorney specializing in tri-ethnic school desegregation cases, she led the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) as its executive director and general counsel and co-founded the California Minority Counsel Program and the SF School-to-College Program in addition to other initiatives.

Ramey later served as the executive director of the National Association of Women Judges and was the first woman chair of the board of directors of the ACLU of Northern California. She went on to serve as the founding vice president of California Women Lawyers (CWL), chair of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women under then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein and board chair of Equal Rights Advocates.

Currently, Ramey serves on the Public Advocates Board and is special counsel to the Council of the ABA Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice Section.  

Ramey is an ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award recipient. In addition, she has received the American Jewish Committee’s Learned Hand Award, the National Bar Association’s Wiley Branton Award, the National LGBT Bar Association’s Allies for Justice Award and Equal Rights Advocates Gender Justice Award.   

Ramey has a B.A. from Harvard University and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

Members of the media can register for the virtual award presentation by contacting Betsy Adeboyejo at 202-662-1039 or [email protected]. The general public can register here.

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice provides leadership within the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice. Representing over 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests, the section keeps its members abreast of complex civil rights and civil liberties issues and ensures that the protection of civil rights remain a focus of legal and policy discussion.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on X (formerly Twitter) @ABANews.