The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession established the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Awards in 1991 to celebrate female lawyers for their professional accomplishments and support of other women in the legal profession. The annual awards are given in honor of Margaret Brent, the first female lawyer who arrived in the colonies in 1638. She was a master negotiator, an accomplished litigator and a prominent figure in Maryland.
ABA President Bob Carlson invoked the spirit of Toni Morrison—the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, who died Aug. 5—at the Margaret Brent Awards luncheon at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco on Sunday.
“She was a trailblazer who undoubtedly paved the way for new generations of aspiring writers,” Carlson said. “I would like to share with you one of her quotes. ‘We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language. That may be the measure of our lives.’
“The women we are honoring today, Raquel Aldana, Michelle Banks, Kelly Dermody, Judge Judith McConnell and Julie Su, by their language have touched the lives of many.”