Attorneys and others from across the state gathered April 25 to honor the contributions of women in the legal profession at Missouri Lawyers Media’s 21st annual Women’s Justice Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis.
More than 400 people attended the awards ceremony to honor 51 Missouri women, including judges, in-house counsel, legal scholars and private practitioners, as well as outstanding students at Missouri law schools. Missouri Lawyers Media honored Kimberly J. Norwood, the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law at Washington University School of Law, as its 2019 Woman of the Year.
“The honorees this year, as those who have gone before them, are dynamic, successful women who are not only exceptional in their profession but are extraordinary in their contributions to the legal community,” Missouri Lawyers Media Publisher Liz Irwin said in her welcome to honorees and guests.
“They are, quite simply, remarkable.”
Norwood, who joined Washington University in 1990, writes extensively and lectures on colorism, social justice, civil rights and implicit and explicit bias issues. During her remarks, she pointed to two themes: “You’ve come a long way, baby,” as she noted the accomplishments of women attorneys, and “Miles to go before I sleep,” as a reminder of the considerable work that remains to ensure that all women achieve parity in the legal profession.
The WJA event also included a celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the first admission of women to a U.S. law school. Those women, Lemma Barkeloo and Phoebe Couzins, enrolled at Washington University School of Law in 1869 and later would become the first and second licensed women lawyers in Missouri.
Since 1999, the Women’s Justice Awards have celebrated extraordinary women lawyers, law students, rising stars, public officials and others in recognition of the standards of professional excellence they’ve set for their peers.