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Annual Awards

MWL is accepting nominations / submissions for its Annual Awards. Specific criteria for each award are listed below. Awards will be presented at MWL's 45th Annual Meeting, which will take place on Friday, April 21st at 12pm at the Radisson Blu.

Awards include:

The Myra Bradwell Award: This award is presented to an MWL member who expresses the highest ideals of the legal profession and who possesses the qualities exemplified by Myra Bradwell such as courage, perseverance and leadership on issues of concern to women. 

The MWL Leadership Award: This award was established to recognize legal employers throughout the state that strive to enhance the status, influence and effectiveness of women lawyers in their employ. MWL will accept nominations on behalf of employers who design and implement projects, initiatives, policies and plans with the specific intent of securing the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession.

The MWL Equal Justice Award: All Minnesota law students are invited to submit papers or articles they have written on a topic involving law and social justice. All topics related broadly to law, liberty, justice and equality are eligible, whether or not they relate to women's rights or feminist theory. View full competition details here.

The Service to MWL Award: This award is designed to recognize the MWL member, group of members or 100% club member whose efforts during the past program year have contributed substantially to advance MWL’s mission.

Nominations should be sent to Minnesota Women Lawyers, 600 Nicollet Mall Suite 390B, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Call the MWL office at 612/338-3205 with any questions.

All submissions must be received at the MWL office by Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

The Myra Bradwell Award

The Myra Bradwell Award is presented to an MWL member who expresses the highest ideals of the legal profession and who possesses the qualities exemplified by Myra Bradwell such as courage, perseverance, and leadership on issues of concern to women.

Additional Criteria for Selection
1. An attorney who is a leader in their field and who has exemplified legal excellence, professionalism, and ethics.
2. An attorney who has reached out to assist other women, e.g., by mentoring, by facilitating institutional support, and/or by being a role model.

Myra Colby Bradwell
Myra Bradwell (1831-1894), the founder and editor of the Chicago Legal News, applied for admission to the Illinois bar in 1869. Her application was denied by the Illinois Supreme Court, first on the grounds that she was a married woman, and finally on the grounds that she was a woman. She appealed the decision to the United States Supreme Court, which upheld the lower courts decision. Bradwell was finally admitted to the Illinois bar in 1872, at which time she was already a success in the legal community, was publishing the Chicago Legal News, and was actively campaigning for the removal of women’s legal disabilities.

Previous Award Recipients
2016 Terry A. Trogdon, Gerlach, Beaumier and Trogdon, LLP
2015 Hon. Pamela Alexander, Hennepin County District Court
2014 Cheryl Thomas, The Advocates for Human Rights
2013 Susan Segal, Minneapolis City Attorney
2012 Hon. Kathleen Sanberg, Minnesota Tax Court
2011 Marie Failinger, Hamline University School of Law
2010 Mary Vasaly, Maslon, Edelman, Borman & Brand
2009 Lisa M. Brabbit, University of St. Thomas School of Law
2008 Hon. Mary Louise Klas
2007 Trudy Halla, Briggs and Morgan, P.A.
2006 Hon. Wilhelmina Wright, MN Court of Appeals
2005 Hon. Susan R. Nelson, U.S. District Court
2004 Judith Bevis Langevin, Gray Plant Mooty
2003 Hon. Harriet Lansing, MN Court of Appeals
2002 Chief Justice Kathleen Blatz, MN Supreme Court
2001 Barbara Frey, Founder of MN Advocates for Human Rights
2000 Hon. Ann Montgomery, Federal District Court
1999 Martha Brand, Brand Consulting
1998 Suzanne Born, Attorney at Law
1997 Hon. Esther Tomljanovich, MN Supreme Court
1996 Hon. Diana Murphy, Eight Circuit Court of Appeals
1995 Ann Carrott, Douglas County Attorney
1994 Loretta Frederick, SMRLS
1993 Ember Reichgott, Minnesota State Senate
1992 Hon. Lynn C. Olson, Tenth Judicial District
1991 Aviva Breen, Commission on the Economic Status of Women
1990 Mary P. Walbran, Attorney at Law
1989 Viola M. Kanatz, Attorney and arbitrator
1988 Hon. Rosalie Wahl, MN Supreme Court
1987 Irene Scott, Attorney at Law
1986 Helen I. Kelly, Attorney at Law
1985 Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Job Sharing Program
1984 Hon. Susanne C. Sedgwick, MN Court of Appeals

Submissions for the Myra Bradwell Award should include a letter of nomination and any supplemental materials directly relating to the selection criteria. The Award will be presented at MWL’s 45th Annual Meeting.

(Nominations will be considered by an Award Selection Committee appointed by the MWL Board President. In the event there are no award nominations or if consensus on an award recipient cannot be reached, the Award Selection Committee will turn to the MWL Executive Committee for further direction).

Nominations should be sent to Minnesota Women Lawyers; 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390B; Minneapolis, MN 55402. Call the MWL office at 612/338-3205 with any questions.

To be considered for the 2017 Myra Bradwell Award, submissions must be received at the MWL office by Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

The MWL Leadership Award

In 1992, Minnesota Women Lawyers established its Leadership Award to recognize legal employers throughout the state that strive to enhance the status, influence and effectiveness of women lawyers in their employ. MWL will accept nominations on behalf of employers who design and implement projects, initiatives, policies and plans with the specific intent of securing the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession. The leadership award will honor and recognize legal employers who take objective steps and measures that reflect MWL’s mission and advance women in the profession. All legal employers in Minnesota are eligible.

Submissions must include:
1. A letter of nomination on behalf of a legal employer and any relevant documentation or materials;
2. A description of the objective projects, initiatives, policies or plans designed and implemented to secure the full and equal participation of women in the legal profession;
3. Three references in the legal community, with a preference of at least one from outside the legal employer being considered for the award.

The Award Selection Committee will also consider the following:
1. Recruitment and hiring of women: Does the employer recruit and hire women at all levels of the organization?
2. Retention and support of women: Is the workplace supportive of women? Does it encourage their professional development? Does it offer flexibility in work schedules, in balancing work and family, and in career paths?
3. Women in leadership positions: Have women been recruited for and promoted to management positions? Are there mentoring programs or other means to facilitate advancement of women?
4. Innovation: Has the employer used innovations in the workplace, or otherwise been on the “cutting edge” of policies and practices that have benefited women employees?

Submissions for the Leadership Award should include a letter of nomination and any supplemental materials directly relating to the selection criteria. The Award will be presented at MWL’s 45th Annual Meeting.

(Nominations will be considered by an Award Selection Committee appointed by the MWL Board President. In the event there are no award nominations or if consensus on an award recipient cannot be reached, the Award Selection Committee will turn to the MWL Executive Committee for further direction).

Nominations should be sent to Minnesota Women Lawyers, 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390B; Minneapolis, MN 55402. Call the MWL office at 612/338-3205 with any questions.

To be considered for the 2017 Leadership Award, submissions must be received at the MWL office by by Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

Previous Award Recipients
2016 Nilan Johnson Lewis, PA
2015 Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.
2014 Wilson Law Group
2013 Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
2012 Barnes & Thornburg, LLP
2011 Zelle Hofmann Voebel & Mason LLP
2010 Nilan Johnson Lewis
2009 Dorsey & Whitney LLP and MacKenzie & Gustafson Ltd.
2008 Xcel Energy
2008 Xcel Energy
2007 Award not presented
2006 Leonard, Street and Deinard
2005 Target Corporation
2004 Lindquist & Vennum, P.L.L.P.
2003 Award not presented
2002 Award not presented
2001 Halleland Lewis Nilan Sipkins & Johnson
2000 West Group
1999 Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand
1998 Kaplan, Strangis & Kaplan, P.A
1997 Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett
1996 MN Attorney General’s Office
1995 Rider, Bennett, Egan & Arundel
1994 St. Paul Companies
1993 General Mills

The MWL Equal Justice Award

All Minnesota law students are invited to submit papers or articles they have written on a topic involving LAW AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. ALL TOPICS RELATED BROADLY TO LAW, LIBERTY, JUSTICE, AND EQUALITY ARE ELIGIBLE, WHETHER OR NOT RELATED TO WOMEN’S RIGHTS OR FEMINIST THEORY.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:
1. Significance: Does the work address an important legal and social issue of justice and equality?
2. Originality: Does the work make an original contribution to the topic? For example, does it reinterpret an issue, offer new solutions to a problem, or suggest new connections between areas of analysis? Does it draw on materials that shed new light on a topic? Does it offer a new perspective, solution, or approach to an issue?
3. Presentation: Is the scholarship factually accurate? Is the paper well written? Does the author address the issue using appropriate methodology, well designed to serve the author’s purpose? Does the paper display appropriate depth of research? Does the paper place its analysis appropriately in the scholarly field?
4. Persuasiveness: Does the paper present a cogent defense of the position taken? Does it give appropriate attention to competing views? Does the author’s argument persuade the reader?
5. Impact: Does the work present ideas that are applicable in practical contexts? Are the ideas useful to the educated reader?

The writer of the selected article or essay will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000.00 at MWL’s 45th Annual Meeting luncheon.

Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Submissions should be sent via e-mail to dpexa@mwlawyers.org.

Submissions should include:
1. A cover letter—separate from the paper or article being submitted—with the writer’s name, address, phone number, school of attendance and year in school, and a statement indicating whether the paper or article has been edited by or with the assistance of a third party (e.g., a teacher or law journal
editor).
2. In an accompanying, separate document, the paper or article submitted for the competition. This document must NOT include the student’s name, school, or other identifying information. Any identifying information must be deleted from the article’s title, cover page, header, footers, and footnotes before submitting the paper or article.
3. If the essay or article as submitted has been edited by or with the assistance of a third party, provide a detailed description of the editing process (for example, who provided the editing assistance, what changes were made as the result of the third party editing, how many drafts went through the editing process, etc.).

Note: failure to comply with the instructions for submission detailed above may result in disqualification of the paper from the competition.

Call the MWL office at 612/338-3205 with any questions. To be considered for the 2017 MWL Equal Justice Award, complete submissions must be received at MWL by Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

A flier with competition details is available here.

Service to MWL Award

MWL is pleased to accept nominations for the 2016 Service to MWL Award. This award is designed to recognize the MWL member, group of members or 100% club member whose efforts during the past program year have contributed substantially to advance MWL’s mission.

Criteria for selection:
1. Work on an MWL project, initiative or committee that has resulted in measurable qualitative or quantitative benefit, which has significantly advanced the organization towards the fulfillment of our mission;
2. Initiative and innovation;
3. Leadership;
4. Persistence in achieving the goals set forth by MWL.

Except for the current MWL Executive Committee, all MWL members or groups of members are eligible for consideration for the Service to MWL Award. The MWL Executive Committee will serve as the selection committee for the Service to MWL Award, and have final authority to choose the annual recipient. The Award will be presented at MWL’s 45th Annual Meeting.

MWL is pleased to accept nominations for the Service to MWL Award. Submissions should include a letter of nomination and any supplemental materials directly relating to the selection criteria. Nominations should be sent to Minnesota Women Lawyers; 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390B; Minneapolis, MN 55402. Call the MWL office at 612/338-3205 with any questions.

To be considered for the 2017 Service to MWL Award, submissions must be received at the MWL office by Tuesday, February 28th, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

Previous Award Recipients
2016 Hon. Elizabeth Cutter, Adine S. Momoh, Hon. Kathleen Sanberg, Kate Westad, 2014-15 MWL Parity Committee Co-Chairs.
2015 Alison Midden, Shehla Tauscher, Brandi Kerber, Tara Mattessich, MWL Foundation; Andrea Miller, MWL Compendium
2014 Amy Taber, MWL Board of Directors
2013 Jan Ballman, MWL Legal Wine Lovers, Research Committee Co-Chair
2012 Mary Szondy, Chair of the Solo/Small Firm Affinity Group
2011 Debra Pexa, MWL Executive Director
2010 Student to Attorney Mentor Committee (Morgan Bianco and Andrea Hoversten)
2009 MWL South Central Chapter
2008 Mary Madden, Solo/Small Firm Group Chair; Community Action Committee (Teresa 
McClain, Bridget Nason & Alison Prosser) 
2007 Judy Oakes, MWL Past President, Past Endorsements Committee Co-Chair
2006 Ann Barker, Ruth Harvey & Susan Chambers, MWL SC Chapter Leadership
2005 Equal Justice Award Committee (Carol Chomsky, Marie Failinger, Lisa Schlitz, Ann 
Juergens 
2004 Hon. Kathleen Sanberg, Midwest Conference for Women in the Law Co-Chair, MWL Advisory Board Member; MWL Strategic Planning Committee Member
2003 Hon. Miriam Rykken, Community Action Co-Chair
2002 MWL Publications Committee (Jennifer Huart & Uyen Campbell)
2001 MWL Endorsements Committee (Judy Oakes, Mary Vasaly, Marie Failinger, Karen Cole)

 

 

Minnesota Women Lawyers
600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390B
Minneapolis, MN 55402
612/338-3205
mwl@mwlawyers.org

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