Barnett '64 receives Margaret Brent Award at American Bar Association's annual meeting

Helaine Barnett '64, president of the Legal Services Corporation, the largest provider of civil legal aid for low-income Americans, received the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award at a luncheon during the American Bar Association's annual meeting in Chicago on August 2.  Winners are selected on the basis of their professional accomplishments and their role in opening doors of opportunity for other women lawyers.

Barnett became president of the Legal Services Corporation six years ago after nearly four decades at the Legal Aid Society of New York. Calling her position the most rewarding career imaginable, she accepted her award on behalf of “all civil legal aid attorneys who work everyday to pursue justice for all.”  Barnett urged leaders of the legal profession to close the justice gap in America by providing legal services for low-income Americans with limited access to justice.

This year's other honorees are Linda Addison, partner-in-charge of Fulbright & Jaworski's New York Office; Judge Arnette Hubbard of Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago; Judge Vanessa Ruiz of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; and Loretta Tuell, founding partner of AndersonTuell.

Previous winners range from small-firm practitioners in Alabama and Alaska to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Established in 1991, the annual awards are named for Margaret Brent, the first woman lawyer in America. Brent arrived in the American colonies in 1638, and was involved in 124 court cases in more than eight years, winning every case. In 1648, she formally demanded a vote and voice in the Maryland Assembly, which the governor denied.

Posted on August 4, 2009