Melissa Murray Honoured with Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award

Margaret Brent

The American Bar Association (ABA) has given Melissa Murray, the Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law, the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

The honour, which was given on August 6 during the ABA’s annual convention, recognises up to five female attorneys each year who have demonstrated professional competence while assisting and advising upcoming female attorneys. The ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession chooses the recipients of the awards.

Murray is a world-renowned expert on reproductive rights, family law, and the rule of law. Her work has been published in a number of journals, including the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Review, and the Michigan Law Review. Her work has examined issues such as the relationship between abortion and precedent, the development of sexual regulation, and the interaction between racial justice and reproductive rights. Additionally, she co-hosts the acclaimed constitutional law podcast Strict Scrutiny and contributes frequently to MSNBC.

Murray is a professor at the Law School where she also directs the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Centre. She also teaches constitutional law, family law, and a first-year law student reading group on parenting and the law.

The award, according to the ABA’s announcement, honours those who demonstrate the traits of Margaret Brent, the first female attorney in the American colonies, who among other achievements won all 124 cases she was involved in over the course of her nearly ten-year legal career in the middle of the eighteenth century. Brent formally argued in favour of women’s right to vote and participate in politics in the Maryland assembly in 1648.

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