The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)honored Judge Katharine S. Hayden of the United States District Court, District of New Jersey; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and NAWL member Beth L. Kaufman on July 18 at NAWL's Annual Awards Luncheon at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
Lorraine Koc, the 2005-2006 president of NAWL and general counsel and vice president of Deb Shops, Inc., presented Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., with the President's Award in recognition of the legal department's diversity initiatives.Wal-Mart's legal department employs 42 attorneys of color (30.4 percent of the department) and 56 women (40.4 percent of the department), and promotes women and minorities to management positions within the company. Wal-Mart also requires that its outside counsel appoint women attorneys and attorneys of color as relationship partners on Wal-Mart matters.
Ms. Koc also issued the NAWL Challenge, which addresses gender disproportionality in the upper echelons of the legal profession. NAWL recognizes that women comprise nearly 50 percent of incoming law school students but only about 15 percent of equity partners at law firms and 15 percent of chief legal officers. NAWL challenges both law firms and corporations with in-house legal departments to cure this disparity so that, by the year 2015, 30 percent of all equity partners, 30 percent of all chief legal officers and 30 percent of all tenured law faculties are women.
Cathy Fleming, the 2006-2007 president of NAWL and a partner at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP, presented the Arabella Babb Mansfield award to Judge Hayden. The Arabella Babb Mansfield award is NAWL's highest award and is given in recognition of professional achievement, positive influence and valuable contribution to women in the law and in society. The award is named after the first women to be appointed to a state bar in the United States and is usually given once a year.
Ms. Kaufman received the association's Outstanding Member of the year Awared.
The Annual Luncheon also marked the installation of the 2006-2007 Executive Board. The new officers were sworn in by Judge Hayden and include, in addition to Ms. Fleming: Jessie K. Liu, president-elect; Holly English, vice president; Lisa B. Horowitz, recording secretary; Dorian Denburg, corresponding secretary; Margaret M. Foster, treasurer; Peggy A. Davis, treasurer-elect; Ms. Koc, immediate past president; Stephanie A. Scharf, past president, and Kristen H. Albertson, Deborah S. Froling, Lisa Gilford, Beth L. Kaufman, Zoe Sanders Nettles and Anita Wallace Thomas, all member at large.