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American Bar Association honors Mary Jo White with Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award
August 11, 2008

Mary Jo White, Co-Chair of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s Litigation Department, was named a 2008 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award honoree by the American Bar Association (ABA).  Ms. White was presented with the award at a special luncheon at the ABA’s Annual Meeting in New York on August 10, 2008.

The Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, established by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession in 1991, recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of women lawyers who influenced other women to pursue legal careers, opened doors for women lawyers in a variety of job settings that historically were closed to them, and/or advanced opportunities for women within a practice area or segment of the profession.  The award is named after Margaret Brent, the first woman lawyer in America.

Prior to rejoining Debevoise in 2002, where she was a litigation partner from 1983 to 1990, Ms. White served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1993 to 2002.  She is the only woman to hold the top position in the more than 200-year history of that office, which has the responsibility of enforcing the federal criminal and civil laws of the nation.  Ms. White also served as the first Chairperson of Attorney General Janet Reno’s Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys from all over the country.  Prior to becoming the United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Ms. White served as the First Assistant United States Attorney and Acting United States Attorney in the Eastern District of New York from 1990 to 1993.

The other women lawyers honored at this year’s awards ceremony were the Honorable Ruth Cooper Burg, Judge (Retired), Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals; Roberta S. Karmel, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School; Colonel Linda Strite Murnane, Senior Legal Officer, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; and The Honorable Ann Claire Williams, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law in a democratic society.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a leading international law firm, representing a wide range of clients around the world.  Founded in 1931, the firm has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The firm now has approximately 700 lawyers, including more than 150 lawyers in Europe.



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