Oregon Justice Lynn Nakamoto to receive ABA Margaret Brent Award

CHICAGO, Aug. 3, 2017 — Lynn Nakamoto, a justice on the Oregon Supreme Court in Salem, Ore., is a recipient of the American Bar Association’s 2017 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

Nakamoto will receive the award, given annually by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, on Sunday, Aug. 13, at the New York Hilton Midtown at the ABA Annual Meeting in New York. In addition to Nakamoto, the 2017 award recipients include Nancy Duff Campbell, Hon. Bernice Bouie Donald, Lauren Stiller Rikleen and Nadine Strossen.

“We are honored to recognize this spectacular group of women. We applaud their achievements, knowing that their efforts will inspire a new generation of women lawyers,” said Michele Coleman Mayes, chair of the ABA Commission on Women, of this year’s Brent winners. Previous honorees include U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Justice Nakamoto is a long-standing trailblazer in the Asian Pacific American community. In 2016, she became the first Asian Pacific American to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court. Five years earlier, in 2011, she became the first Asian Pacific American to serve as a judge on any Oregon state or federal appellate court. She started her career as one of the first Asian Pacific American women litigators in Oregon and was the first Asian Pacific American female managing partner at a Portland, Ore., law firm.

Nakamoto is an active advocate and mentor to many young women and Asian Pacific American lawyers and is a founding member of the Oregon Minority Lawyers Association. She has received numerous awards throughout her career for her contributions to the Asian Pacific American legal community, including the Daniel K. Inouye NAPABA Trailblazer Award in 2013.

The ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, established in 1991, honors outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence in their area of specialty and have actively paved the way to success for others. The award is named for Margaret Brent, the first woman lawyer in America.  Brent arrived in the 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.

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- American Bar Association