Sharing Her Passion: The Nominees

For the first time in Ms. JD history, Ms. JD will be honoring exceptional women in connection with our annual conference, Passion Forward, which will take place February 21-22nd, 2014 in Austin, Texas. The Passion Forward Awards will celebrate women who have demonstrated passion for their careers and shared that passion with other men and women. Over the next few weeks, Ms. JD will be introducing all the nominees. To read about the recipients of the 2014 Passion Forward Awards, click here. To purchase a ticket to attend the awards, please click here.

The Sharing Her Passion Award will be awarded to  a woman who has practiced for more than ten years who is inspiring younger women lawyers through sponsorship, mentorship, and sharing her passion for the practice. Here are the Nominees for the Sharing Her Passion Award, with just a few words from each of their impressive nomination packets:

Susan Blakely. "I first met Susan at an event where we both supported a female attorney in her pursuit to develop a cookbook. That event, seven years ago, is reflective of Susan’s own recipe for passionately support of aspiring, existing, and recovering attorneys identify and achieve their goals. It was a typical gathering and were both two individuals attending in support, and had the fortuitous opportunity to meet.  Even then, as strangers, Susan had some honest and uplifting thoughts about my career.  I was not the only female attorney in the room for which she had mentorship advice. This is Susan." --Amy Yeung

Merrianne Dean. "...But from the court's perspective, what is truly exceptional about Merrianne is the tremendous energy and enthusiasm she brings to providing training and development opportunities to new lawyers in Probate. For each of the past four years, she has spearheaded the Bar's training program for Probate's court-appointed attorneys. This training involves a full day, with multiple speakers and a wide variety of topics." --Julia Craig Kelety

Kelly M. Dermody. "Kelly is a striver; the successes and honors she has achieved, including headingthe Bar Association of San Francisco, are well-deserved -- but for Kelly this recognition is notthe point. Rather, she sees them as a means to empower others, notably women as workers, asstudents, and as lawyers. Her development of mentoring and assistance programs at BASFproves this. She has also tirelessly defended the independence of the judiciary and campaignedto preserve and increase funding for our beleaguered California court system, understandingdeeply that we as lawyers must actively protect and defend the institution charged withpreserving the rights of all against the unbridled whims of the powerful few." --Elizabeth J. Cabraser

Kelly Hoey. "Kelly Hoey has touched the lives of many, many young dreamers. She inspired me to become an entrepreneur and has guided me along the way, and has inspired so many young women like me that collecting recommendations was not difficult...She practices what she preaches, and she does whatever she can to help the young people whose lives she has touched. What is so powerful about Kelly is that her passion is contagious and her commitment is genuine. She isn't one of those people that says "let me know when you need help, darling" and then disappears into the ether. She is someone you know you can always rely on, who will tell you the truth, no matter if that is what you want to hear. She has singlehandedly shifted the ratio of confident female entrepreneurs creating value in this country."  --Caroline Ghosn

Roberta “Bobbi” Liebenberg. "In the five years that I have known Bobbi, I have had the great pleasure to not only witness her unparalleled commitment to achieving parity in the legal profession but also to benefit personally from her mentoring. On a day-to-day basis, she harnesses her vast knowledge and understanding of the issues affecting women lawyers to formulate and implement innovative and pragmatic programs and strategiesto enable women attorneys to overcome barriers to advancement and achieve success...I have seen first-hand Bobbi's committment to the advancement of women lawyers. She has taken it as her personal mission to ensure the success of my career, and is adaily source of inspiration, sponsorship, and mentorship. I cannot begin to quantify the impactthat she has had on my career and professional growth." --Linda Bray Chanow

Alice Paylor. "Even outside of her official roles, Alice is a true leader. One of Alice’s skills that she works toshare with others is how to achieve balance in life, working hard while still taking care ofyourself and your family. In this respect she leads by example. Besides being an attorney, Aliceis a mother, a wife, and a member of the community. She encourages young attorneys,especially women, to find what works for them, whether it’s a path to partnership at a large lawfirm or pursuing an alternative career path. Seeing that someone who has worked hard andbeen successful, still able to have a rewarding personal life in a profession that has traditionallynot allowed it, gives hope to young attorneys who are still struggling to find that balance."

Drucilla Stender Ramey. "I have had the unique pleasure of getting to know Professor Ramey quite well as the Dean Emerita of Golde nGate University School of Law where she kept a “open door” policy for all students and more recently,as my official mentor through Ms. JD’s esteemed Fellowship program. Amidst the rigorous curriculumI seized every opportunity to meet with Professor Ramey to talk about academia, social justice, family matters, and everything in between. I learned about her notable successes and her lesser known struggles as a woman entering the law during the sixties, and what she hopes for the future generationof attorneys to address existing barriers in the law." --Mahira Siddiqui

Karen Silverman. "Karen has personally mentored me on critical aspects of antitrust law and on the keys to succeeding as afemale attorney in our profession. In brief, I would not likely be as successful in my career without thesupport and guidance I’ve received – and continue to receive – from Karen. She inspired me to join Latham’sMentoring Committee, where I now try to support colleagues in the way Karen supported me. Karen is afantastic mentor and role model. She demonstrates passion to her practice, the community and her family." --Frank Pizzurro



What an amazing group of nominees!  All of them deserve an award, we are lucky to have them as our trailblazers.

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