On Thursday, August 5, 2021, Oregon Benefactor Fellow Madam Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum and California Life Fellow Joan M. Haratani joined three other influential women as the 2021 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Honorees. For three decades, the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession has presented the prestigious award to accomplished women who have gone above and beyond to promote gender equality in the bar, bench, and academy.
Attorney General Rosenblum’s recognition as a catalyst for change is not surprising to ABF community members who remember her contributions as a former ABF board member and Chair of the Fellows. However, Oregon’s first woman attorney general has made many other strides to create a hospitable culture for women in law. Throughout her roles in private practice, federal prosecution, and the state trial and appellate judiciary, she has advocated for the importance of issues such as reproductive rights, affordable healthcare, and marriage equality. In the 1970s and ’80s, she created Oregon Law Institute’s “Women in Court” CLE series and was among the founders of the Board of the Oregon Woman Lawyers. She went on to become the first woman to serve as treasurer for the Oregon State Board of Governors, and eventually became an influential member of the American Bar Association. She worked with the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity to create the ABA Minority Judicial Clerkship Program and chaired the ABA Presidential Initiative Commission on Diversity, producing a strategy for improvement called “The Next Steps.”
Joan Haratani counts the Margaret Brent award as one of many recognizing her impactful career, most recently the 2020 Amel Zouani Rights & Leadership Award from the International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law. Ms. Haratani is a tort and commercial law expert and a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius in San Francisco, but her leadership abilities extend beyond her firm to organizations like the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, where she is a past president, and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, where she is a past regional governor. Ms. Haratani has served on the ABA House of Delegates, and as the first Asian American president of the Bar Association of San Francisco, where she revitalized previous initiatives to improve minority hiring and advancement.