Written by National Association of Women Judges|April 27, 2017|News

National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) is pleased to announce the honorees of the 2017 Lady Justice Awards Gala. The honorees of this inaugural event uphold the mission NAWJ which is to promote the judicial role in protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law through strong, committed, diverse judicial leadership; fairness and equality in the courts; and equal access to justice.

NAWJ President and California Superior Court Judge Diana Becton states, “we must continue to fight for freedom and equality for all humanity, and never take for granted our freedom or freedom of expression. We must embrace everyone regardless of socio-economic status, race, color, creed, gender or sexual orientation.” It is with great pleasure that the NAWJ nominating committee announce this year’s honorees who strive for these freedoms:

  • Justice Sandra Day O’Connor  - NAWJ Lady Justice Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017
  • Justice Joan Dempsey Klein  - NAWJ Lady Justice Founders Award, 2017
  • Justice Vaino Hassan Spencer  - NAWJ Lady Justice Founders Award, 2017
  • Judge Dorothy W. Nelson  - Lady Justice Public Service Award, 2017
  • Jackie Lacey - Lady Justice Community Leadership Award, 2017
  • Janet Langhart Cohen  - NAWJ Lady Justice Artistic Integrity Award, 2017
  • Nina Shaw  - NAWJ Lady Justice Career Achievement Award, 2017
  • Sharon Stone  - NAWJ Lady Justice Social Justice Award, 2017

The awards will be presented during the Lady Justice Awards Gala on June 8, 2017 in the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The Master of Ceremonies is Giselle Fernandez, Emmy award-winning journalist, producer and media marketing entrepreneur.  Additional honorees to be named later.

NAWJ’s 2017 Midyear Meeting and Leadership Conference which takes place June 7-8, 2017 will present opportunities to meet with like-minded individuals and discuss today’s cutting edge issues, including programs on elder abuse, entertainment and media, and diversity in entertainment.  For a detailed schedule of events and information about sponsorship and registration fees, visit


NAWJ History

Since its formation in 1979, NAWJ has served as a leading voice for jurists dedicated to promoting the judicial role in protecting the rights of individuals under the rule of law; engaging in civic education about the importance of a fair judiciary free from influence of special interest or political influence; providing a voice in significant matters that affect the administration of justice; ensuring equal justice and access to the courts for all, with a focus on women, minorities, and other historically disfavored groups and vulnerable populations; promoting the advancement of women at all levels of the judiciary; and providing judicial education on cutting-edge issues. NAWJ was founded over 38 years ago by two visionaries – Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and Justice Vaino Spencer – and 100 brave and intrepid women judges committed to forming an organization dedicated to these ideals.

NAWJ Membership

From the day it was founded, NAWJ has been committed to diversity in our membership. Our organization welcomes women and men, trial and appellate, administrative, tribal and military judges, on federal, state and tribal courts at every level of the judiciary, throughout the country, and international tribunals, as well as attorneys, law clerks, law students and professors committed to our mission.


For more information contact Marie Komisar at 202-393-0222 or  Visit NAWJ’s website at

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