In this week’s edition of P.S., we have information on the speaker, honoree and sponsors of the upcoming biennial award luncheon for the Center for Women in Law, an organization affiliated with the University of Texas School of Law and background on Gibson Dunn’s prestigious Frank Wheat Memorial Awards, which recognizes lawyers within the firm for their pro bono work each year.
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— On April 21, the Center for Women in Law will hold its biennial award luncheon in Austin at the Fairmont Austin hotel. The luncheon brings togethers supporter and allies to celebrate the Center’s mission to advance all women in the legal profession, and gives out its prestigious Hortense Ward Courageous Leader Award to one lawyer who exemplifies tenacity, courage and commitment in efforts to achieve gender parity in the legal profession.
This year’s recipient of the award is Judge Bernice Bouie Donald of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. This year’s guest speaker is Valorie Burton, a life strategist, international speaker and CEO of the Coaching and Positive Psychology (CaPP) Institute.
The co-chairs for this year’s luncheon are AT&T Assistant Vice President and Senior Legal Counsel Juanita Harris and Houston Baker Botts partner Julie Mayo. The award luncheon committee includes Alison Battiste Clement (Battiste Clement PLLC), Altresha Burchett-Williams (AT&T Services), Linda Broocks (Kean Miller), Lisa Atlas Genecov (Katten), Chasity Henry (Jacobs), Natasha Khan (Baker Botts), Buena Vista Lyons (FordHarrison), Veronica Moyé (Gibson Dunn) and Meyling “Mey” Ly Ortiz (Toyota Motor North America).
Sponsors include Baker Botts, Haynes and Boone, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose Fulbright, Kean Miller/Linda Broocks, Locke Lord, Toyota, Alexander Dubose & Jefferson, FTI Consulting, Cisselon Nichols & Jim Hurd, Jackson Walker, Reed Smith, Sheppard Mullin/Tracey Kennedy, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Spencer Fane, Texas Mutual Insurance, Battiste Clement, Diggs & Sadler, Beth Hecht, JAE Law Group and the Atlas and Genecov families.
For table sponsorship information, click here. If sponsorships exceed direct costs of the event, proceeds will support other programs and initiatives by the Center.
— Dallas lawyer Jeff Chapman is among a group of Gibson Dunn attorneys who were honored with the firm’s 2022 Frank Wheat Memorial Awards, which recognizes lawyers within the firm for their commitment to pro bono. Wheat was a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office who also served as an SEC commissioner and president of the Los Angeles County Bar. He played big roles in the nonprofit world as well: founder of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, founding director of the Center of Law in the Public Interest and a leader of the Sierra Club. Recipients of the Frank Wheat Memorial Award each receive a $2,500 prize to be donated to pro bono organizations of their choice.
In 2022, more than 1,450 Gibson Dunn lawyers devoted nearly 140,000 hours in pro bono work in matters valued at more than $133 million.
Texas-based attorneys at Gibson Dunn were recognized in various sub-categories of the Frank Wheat Memorial Awards. They include:
— Partner Jeff Chapman and associates Jordan Garrett Rex and Kiel Sauerman of the firm’s Dallas office, who were part of a cross-office team who have handled pro bono work for Boys & Girls Club of America, a national nonprofit dedicated to safe, affordable places for kids and teens — particularly children in need — to meet, play and learn. The Gibson Dunn lawyers donated nearly 8,4000 hours valued at nearly $6 million in free legal services for Boys & Girls’ “Great Futures 2025” initiative, which aims to strengthen local clubs — especially those that are underperforming or have limited resources — through organizational restructuring and other strategic work so that the local chapters can serve more children and improve program quality. Gibson Dunn created the BCGA Legal Advisory Workforce and recruited help from other firms to support this initiative. Much of the lawyers’ work was targeted toward Boys & Girls Club organizations in California and Texas, including Boys & Girls Club of Fort Worth.
Lawyers form the firm’s London, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, New York, Orange County, Century City, San Francisco, Denver, Washington, D.C. also participated in the pro bono work.
— Dallas paralegal Lauren Womack was a recipient among the staff award winners category. Womack played an important role in the firm’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Womack worked on several of the firm’s first humanitarian parole applications — an entirely new area of practice for Gibson Dunn — and worked closely with the attorneys involved to ensure the applications met all the requirements for submissions, were compiled correctly and were filed expeditiously. These initial applications that Womack served a significant role in later served as templates for the applications submitted by dozens of other teams.