Kelly I. McGee, Esq. Associate General Counsel, Lifespan, Providence Vice-President, Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association
In 1920, after a three-year court battle, Ada Lewis Sawyer became the first female lawyer in the state of Rhode Island. In Ada Sawyer’s case, the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled that the word “person” in the bar rules, with respect to admission, referred to a woman as well as a man, and Ada Sawyer paved the way for women lawyers in Rhode Island.
Each year the Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association (RIWBA) presents the Ada Sawyer Award in recognition of Ada Sawyer’s step forward for gender equality. The Ada Sawyer Award recognizes women who exemplify the mission of the RIWBA - the promotion and enhancement of the status of women in our community and in the legal profession.
The RIWBA began giving the Ada Sawyer Award in 1995. Those women who have received the Award are not only distinguished in their areas of expertise, but have mentored those women lawyers who came after them.
The past recipients of the Ada Sawyer Award are:
1995 – Barbara Margolis
1996 – Lynette Labinger
1997 – Carolyn Mannis
1998 – Margaret Lynch-Gadaleta
1999 – Margaret Curran
2000 – Justice Alice Gibney
2001 – Marilyn Shannon McConaghy
2002 – Justice Haiganush R. Bedrosian
2003 – Justice Victoria Lederberg
2004 – M. Teresa Paiva-Weed
2005 – Justice Maureen McKenna Goldberg
2006 – Stacey Pires-Veroni
2007 – Judge Patricia Moore
2008 – Denise Aiken
2009 – Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson
2010 – Tracy Baran
2011 – Justice Sandra A. Lanni
2012 – Patricia R. Recupero
2013 – Barbara Hurst
2014 – Donna...