The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA) will honor Honorable Anita Josey-Herring as the 2022 WBA Woman Lawyer of the Year. When she was named as Chief Judge of the District of Columbia Superior Court in October 2020, she became the first woman to hold the position.

The Woman Lawyer of the Year Award recognizes a leader who has championed change in the profession by leading by example, advocating for justice, and promoting the advancement of women in the profession. The award will be presented at the organization’s Annual Dinner on Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Washington, DC. Chief Judge Josey-Herring will be introduced by 2021 WBA Woman Lawyer of the Year Grace Speights of Morgan Lewis.

Chief Judge Josey-Herring serves as the chief administrative judicial officer for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and spokesperson for the Court. She is responsible for dividing the business of the Court, which includes the Family Court, Probate and Tax, Domestic Violence, Criminal, and Civil Divisions. She also designates the Presiding and Deputy Presiding Judges of each Division and makes judicial assignments. As a member of the Joint Committee on Judicial Administration, she sets policy and procedure for the Court and oversees the budget. In addition to her tireless work on the bench, Chief Judge Josey-Herring has been an ardent supporter of others, an active and engaged member of the legal community, and a mentor to many. She is an active member of the Women’s Bar Association – among many other organizations in the community – and has mentored attorneys in the WBA’s Mentor program. She has been a panelist at WBA events, speaking about effective oral advocacy and the impact of gender and race on how women lawyers are perceived (including most recently as part of our events, Where are the Black Women Lawyers in Leadership Positions? and Celebrating Representation: The First Black Woman on the U.S. Supreme Court).

Chief Judge Josey-Herring was first appointed to the bench in November 1997 by President William Clinton. As an Associate Judge, she served in the Family, Civil and Criminal Divisions of the court. In 2000, she was appointed by the Chief Judge to serve as the Deputy Presiding Judge of the Family Court and later served as the Presiding Judge of the Family Court from 2006 through 2008. Chief Judge Josey-Herring worked at the District of Columbia Public Defender Service, first as an attorney from 1988 to 1994, and then as Deputy Director from 1994 to 1997. In that capacity she directly supervised the Investigation Division, the Prisoner Rights Program, Criminal Justice Act Office, the agency’s grant funded programs and coordinated the attorney hiring program. She also monitored the agency’s compliance with Merit Personnel Protection Act policies, investigated personnel complaints, and testified before the District of Columbia Council on budget and other legislative matters.

The 2022 WBA/WBA Foundation Annual Dinner and awards ceremony will take place at the National Building Museum at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 19, 2022. The event will feature keynote remarks by Elizabeth Prelogar, the 48th Solicitor General of the United States and the fourth-ranking individual at the U.S. Department of Justice. As Solicitor General, she is responsible for conducting and supervising all Supreme Court litigation on behalf of the United States. The Solicitor General also determines whether appeals will be taken by the federal government to all appellate courts and whether the federal government will file an amicus curiae brief or intervene in any appellate court. Solicitor General Prelogar has focused her career on Supreme Court and appellate litigation and previously served in multiple roles at the Department of Justice. Before her confirmation as Solicitor General, she served as Acting Solicitor General and Principal Deputy Solicitor General for nearly seven months. She also served as an Assistant to the Solicitor General from 2014 to 2019. She was detailed to Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and obstruction-of-justice issues, where she served as an Assistant Special Counsel.

Founded in May 1917, the WBA is one of the oldest voluntary bar associations in the United States dedicated to the advancement of women in the law. WBA’s founders also established the Washington College of Law, now American University Washington College of Law, largely because women were denied access to the District’s other law schools. The dinner is co-hosted by the WBA Foundation, the charitable arm of the WBA. The Foundation’s mission is to leverage the generosity of lawyers and friends to support nonprofits that serve the legal and related needs of women and girls in the DC Metropolitan community.

The WBA annually bestows the Woman Lawyer of the Year Award. A full list of recipients is available at

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