2022 WLY Hon. Anita Josey-Herring and 2023 WLY Jo-Ann Wallace

The Woman Lawyer of the Year Award is given annually by the WBA at its Annual Dinner, held in May. The award recognizes a woman for her exceptional achievements in the legal profession and/or for her extraordinary contributions to the advancement of women in the profession.

The theme for the 2024 Woman Lawyer of the Year is “Leading Forward.” Having women in leadership matters. Women in leadership are more likely to create positive work cultures and drive business growth. Women leaders help increase productivity, enhance collaboration, and improve fairness. While studies show that everyone benefits from having female leaders and mentors, women who are mentored and led by other women gain access to opportunities in what is still a male-dominated legal environment and receive critical support that allows them to remain and thrive in the profession.

The WBA is looking for nominees who embody the theme of tireless commitment to advancing women lawyers in the profession. The nomination narrative should describe how the nominee has helped further the principles of the WBA mission by advancing and protecting other women lawyers, promoting their improvement, and encouraging friendship.

The deadline for 2024 Woman Lawyer of the Year nominations is 5:00 PM ET, Friday, September 29, 2023.

Eligibility requirements

  • Nominations are accepted from all parties; neither the nominee nor the nominator are required to be a WBA member

    2021 WLY Grace Speights

  • It is preferred, but not required, that the woman is currently practicing attorney in the Washington, DC metropolitan area


  • Submit completed nomination form and supporting documentation prior to the deadline.
  • An Awards Committee will consider all nominations. The committee is comprised of WBA past presidents and prior Woman Lawyer of the Year recipients.
  • Acting upon the recommendation of the Awards Committee, the WBA Board will make the final decision.
  • Honoree will be notified in advance and invited to attend and provide remarks at the WBA/WBAF Annual Dinner on May 22, 2024.

Required Supporting Materials (can be uploaded via the Nomination Form)

  • Nomination narrative that addresses the nominee’s contributions to the legal profession, and/or the advancement of women in the profession.
  • Nominee résumé/biography
  • Articles by or about the nominee (optional)
  • Letters in support of the nomination (optional)