Justice Judith McConnell was honored Sunday with the American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Award, joining the ranks of distinguished recipients who include Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye.

Over her decades-long career, Justice McConnell has created pathways for women in law. In this tribute video, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye, a recipient of the award in 2012, said:   

She's respected not only on the bench but for her outreach in the trial courts and in the legal community to equalize and mentor women. 

—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye

Justice McConnell serves as chair of the Chief Justice's Power of Democracy Steering Committee, driving the initiative to expand the courts' role promoting civics education in public schools. 

Accepting the award named for the first female lawyer in the United States, Justice McConnell urged others to “do what we can to preserve our constitutional system. We need to ensure that all members of our community, including our children, appreciate and support the democracy we love.”  

The ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, established in 1991, honors outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence in their area of specialty and have paved the way for others. It is sponsored by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.