Professor, Law Student, and Alumnae to Receive 2014 Women's Justice Awards

Professor Rebecca Dresser will be honored this April with a Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s 2014 Women’s Justice Award in the category of Legal Scholar. Also honored within the law school is current law student Chloé Woods with the Leader of Tomorrow Award. The Women’s Justice Awards are intended to recognize women across Missouri who have “demonstrated leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice, and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and furthering the highest ideals of the legal profession.” The awards are given to women from various segments of the state of Missouri, including the bar, the bench, public office, civil service, business, academia, nonprofits, and the state-at-large.

The Legal Scholar award is given to law school faculty members or administrators who demonstrate excellence in “their own work with the justice system, through their research or scholarship, and/or through teaching and inspiring others.” In recent years, the award also has been given to Professors Adrienne DavisKimberly Norwood, Hillary Sale, Ann Davis Shields, and Karen Tokarz.

Dresser, the Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law and professor of ethics in medicine, is an expert in biomedical ethics. She holds a joint appointment with Washington University School of Medicine, teaching law and medical students about legal and ethical issues in end-of-life care, biomedical research, genetics, assisted reproduction, and related topics. She has written extensively in her field and is the co-author of a casebook on bioethics and law and a book on the ethical treatment of animals. She is also the author of a book on patient advocacy and research ethics. In addition to her teaching, research, and scholarship, she is on the advisory or editorial boards of several prestigious journals devoted to bioethics.

The Leader of Tomorrow award is given to women law students who “demonstrate leadership, professionalism, and a passion for making a difference in the justice system or the legal profession.” Although only in her second year of law school, Woods currently serves as director of public relations for the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA). There she works to develop and implement all public relations of NBLSA through media relations, public communications for members of the organization, and social media and other media outlets.

Woods previously served as the public relations and community outreach coordinator for the St. Louis Rams. She also has served on the staff for the Mayor’s office in Baltimore, Maryland, as well as the Obama for America National Advance press liaison team during the presidential debates. At the law school, she and her partner won the 2012–13 First-Year Negotiation Competition. Woods is the lieutenant governor for diversity of the 8th Circuit of the ABA, vice president of community service for the Graduate Professional Council, and a member of the law school's Public Service Advisory Board.

Other award recipients this year include law alumnae Jane Arnold, JD ’93, a shareholder at Polsinelli PC; Jovita Foster, JD '00, a partner at Armstrong Teasdale LLP; and Sheila Seck, JD ’94, managing partner at Seck & Associates, who will each receive an award in the Business Practitioner category. The Hon. Kathy Surratt-States, JD '91, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, and the Hon. Barbara Wallace, JD '76, 21st Judicial Circuit, St. Louis Circuit Court, will each receive an award in the Public Official category. In addition, Alice Conway, JD ’83, assistant general counsel for commercial and employment law at Monsanto Company, will receive the Enterprise Award, and Loretta Haggard, JD/MSW ’93, an attorney at Schuchat, Cook & Werner, will receive the award in the category of Litigation Practitioner.

Going on its 16th year, the Women’s Justice Awards also have been given to a number of other Washington University law professors, students, and alumnae in many categories throughout the years. Annie Legomsky, JD/MSW '14, received a Leader of Tomorrow award in spring 2013.

Brent Mueller, Spring 2014