Judge Fleissig, Prof. Sant, and 3L Gourley Among 2016 Women’s Justice Awardees

WashULaw alumna, the Hon. Audrey Fleissig, JD ’80, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, has been named Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s Woman of the Year. Fleissig was selected for “making an extraordinary difference in improving the quality of justice or exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession.” A recipient of the law school's 2001 Distinguished Alumni Award, Fleissig was the first woman to hold the post of United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. 

Additionally, Professor Geetha Rao Sant, JD ’89, co-director of WashULaw’s Entrepreneurship & Intellectual Property Clinic, received a Legal Scholar Award. The 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.” Through her work in the clinic, Sant oversees law students who provide a variety of free legal services to numerous new and emerging nonprofit and qualifying for-profit organizations. Previous Legal Scholar Award recipients include Associate Dean Elizabeth Walsh and Professors Adrienne Davis, Rebecca Dresser, Kimberly Norwood, Hillary Sale, Ann Davis Shields, and Karen Tokarz.

Third-year law student Eleanor Gourley received a Leader of Tomorrow Award. The 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 professional.” Gourley is an executive articles editor for the Washington University Journal of Law & Policy and an intern at the Migrant & Immigrant Community Action Project. Last spring, she interned in the Office of the Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court [view her related blog post]. She also was a Crimes Against Humanity Initiative research assistant for the law school's Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, has interned at the Missouri State Public Defenders Office, was a David M. Becker Fellow, and has served on the Executive Board for the International Law Society and as the alumnae liaison for the Women’s Law Caucus. 

Other alumnae award recipients include: Katherine Wessling, JD ’96, Crime Victim Advocacy Center, Public Service Practitioner Award; Sara Neill, LLM-Tax ’15, Capes Sokol, Business Practitioner Award; Mary Bonacorsi, JD ’77, Thompson Coburn, Litigation Practitioner Award; Debbie Champion, JD ’88, Rynearson, Suess, Schnurbusch & Champion, Litigation Practitioner Award; Melanie Keeney, JD ’90, Tueth Keeney Cooper Mohan Jackstadt, Litigation Practitioner Award; Jackie Kutnik-Bauder, JD/MSW '97, Saint Louis University School of Law, Legal Scholar Award; and Jessica Mendez, JD ’10, LLM-IP/TL ’11,  Armstrong Teasdale, Rising Star Award. 

The Women’s Justice Awards ceremony, now in its 18th year, recognizes women across Missouri. Awards are given to women from various segments of the state, including the bar, the bench, public office, civil service, business, academia, nonprofits, and the state-at-large. This year’s ceremony will take place at the Four Season Hotel on April 14.

Earlier in the year, Teresa Bartosiak, JD ’93, was among 18 honorees at the Missouri Lawyers Weekly Most Influential Lawyers awards luncheon, recognizing attorneys who have made an impact in their communities in five categories. Bartosiak was honored in the Leadership category. She is a member of the Executive Committee at Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard PC in St. Louis.