The CBA Women in the Law Section in association with the CBA Young Lawyers Section (YLS) Women in the Law Committee honored former US Attorney Deirdre M. Daly as the 2018 recipient of the Ladder Award at, “Pathways to Leadership for Women Lawyers,” held on March 28 at the Sheraton Hartford South in Rocky Hill.
The Ladder Award was created by the YLS Women in the Law Committee in 2007 to honor a woman attorney who has “left the ladder down” for those women who follow in her footsteps. The award is aimed at honoring the efforts of women in the legal profession who have recognized the importance of mentoring and supporting more junior lawyers in their own journeys to success in the profession. Attorney Daly has joined a distinguished group of female attorneys, including, Justice Maria A. Kahn, Diane W. Whitney, Hon. Anne C. Dranginis, Rosemary Giuliano, and Hon. Elizabeth J. Stewart.
Women in the Law Section Chair Jennifer E. Wheelock welcomed attendees to the inspiring event, before introducing keynote speaker, Justice Maria A. Kahn, who discussed implicit and gender biases. Justice Kahn began by sharing current statistics of women and men in law schools, law firms, and their salaries as a percentage. She reminded the women in the audience that despite these statistics, as females, “you are not immune to implicit bias.” She went on to note that, “we see gender and race, and that’s okay. It’s what you do with the information.”
Before YLS Women in the Law Committee Co-chair Choity R. Khan introduced Attorney Daly, Vanessa Avery and Natalie Elicker of the United States Attorney’s Office spoke of all that Attorney Daly had done as the 51st United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut. Attorney Elicker shared that her nomination was supported by 15 attorneys, some of which were men. Additionally, Attorney Avery shared that Attorney Daly “created opportunities for women in ways and areas that didn’t exist…It wasn’t about checking a box, it was about having a lasting impact.”
Attorney Daly was welcomed to the podium by a standing ovation from attendees. She ended the night optimistically, stating, “This is a very interesting time for women. There are opportunities for leadership. There is an opportunity for female voices to be heard—we cannot squander these opportunities. This is your time.”