2023 Biennial Award Luncheon

Fairmont Austin, 101 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78701
11:00 am: VIP Reception
11:30 am: Ballroom doors open (Congressional Ballroom AA – 3rd Floor)
12:00 pm: Luncheon


Fairmont valet: $28.00
Fairmont self-park: $20.00
Austin Convention Center: $10.00

At the Center for Women in Law’s Award Luncheon, supporters and allies come together to celebrate the Center’s mission to advance all women in the legal profession.

Keynote speaker, Valorie Burton

Valorie Burton, life strategist and international speaker, is CEO of the Coaching and Positive Psychology (CaPP) Institute. Her life-changing message has an intriguing, research-based emphasis in the pioneering field of applied positive psychology – the study of what happens when things go right with us.

Her company provides coaching, coach training, and resilience training and has served clients in all 50 states and 20 countries on six continents. Since 1999, she has written 13 books translated into multiple languages, including Let Go of the Guilt, It’s About Time, and Successful Women Think Differently.

She has appeared regularly on the TODAY Show, CNN, Dr. Oz, and Essence, and has spoken for hundreds of organizations around the globe. She was named one of the top 60 motivational speakers in America and one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in the field of personal development.

For over 15 years, Valorie’s books, speaking engagements, and coaching programs have helped people:

– Make major life changes that are exciting and scary at the same time.
– Be happier and have more fun, even when life seems routine.
– Become strong leaders, navigate office politics, and achieve professional dreams.
– Navigate setbacks and disappointments in a way that makes life better, not bitter.
– Speak up with confidence rather than settling for less.
– Go to sleep at night feeling at peace about decisions.
– Conquer emotions that cause procrastination, emotional spending, and self-sabotage.

Hortense Ward Courageous Leader Awardee Judge Bernice Bouie Donald

The Center for Women in Law is pleased to honor Judge Bernice Bouie Donald with the Hortense Ward Courageous Leader Award.  The Award honors the legacy and achievements of the Honorable Hortense Sparks Ward (1872-1944), an accomplished lawyer, suffragist, and champion of women’s rights in Texas in the early 1900s.

The Honorable Bernice Bouie Donald is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Prior to being appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals by President Barack Obama in 2011, she served on the U.S. District Court for over fifteen years.  She was the first African American woman to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, the first African American woman to serve on the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, and the first African American female judge in Tennessee.  She received her J.D. from the University of Memphis School of Law, a LLM from Duke Law, and an honorary Doctors in Law from Suffolk University.

Judge Donald is a member of the prestigious American Law Institute and the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Judicial Division.  Judge Donald served as Chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section, focusing on issues concerning implicit bias, children of incarcerated parents, mass incarceration, and the collateral consequences of incarceration.  Judge Donald also served as Chair of the Center for Human Rights and chaired a committee which published an implicit bias resource book for judges and practitioners titled, Enhancing Justice: Reducing Bias.  Having previously served as Secretary of the ABA, Judge Donald served in the ABA House of Delegates until August 2018.  She has been faculty at the National Judicial College, the Federal Judicial Center, and the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center & School.  She served as Jurist in Residence at American University, Washington University, University of Cincinnati School of Law, and the University of Georgia School of Law.  In addition, she has served as faculty for international programs in more than twenty countries.  Read full bio here.

Read more about the 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2021 Award Luncheons.



Thank you to our sponsors:


Baker Botts L.L.P.

Haynes and Boone, LLP

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP

Norton Rose Fulbright



Carter Arnett PLLC

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Kean Miller LLP/Linda Broocks

Locke Lord

Sidley Austin LLP

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP


Table Sponsor:

Alexander Dubose & Jefferson LLP

Alston & Bird LLP

Susan Blount

Ford & Harrison LLP

FTI Consulting

Greenberg Traurig LLP

Holland & Knight LLP

Cisselon Nichols & Jim Hurd

Jackson Walker

Jones Day

Littler Mendelson PC

Perkins Coie LLP

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Reed Smith LLP

Scott Douglass & McConnico LLP

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton/Tracey Kennedy

Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

Spencer Fane LLP

Texas Mutual Insurance

Vinson & Elkins LLP

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Small Firm:

Battiste Clement PLLC

Diggs & Sadler, PLLC

JAE Law Group


Genecov/Atlas Families

Beth Hecht

Daniella Landers


Event series: Biennial Award Luncheon