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November 20, 2020

RBG, Sandra Day O’Connor and the Philadelphia Bar Association

Ginsburg & OConnor

Nearly 20 years ago, two legal legends joined the Philadelphia Bar Association community for lunch at the Philadelphia Marriott.

It was the Association's October 2003 Quarterly meeting and also a time of anniversaries: The presentation of the Association's 10th Sandra Day O'Connor Award, which honors outstanding females in the profession, and the 10th anniversary year of Ginsburg's appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

At the event, O'Connor reflected on the difference that can be made when women who have broken down barriers share their light with others.

"We're learning that real change, the sort that is reflected in individual spirit and initiative as much as in national statistics, comes about because people … care enough to share their flames with those whose lamps are dim," O'Connor told the audience that day.

The Association created awards named after O'Connor and Ginsburg to honor those types of unique voices in our community. That tradition of excellence continues with this year's honorees:

  • The O'Connor Award will be presented to Judge Kathryn Streeter Lewis, who served on the bench for more than 20 years. A Philadelphia native, she has dedicated her life to public service.
  • There are two winners of this year's Ginsburg writing competition: Sarah Fishel, a student at Drexel University's Kline School of Law, and Alexander Rojavin, a student at Temple University's Beasley School of Law.
  • Though the award doesn't bear their names, the Citizens Bank Achievement Award honors a similar spirit of service. This year, it will be awarded to Robert S. Tintner, Esq., a longtime partner at Fox Rothschild who has been an active volunteer for local nonprofits and the Bar Association.

Our community will celebrate their accomplishments at our virtual Annual Meeting on December 8. Join us in recognizing their efforts, to paraphrase Ginsburg's words from that day in 2003, "to do their part to help create a better world."

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Presenting Sponsor

Citizens Bank
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