The ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, established in 1991, honors outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence in their area of specialty and have paved the way for others.
Michelle Banks, one of five recipients of the Margaret Brent Award, issued a challenge to her male colleagues, calling on them to champion women in the workplace.
“I frequently hear and read now, particularly in light of the MeToo movement, that men are avoiding women in the workplace,” she said. “I challenge the men in this room to do the opposite. It is really important – it is absolutely essential – that we have men championing women individually and the rights of women generally.”
Banks is Senior Adviser at BarkerGilmore in San Francisco, an executive search firm that provides executive coaching to general counsels. She is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of UCLA Law Women LEAD, a network of almost 2,000 women law students and alumnae at her alma mater. She is also a board member of DirectWomen, a nonprofit that prepares female lawyers to serve on corporate boards of directors. Banks was the first woman to serve as Legal Counsel for the Golden State Warriors before becoming General Counsel of Gap Inc.