2024 Roberts & Deiz Award nominations are now open. Nominations are due by December 1, 2023 at 5:00pm by completing this form. Please save the date for May 31, 2024 to celebrate our future award recipients.
The 2023 recipients of OWLS’ Roberts & Deiz Award were Tristen Edwards and Lisa Hay
Tristen is early in her legal career and shows that the future of public defenders is bright. She is a pioneer advocate for restorative justice in Oregon. Tristen has tirelessly advocated for her clients at the Metropolitan Public Defenders Office since before she graduated law school, where her sensitivity to the unique experiences of women and people of color dealing with the criminal legal system has informed her govern- mental work on restorative justice. She was instrumental in moving forward a bill that provides millions in funding for restorative justice programs statewide.
Lisa joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office in 1998 and was appointed as the federal defender for the District of Oregon in 2014.Lisa is a change-maker, a leader, a mentor, and a champion in the protection of constitutional rights. Lisa is unwavering in her dedication to demanding compassionate and humane treatment of people caught up in the criminal legal system. She created an Assistant Federal Public Defender Diversity Fellowship Program to bring new, diverse talent to the office. With her retirement this year, she leaves a legacy of justice, compassion and equity that will continue long past her departure.
About the award:
Justice Betty Roberts (1923-2011) was a leader in Oregon politics, the first woman appointed to the Oregon appellate bench, and a beloved mentor and advocate for women lawyers.
Judge Mercedes Deiz (1917-2005) was a trailblazer in the Oregon Bar as the first Black woman to practice law in Oregon and the first woman of color on the Oregon bench. She overcame racial bias throughout her career, and created opportunities for those that might otherwise be marginalized by society, to access legal resources and careers.
The OWLS Roberts & Deiz Award honors the legacies of both Justice Roberts and Judge Deiz as promoters of those from outside the dominant culture (e.g. women, people of color, LGBTQ, and those with disabilities).