2023 Roberts & Deiz Award celebration is Friday, May 12, 2023 – in person!
The 2022 recipient of OWLS’ Roberts & Deiz Award was The Honorable Susan P. Graber, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Judge Graber is the 29th recipient of the award. She embodies the spirit of Judge Mercedes Deiz and Justice Betty Roberts, and has been a groundbreaker in the legal profession for 50 years. When she entered law school at age 19, less than 5% of all lawyers in the U.S. were women. Women comprised less than 10% of her 1L class at Yale Law School. Despite the absence of women lawyers as role models, she achieved a long list of legal first. She also became the mentor for so many that she herself lacked. She is devoted to supporting and including women and communities who are systemically oppressed, and does so in a way that inspires everyone around her to continue to fight for the greater good.
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).