Roxana C. Bacon, who has been an adjunct professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, is one of five women lawyers across the country recently honored with the prestigious Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.
The awards were presented Aug. 12 at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
The award, named after the first woman lawyer in the United States, was established in 1991 by the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession to honor outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence within their area of specialty and have actively paved the way to success for other women lawyers.
Bacon's biography in the awards booklet notes that her career has been a series of firsts, including being the first woman visiting professor at the ASU College of Law in 1979-80, where she has taught immigration law and professional responsibility. She also was the first woman partner at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, the first woman to serve as chair of the State Bar of Arizona's Admissions Committee on Character and Fitness, the first woman to be selected by Arizona's federal bench to serve as a lawyer representative to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the first woman president of the State Bar of Arizona.
"She is one of the premier immigration lawyers in the country," the biography states. "She has generously endowed immigration law clinics at both of Arizona's law schools, ensuring that students have opportunities to work with some of the country's most emotionally and intellectually challenging immigration issues."
Professor Myles Lynk, who attended the awards ceremony, said there was a large Arizona contingent present.
"The honorees were introduced in alphabetical order so Roxana was the first to speak," Lynk said. "Her remarks were so funny -- she thanked her supporters, including (former U.S. Supreme Court) Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, for their 'perjury' on her behalf -- that the other recipients had to copy some of her lines.
"Her remarks were also very poignant. She talked about how her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile changed her life and led her to pursue a career in immigration law years later."