ABA Commission on Domestic Violence to Award First-Ever Sharon L. Corbitt Award to GWU Professor Joan Meier
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 23, 2009 – The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence has selected lawyer and professor Joan Meier as the inaugural recipient of the Sharon L. Corbitt Award. The commission created this award in 2008 to recognize service by lawyers from all areas of practice, including non-profits, large firms, solo practice, corporate environments and court rooms, who demonstrate outstanding service to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and/or stalking, in the spirit of Sharon Corbitt.
Joan Meier is the founder/director of the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, the only organization in the nation specializing in expert appellate legal representation to domestic violence victims, victims who would otherwise be unable to seek justice in appellate courts. Meier, a longtime domestic violence lawyer and professor of clinical law at George Washington University Law School, envisioned and launched this cutting-edge nonprofit organization in 2003. To date, DV LEAP has participated in five U.S. Supreme Court cases, becoming the recognized voice of the domestic violence community before the high court. DV LEAP has also been awarded a 2009 Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Award; and Meier has received a 2007 Leadership Award from Justice for Children, a national nonprofit organization of citizens concerned about children’s rights and their protection from abuse.
Prior to founding DV LEAP, Meier was acclaimed as an innovative domestic violence clinical law teacher, having created two pioneering clinical law programs both of which have received two Violence Against Women Act grants: The Domestic Violence Advocacy Project and the Domestic Violence Emergency Department Clinic.
“Meier’s career has been wholly devoted to pioneering legal advocacy and system change work for victims of domestic violence,” said Judge Pamila J. Brown, chair of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence. “Her work has helped thousands of victims, opened new paths for victims and fellow advocates, inspired hundreds of students and attorneys, and will leave a lasting impact on the field,” continued Brown.
Corbitt was an active member of the ABA for 25 years, serving as a member of the Commission on Domestic Violence from 2002-2005 after completing her term as chair of the Family Law Section. In honor of her exemplary professional and personal contributions to victims of domestic violence throughout her career, this award will recognize a lawyer each year who embodies Corbitt’s spirit and dedication.
The awards ceremony and reception will take place on July 30, from 5 -7 p.m., during the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago. The reception will be hosted by Jenner & Block, LLP, 330 N. Wabash Ave. # 40.
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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