Stars of the Bar: 2020

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the WBA honored champions in the fight for women’s voting rights throughout history. We recognize that women’s suffrage was not fully realized when the 19th Amendment was passed. The voting rights of Black women were not protected until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but even the promise of the Voting Rights Act has not been fully realized. And today returning and reintegrating citizens and District residents, among others, still face challenges exercising the right to vote. For their tireless efforts in advancing suffrage and voting rights for all, this year’s Stars of the Bar are:

BELVA ANN LOCKWOOD (posthumously)
Belva Ann Lockwood was an attorney in the District of Columbia at the turn of the twentieth century who was active in the fight for women’s rights, including women’s suffrage. She was the first woman admitted to the Supreme Court bar, a feat that required
an act of Congress, and the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court. Ms. Lockwood also ran for President of the United States – twice – before women had the right to vote. She also sponsored Samuel Lowrey, the first Black man to argue before the
Supreme Court, for admission to the Supreme Court bar. For being a pioneer for women lawyers and politicians and her contribution to the fight for women’s voting rights, we honor Belva Ann Lockwood as a Star of the Bar.

Congressman John Lewis was a civil rights leader who represented Georgia’s 5th congressional district for more than 30 years. For his unwavering commitment to securing voting rights for all Americans, for leaving us a legacy of strength, endurance and faith in our democracy, and for his willingness to sacrifice his life, safety, and liberty for “GOOD TROUBLE” to secure and protect voting rights, we honor John Lewis as a Star of the Bar. 

President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Kristen Clarke is an attorney who has spent much of her career championing and defending the rights of all citizens to vote. While serving as the President & Executive Director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, she has aggressively worked to remove barriers to absentee and mail-in voting and pushed to expand access to absentee and mail-in voting in multiple states. Ms. Clarke previously served in both U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division and as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for the New York State Attorney General’s Office. he also spent several years at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. where she helped lead the organization’s work in the areas of voting rights and election law across the country. For her ongoing efforts to protect voting rights for all, we honor Kristen Clarke as a Star of the Bar.