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Texas Women Lawyers annually presents the Pathfinder Award to an individual who has been a champion promoting the advancement of women in the law and who exemplifies professionalism, leadership, and commitment to the public interest. The Honorable Ruby Sondock, the first woman to be appointed to serve as a District Court Judge in Harris County and also the first woman to be appointed to serve as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court, was the first Pathfinder Award recipient. Louise Ballerstedt Raggio, a Dallas lawyer who was instrumental in the passage of the Marital Property Bill, which removed certain legal disabilities that prohibited married women from owning property in Texas, was the second Award recipient. Other past recipients have been heavily involved in their communities, giving back through programs helping underserved groups such as immigrants, abuse victims, and teens graduating from foster care.
Pathfinder Award Past Recipients
|2022||Hon. Cynthia Wheless|
|2021||Hon. Debra Lehrmann|
|2020||Hon. Hilda Tagle|
|2018||Hon. Ann McClure|
|2017||Hon. Carolyn Wright|
|2016||Judge Judith Sheindlin|
|2015||Hon. Brenda Rhoades|
|2014||Hon. Maria Salas-Mendoza|
|2012||Hon. Eva M. Guzman|
|2008||Hon. Ruby Sondock|
Texas Women Lawyers also annually presents the Brenda Tso Rising Young Lawyer Award to a young lawyer who demonstrates the qualities of excellence and commitment to women’s issues in the law and the legal profession. This award is named in honor of Brenda Tso, a beautiful person and long-time friend of the organization who is greatly missed.
Brenda Tso Award Past Recipients
|2022||Jennifer Larson Ryback|
|2020||Sarah Stapleton Barrera|