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Litigation Partner Allegra Lawrence-Hardy Awarded GABWA's Leah Ward Sears Award for Distinction in the Profession

June 9, 2008

ATLANTA (June 9, 2008) – Sutherland announces that Litigation Partner Allegra Lawrence-Hardy has been awarded the Leah Ward Sears Award for Distinction in the Profession by the Georgia Association of Black Women Attorneys (GABWA).  She will be honored during GABWA's annual Glitter Gala & Auction on Saturday, June 28, 2008, at 7 p.m. at the Ritz-Carlton Downtown Atlanta. 

Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears served as the first president of GABWA and was the first African-American woman to serve as a Superior Court Judge in Georgia.  When appointed by the Governor of Georgia in 1992, she was the first woman and the youngest person ever to serve on the Supreme Court of Georgia.  In retaining her appointment, Chief Justice Sears became the first woman to win a contested statewide election in Georgia, and in 2005, she became the first Black woman to serve as Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.

The Leah Ward Sears Award for Distinction in the Profession recognizes a GABWA member who has been practicing at least 10 years, has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the highest professional and ethical standards, whose legal career exemplifies excellence in the practice of law and who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of Black women in the legal profession. 

Ms. Lawrence-Hardy is co-chair of Sutherland's complex business litigation group.  Her practice includes commercial litigation and labor and employment law.  She has represented companies throughout the United States and abroad in numerous trials and other forums.  In addition, she chairs the firm’s Diversity Committee and is a member of the firm’s Hiring Committee.  As Sutherland’s Diversity Partner, Ms. Lawrence-Hardy was the architect of Sutherland Scholars, a summer pre-law school "boot camp" offered at no cost for students from historically black colleges and universities.

GABWA was founded in 1981 by a group of African-American women who wanted to form a voluntary bar organization that would focus on women's and children’s issues, increase Black female representation in the judiciary and in public offices, and take a proactive stance on political issues.  Today, GABWA has more than 350 financial members and a mailing list that includes more than 600 law students and legal professionals.

Sutherland is a law firm with global reach known for solving challenging business problems and resolving unique legal issues for many of the world’s largest companies. Founded in 1924, the firm has grown to approximately 500 lawyers handling matters in every part of the world. Seven major practice areas -- corporate, financial services, energy, intellectual property, litigation, real estate and tax -- provide the framework that contains an extensive range of specialty areas, allowing its lawyers to serve a diverse client base that includes a number of Fortune 500 companies.

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