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Brooklyn DA honors Women’s Bar Association for Women’s History Month

DA’s Office wants to have all female ADAs join a BWBA mentorship program

March 16, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez held a Women's History Month celebration at Brooklyn Law School where he honored Michele Mirman and the Brooklyn Women's Bar Association. Photos by Edward King
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Each year the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (BWBA) team up for a Women’s History Month event, but this year the DA’s Office decided that it would make the BWBA an honoree instead.

The DA’s Office hosted the party at the Brooklyn Law School where the New York Civil Liberties Union Director Donna Lieberman served as the master of ceremonies, Carol Evans of Working Mother Media spoke, and the BWBA, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, was honored. This year’s theme: “The Power of Mentorship”.

“When I look around the room and see these beautiful portraits of powerful and dynamic women of excellence it is inspiring,” said DA Eric Gonzalez. “Just like it’s inspiring when I look out into the room and I see the same. I want to thank all of you for doing what you do. There are many people from all sectors of our community including women from the DA’s Office and judges and I thank you for your service to Brooklyn.”

Standing beside portraits of attorney and Civil Rights activist Constance Baker Motley and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gonzalez presented BWBA President Michele Mirman with the Community Legal Award.

Gonzalez then announced that he so highly values the leadership of the BWBA that he and Mirman are working together to create a mentorship program where the office’s female employees would all join the BWBA within their first year on the job.

“I asked her if there was a way to get every prosecutor in my office to move them to join the BWBA so they could have access to the dynamic women of that bar association to help mentor them,” Gonzalez said. “I’m going to make a commitment to figure out a way to get every woman we hire in our office to join the bar association.”

Mirman talked about the importance the BWBA places on mentorships and explained that just that afternoon she was at Madison High School, the alma mater of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, talking about the virtues of becoming a lawyer. She also mentioned the Brooklyn Legal Pipeline, a BWBA project that helps women and minority students apply to law schools.

In her speech, Lieberman talked about prominent women who have contributed to history, but she also couldn’t get over how far the Brooklyn DA’s Office has come in recent years.

“I never would have thought that I would be standing here in front of a whole bunch of DA’s and that we would have anything in common to talk about,” Liberman said. “I used to think of the DA’s Office as the enemy. I have to say that it is such a thrill and pleasure, and a tribute to Eric Gonzalez and the legacy of Ken Thompson that we can stand here today and realize that we have a lot in common.”

But, Lieberman added, there is more that she would like to see done including bail reform, the right to a speedy trial and discovery reform.

Members of the NYPD’s 81st Precinct were also on hand, including Deputy Inspector Winston M. Faison, whom Gonzalez recognized as part of the event. There was also a dance performance by Felicia Rose Limada from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

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