Women's Law Caucus holds its Annual Justice Mary Walters Dinner
March 27, 2017 - Tamara Williams
On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the Women’s Law Caucus, a UNM School of Law student organization, held the 15th annual Justice Mary Walters Awards Dinner. The WLC honored Chief Judge Nash of Second Judicial District Court and Margaret Katze, First Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of New Mexico. Both women were honored for their courage, strong ethics, leadership, and mentorship in the legal field.
The evening began with opening remarks from Chief Judge Sarah Singleton of First Judicial District. She told the crowd at the UNM Student Union Building about Justice Walters’ courage, which she demonstrated prior to law school when she was one of a small group of female pilots in World War II. Through her speech on Justice Walters, Judge Singleton explained why it is such an honor to receive an award in the name of Justice Mary Walters, the first female justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court.
Chief Federal Public Defender for the District of New Mexico, Stephen McCue, introduced the evening’s first award recipient, Margaret Katze. Ms. Katze, in accepting her award, stated that she believes she is the first public defender to win the award, and explained the importance of public defenders and how she loves helping her clients, as unpopular as they may be.
Judge Wendy York introduced Judge Nash to the group. She discussed how Judge Nash overcame adversity to get to her current position, and thus has spent her career promoting equal access to justice. Judge Nash in her acceptance speech noted that come June in New Mexico the chief justice at the Supreme Court will be a woman, the chief judge at the Court of Appeal will be a woman, the chief judge at First Judicial District will be a woman, and the chief judge at Second Judicial District will be a woman. It was an uplifting and empowering evening.