The historic South Main event venue, “409,” was the setting last Thursday evening for the 40th Annual Banquet hosted by the Association for Women Attorneys (AWA).
Several program highlights made the evening memorable. The highly coveted Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award was presented and newly elected 2020 officers were officially sworn in.
But perhaps the most impressive segment of the night was the parade of eight accomplished law students who were awarded scholarships by the organization.
The program’s centerpiece was the presentation of the AWA’s most prestigious award, the 2020 Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award, to the Honorable Diane K. Vescovo, the first female federal magistrate in the district. She was named Chief Magistrate Judge in 2014.
Nic Vescovo presented the award to his mother and amused the audience with an online review of Judge Vescovo written by an attorney. It read in part, “I lost my case, but boy, what a looker.”
Outgoing AWA President Laura Deakins passed the gavel to incoming 2020 President Megan Lane, who took an oath of office as a group. They were: President Lane, Vice-President Abbey Hall, Treasurer Anita Lotz, Secretary Holly Stanford, and Historian, The Honorable Karen Williams.
But it was the eight bright young legal minds who took the spotlight as this year’s recipients of the widely sought scholarship awards for outstanding female law students.
One award recipient, Jalesa N. Webster, was Miss Black Tennessee 2017. She expressed the importance of winning scholarship funds while in law school.
“It is recommended that we don’t work while attending law school,” she said. “As you might imagine, it’s difficult financially to stay in law school without working to help pay the bills. So not only is this AWA Scholarship an honor to receive, it is so helpful to our finances.”
The other seven 2020 scholarship recipients are all students at the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. They are:
Amber Campbell, a third-year law student and in-school liaison of the AWA Student Chapter. Responsible for AWA’s mentoring program, Campbell was awarded the Judge Rita Stotts Memorial Scholarship.
Haley Cambron is a second-year law student who graduated with honors from the University of Memphis. Awards include: Judge Ken Turner Scholarship, HOPE Scholarship, and the Dean’s List Scholarship. She received an AWA Scholarship.
Sierra Knight is a second-year law student who received an AWA Scholarship. She is president of the Health Law Society and hopes to positively affect the health care needs of low-income children in Memphis after graduation.
Nattaly Perryman is a third-year law student and president of the AWA Student Chapter. She hopes to be an advocate for education reform, as well as gender and racial parity. Perryman received an AWA Scholarship Award.
Melissa Tribue is a third-year law student who currently serves as president of the Christian Legal Society. The AWA Scholarship recipient earned her bachelors degree in English with a minor in African-American Studies from the University of Kentucky.
Kenya A. Adams, a second-year law student was awarded the Dorothy Osradker Scholarship. The Greenwood, Miss. native has worked as a higher education professional for more than five years. The award was named for “Miss Dorothy” who served 14 city mayors, only taking one sick day during her entire career.
Rose M. Logan, a second-year law student, received the Susan Clark Scholarship. She taught grades 3-5 at Cornerstone Prep in Binghampton and presently coaches volleyball at Lester Prep, also in the Binghampton community.
Logan’s award is named for Susan Clark, who was president of the AWA, past recipient of the Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award and president of the Memphis Bar Association. Loring died in 2014 of cancer and was honored posthumously with the creation of this scholarship award.