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Federal Senior Judge Norma L. Shapiro to be Honored by Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession

HARRISBURG (April 1, 2016) - The Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Commission on Women in the Profession will present its annual Anne X. Alpern Award to Senior U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Norma L. Shapiro.

An awards ceremony honoring Judge Shapiro will be held during the commission's 23rd annual conference, "The Women of the United States Supreme Court," May 11, at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey.

The Alpern Award is presented annually to a female lawyer or judge who demonstrates excellence in the legal profession and who makes a significant professional impact on women in the law. Established in 1994, the award was named for Anne X. Alpern, Pennsylvania's attorney general in 1959 and the first woman state attorney general in the nation.

Judge Shapiro's career has been marked by many firsts for a female Pennsylvania lawyer and judge. She was the first woman to serve as a law clerk on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the first woman partner at Dechert, Price & Rhoads (now Dechert LLP), the first woman to serve as a member and later as chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Board of Governors, the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and the first women to serve as a judge on any federal court in the Third Circuit.

Active in the organized bar, Judge Shapiro has served as chair of the PBA Leadership Development and Recruitment Committee, co-chair of the PBA Diversity Task Force and member of the PBA House of Delegates and PBA Minority Bar Committee. As a longstanding member of the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession, she has co-chaired its Nominating Committee and Awards Committee and served on its Annual Conference Committee and Project Constitution Task Force.

As a long-time leader in the judiciary, Judge Shapiro serves as a delegate to the American Bar Association (ABA) for the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ) and as a member of the association's Nominating Committee and Committee on Women in Prison. She previously served on the NAWJ Board of Directors, Federal Judges Committee and Judicial Academic Network/Judicial Education Committee. Judge Shapiro served as chair of the National Conference of Federal Trial Judges and has served in numerous leadership roles in the ABA, including service on its Board of Governors and as chair of the Justice Center Coordinating Council and the Judicial Division Program Committee.

Also active in the community, Judge Shapiro serves as chair of the board of directors for the Violette de Mazia Foundation, which supports the educational activities of the Barnes Foundation. She has served as an elected member and president of the Lower Merion School Board, member and president of the board of trustees of the Jewish Publication Society, vice president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Philadelphia, trustee of the Albert Einstein Medical Center and member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is a Life Member of the American Law Institute.

Judge Shapiro is a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania and is a recipient of the ABA's John Marshall Award, the Meador-Rosenberg Award and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award presented by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession. She has been recognized as NAWJ's Honoree of the Year and presented with the NAWJ Excellence in Service Award. Judge Shapiro was the first recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Association Sandra Day O'Connor Award. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Pennsylvania Law Alumni Society and the Federal Bar Association Bill of Rights Award. She was named Woman of the Year by the Oxford Circle Jewish Community Center and Woman of Distinction by the Golden Slipper Club.

Judge Shapiro holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

The award will be presented during the May 11 luncheon, which also will include a keynote presentation by Joan Biskupic, award-winning author and journalist who writes about the U.S. Supreme Court. Details and registration information for the PBA Commission on Women in the Profession conference are posted on the PBA's website at www.pabar.org.

Founded in 1895, the PBA strives to promote justice, professional excellence and respect for the law; improve public understanding of the legal system; facilitate access to legal services; and serve the 27,000 lawyers who are members of the association.