Dallas Women Lawyers Association (DWLA) is pleased to announce an exceptional group of legal and community trailblazers as honorees for the DWLA 2018 Annual Awards Reception.

The prestigious Raggio Award is named for DWLA co-founder and Dallas legal pioneer Louise B. Raggio, who was the first female prosecutor in Dallas County history and who helped develop the Texas Family Code. Each year, the organization presents the Raggio Award to someone who has demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism while making significant contributions to the advancement of women attorneys. Other awards include Outstanding Corporate Counsel, Outstanding Female Lawyer (Small and Large Firm), Rising Raggio and our new award, Her Champion, which recognizes a man who has supported, encouraged, uplifted, mentored, and promoted the advancement and development of women in the legal profession.

This year’s Award recipients will be honored at a reception at the Omni Dallas Hotel on Thursday, October 18. More than 500 guests, including law firms, in-house counsel, and local judiciary are expected to attend.

The 2018 Louise B. Raggio Award is being presented to Mary Emma Karam.

Mary Emma Karam
Louise B. Raggio Award Recipient

Mary Emma (Ackels) Karam is a preeminent Dallas healthcare contracting attorney, sought after outside general counsel, and recognized authority in managed care. She has practiced law at Jackson Walker, LLP for over 30 years and is the first female associate to become a partner at Jackson Walker. She has been a trailblazer for all, but especially women.

Her list of professional accomplishments is lengthy and includes being appointed by the Texas Attorney General to serve the State of Texas for consultation in healthcare/managed care matters, handling managed care contracting for hospital system across 47 states, representing over 4000 physicians through large physician organizations, and currently representing  a number of different hospitals or hospital systems.  She is outside general counsel to the Catholic Diocese of Dallas and has served as past president board of trustees for Ursuline Academy and past chairman/president of the Ursuline Academy Foundation.

Other honorees include:

Lisa Havens
Outstanding Corporate Counsel

Lisa Havens is Senior Vice President Legal Counsel and Chief Risk Officer with Baylor Scott White. Previously, she was a civil litigation trial attorney, primarily in the areas of medical malpractice and employment law. In addition to earning her juris doctorate degree from Baylor University School of Law, she also earned a master of science degree in nursing from the University of Texas and served in the United States Air Force Reserves as Nurse, 1st Lieutenant.

A. Shonn Brown
Outstanding Female Lawyer, Large Firm

A. Shonn Brown is a partner with the law firm, Lynn Pinker Cox and Hurst. She is a highly respected trial lawyer and bar and civic leader, who counsels and advocates for businesses and individual clients engaged in complex legal disputes.

Shonn is an active community leader serving on various Boards including the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Women’s Foundation, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Dallas Bar Association where she helped develop, and now chairs the DBA initiative DBA WE LEAD.

Amber Reece
Outstanding Female Lawyer, Small Firm

Amber Reece, an Associate with Figari + Davenport, is a trial attorney with experience in all aspects of litigation and arbitration from pre-trial strategy through jury charge and appeals.

Amber is a champion for women lawyers, serving on the Inaugural Advisory Board for the Women Lawyers of the Eastern District of Texas, DBA Morris Harrell Professionalism Committee Member, DBA, DWLA/DAYL Mentoring Circles, DAYL Foundation Fellow.  Amber is also an active member of Attorneys Serving the Community.

Anna Rupani
Rising Raggio

Anna Rupani is Legal Program Director for Mosaic Family Services, a nonprofit community based organization that provides culturally and linguistically competent services to refugees and immigrants in crisis.

Anna is a passionate advocate for survivors in the court room and unwavering in standing up for what is right. She was honored by DAYL as “One to Watch” and Outstanding Committee Chair.

Rob Walters
Her Champion Award

Rob Walters is the Dallas office partner-in-charge with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher.  In his over 35‐plus‐year career, Rob has advanced the careers of dozens of women lawyers.  Rob is being awarded the first ever “Her Champion Award” for his unwavering commitment to supporting, encouraging, mentoring, and promoting the advancement and development of women in the legal profession.

“We are honored to celebrate our recipients all of whom are outstanding leaders for their legal achievements, and community involvement. DWLA’s mission to elevate the standing of women in the legal profession is strongly represented by each recipient, and we are proud to recognize them,” says Stephanie Osteen, President, Dallas Women Lawyers Association.

Dallas Women Lawyers Association was founded in 1969 and is a non-profit organization that works to benefit women attorneys and elevate the standing of women in the legal profession. Founding members include acclaimed Dallas lawyers Louise B. Raggio, Judge Sarah T. Hughes and Joann Peters.