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Belva Lockwood Award
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At the May 12, 2015 Annual Dinner, we presented the Belva Lockwood Award to Elaine Alexander.

2015 Hon. Katherine Bacal

Past Lawyers Club President (2007-2008) and Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal is the 2015 recipient of the Belva Lockwood Award, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to Lawyers Club.Judge Bacal began her career at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in San Diego in 1991. She first joined Lawyers Club at that time, though she did not actively participate until later. At Gibson, she was busy blazing her own trail. After the birth of her first child, she became the first female attorney in the San Diego office to return from maternity leave and work a less than full-time schedule. Eventually, she was promoted to an Of Counsel position. In 2000, Gibson decided to close its San Diego office. As Judge Bacal wanted to remain in San Diego, she began searching for lateral positions. She realized then that her network and contacts were limited, and so she stepped up her involvement in Lawyers Club, becoming an active and truly committed member and leader.

Judge Bacal joined Baker & McKenzie in 2000, becoming a national partner in 2003, while out on maternity leave after having her third child. Her challenges were similar to those faced by many Lawyers Club members, and she found peers, friends and colleagues among the membership.

After joining the Membership Events Committee, Judge Bacal was appointed co-chair of the inaugural Membership Development Committee alongside board member Lisa Weinreb. After co-chairing the Committee, Bacal quickly rose through the leadership ranks of Lawyers Club. She was elected to the Board in 2004, and elected President for the 2007-2008 term.

Mid-way through her presidency, in early 2008, Bacal received a phone call from Governor Schwarzenegger’s office tapping her for a judicial appointment. Although this meant stepping down from the presidency, Judge Bacal was confident the organization was in great hands with then-Executive Director Joan Friedenberg and President-Elect Nadia Bermudez, who easily stepped into the role as acting president.

Judge Bacal is especially proud of her work on the Lawyers Club Bench-Bar luncheon. Having just celebrated its ninth year, this annual event gives attendees the opportunity to meet and interact with judicial officers in an informal setting.

Judge Bacal made significant contributions to other committees which had their genesis while she was on the Board or serving as President, including the Awards Committee, the Balance Committee (now the Work/Life Management Committee), and the Diverse Women’s Task Force (now the Diverse Women’s Committee). She is especially proud of the Diverse Women’s Committee not only because its first co-chair was one of her associates, but also because it was important for Lawyers Club to broaden the conversation to address issues faced by women of color. Judge Bacal has been an invaluable member of the Advisory Board for many years, providing thoughtful guidance to Lawyers Club presidents.

In addition to supporting its core mission, Judge Bacal values Lawyers Club for providing an opportunity to meet attorneys, judges, students, and others with whom she might never have otherwise crossed paths. The friends she made through Lawyers Club are very important to her career and to her personally. She is committed to giving back to the organization and mentoring the next generation of attorneys and students coming up through Lawyers Club.

Judge Bacal applied for law school at her husband’s suggestion, while on a sabbatical from a history Ph.D. program. Judge Bacal also credits her husband with suggesting that she apply to be a judge. She continues to have a very busy life with her judicial career and three teenage girls. Judge Bacal continues to be an invaluable source of counsel and a true asset to Lawyers Club and its leadership.
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1/24/2018
Happy Hour Event

Lawyers Club of San Diego

402 West Broadway, Suite 1260
San Diego CA 92101
619-595-0650
info@lawyersclubsandiego.com

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