National Summit of Black Women Lawyers’ ‘Trailblazer’ Award Honors McGuireWoods Partner Ava Lias-Booker

April 14, 2015

Ava E. Lias-Booker, managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Baltimore office, received the Trailblazer in Excellence and Diversity Award at the 2015 National Summit of Black Women Lawyers April 10 in Chicago. The award recognizes lawyers for extraordinary career accomplishments and for supporting and advancing diversity in the legal profession.

The award was presented to Lias-Booker during the National Summit gala in Chicago. An awards committee received nominations nationwide and chose Lias-Booker after a competitive vetting and selection process.

McGuireWoods partner Ava Lias-Booker receives the Trailblazer in Excellence and Diversity Award at the 2015 National Summit of Black Women Lawyers gala April 10 in Chicago. Presenting the award is the event’s master of ceremonies, Michael A. Boyce II. Photo courtesy of Eugene McKinney, Young Minds Mediaworks

The three-day summit hosted by the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago provided a forum for diversity advocates, African-American women lawyers and thought leaders to connect and exchange ideas for developing and empowering African-American women in the legal profession. The event included panel discussions on topics such as the diversity pipeline, mentoring, and career and professional development.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition and grateful to the Black Women Lawyers Association for all that it does to develop and promote African-American women in the legal profession.” Lias-Booker said. “The National Summit is so important to advancing that mission, and I was proud to participate in this year’s event.”

Lias-Booker was a featured speaker on two panels. She joined managing partners from other large law firms for the program “All Eyes on Us: Combating the Decline of Black Female Associates.” She also joined a panel of highly successful lawyers for a roundtable titled “Make it Rain: Building a Multi-Million Dollar Book of Business.”

“I can’t think of a more worthy honoree than Ava,” said McGuireWoods Managing Partner Tom Cabaniss. “Not only is she an accomplished lawyer and valuable contributor to our firm, she also is an outstanding leader and a role model for all of us. We’re so proud she has received this recognition.”

Lias-Booker heads McGuireWoods’ Baltimore litigation practice group. She represents businesses in complex commercial and civil litigation in state and federal courts and frequently speaks on litigation, leadership and diversity issues. In 2010, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association named Lias-Booker a “Leading Law Firm Rainmaker.”

Lias-Booker was appointed a member of the Magistrate Judges’ Merit Selection Panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Maryland Appellate Judicial Nominating Committee. She serves on the boards of several civic and professional organizations, including the board of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the board of visitors of her alma mater, the University of Maryland School of Law.

In recognition of her professional achievements and community involvement, Lias-Booker was named an “Influential Marylander” in 2014 by the Maryland Daily Record and chosen for the publication’s Leadership in Law list in 2011. She also made the Baltimore Business Journal’s 2011 “Power 20: The Next Generation” list and received the 2009 Thurgood Marshall College Fund Award for Excellence for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Law.