The Baltimore Business Journal
has honored McGuireWoods partner
Ava Lias-Booker with a 2020 Leader in Diversity Award, which recognizes business and
nonprofit leaders and other professionals for advancing diversity and
inclusion in the Greater Baltimore region. The winners were featured in a
special edition of the newspaper published June 5.
Lias-Booker chairs McGuireWoods’
Diversity & Inclusion Committee, serves on the Associates Committee and is a former managing partner of
the Baltimore office. She oversees the firm’s diversity initiatives and
guides efforts to recruit, retain and promote women and lawyers of color.
She also has taken the lead in establishing partnerships with McGuireWoods
clients to collaborate on diversity and inclusion initiatives affecting
their businesses and the legal profession.
Under her direction, the firm in 2019 launched its novel Diverse Associates
Leadership Program, a two-day training event designed to equip lawyers from
diverse backgrounds with tools and leadership skills essential to advance
into the partnership ranks. Half of the lawyers promoted to McGuireWoods’
partnership ranks in 2020 were women and lawyers of color.
“I am honored to be included with respected leaders doing important work to
make diversity and inclusion a priority in our businesses and our
communities,” Lias-Booker said. “I know our firm will continue to play a
vital role in that effort.”
An accomplished trial and appellate lawyer, Lias-Booker leads McGuireWoods’
Baltimore litigation practice with three decades of first-chair trial
experience representing businesses in complex commercial litigation. She
holds leadership roles in legal and civic organizations in Baltimore and
nationwide. She is a member of the boards of visitors of Duke University
School of Law and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of
Law and the board of directors of the Baltimore Open Society Institute.
“Ava inspires us all with her leadership and vision and her commitment to
diversity and inclusion throughout the legal profession” said McGuireWoods
J. Tracy Walker IV. “We are proud that Baltimore’s business community recognizes her
Among her many honors, Lias-Booker was named “Managing Partner of the Year” by the African American Managing Partners Network and “Litigator of the Year” by the Maryland State Bar Association’s Litigation Section. She was
inducted in The Daily Record’s “Circle of Excellence,” an honor
reserved for those who appear on the publication’s list of Maryland’s Top
100 Women three times. In 2019, Savoy magazine named her to its prestigious
list of “Most Influential Women in Corporate America.”