Court of Appeals Judge Irma Raker Receives National Award
(Annapolis, MD — May 1, 2007) Judge Irma S. Raker of the Maryland Court of Appeals has been chosen to receive the 2007 Margaret Brent Award from the American Bar Association (ABA). Judge Raker represents the 7th Appellate Circuit (Montgomery County) on the state’s highest court.
Each year, the ABA presents the Margaret Brent Award to five women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence while influencing other women to pursue legal careers, opening doors for women lawyers in job settings that historically have been closed to them, and advancing opportunities for women within the profession of law. The award is named for Margaret Brent, the first woman lawyer in America. Brent arrived in the colonies in 1638, and in 1648 demanded a "vote and voice" in the Maryland Assembly -- which the governor denied. This is the 17th year for the award.
“Judge Raker is only the second woman in the well-over-two-hundred-year history of the Court to serve on this, the State’s highest court, and she has proven to be a great asset,” said Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals. “She is an assiduous worker, an effective, scholarly, and articulate opinion writer, a willing team player, and a very valuable colleague. Her career has been characterized by efforts to further the understanding of justice and an unwavering commitment to excellence, particularly as it relates to the education of lawyers and judges.”
Judge Raker has served on the Court of Appeals since January 1994, and is chair of the Judicial Compensation Committee and a past member of the Public Awareness Committee. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and studied at the Hague Academy of International Law. After she earned her law degree from the Washington College of Law at American University and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1973, Judge Raker was Assistant State's Attorney, Montgomery County, from 1973-79. She served as Associate Judge, District Court of Maryland, District 6 (Montgomery County) from 1980-1982, then as Associate Judge, Montgomery County Circuit Court, 6th Judicial Circuit, from February 1982-December 1993. She has served in leadership positions in both the ABA and the Maryland State Bar Association, and is a past president of the Maryland Chapter of the National Association of Women Judges. Judge Raker, who is also an adjunct professor at Washington College of Law, has received many other awards throughout her career, including the Dole Woman of Achievement Award from the American Red Cross, Citizen of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers, and the Maryland Leadership Award from the Daily Record, which has three times named her as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. Judge Raker will receive the Margaret Brent award at the ABA Annual Meeting in California in August.
For more information, please contact the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488.