Woman of the Year

Photo of the 23rd Annual Woman of the Year Reception
                   23rd Annual Woman of the Year Reception Honoring
                   Woman of the Year Tracey McCants Lewis, Esq., L'00
                   Recent Graduate of the Year Gabriela Steier, Esq., L'12

The Woman of the Year event was established by the students of the Women's Law Association and honors two distinguished women, the Woman of the Year and the Recent Graduate of the Year. The Woman of the Year award is given to a female alumna who promotes gender equality, gives back to the community, demonstrates professionalism and leadership, raises awareness about issues affecting women, maintains a meaningful connection with female Duquesne Law students, and pioneers a new path for women in the legal profession. 

The Recent Graduate of the Year is given to a female alumna who also exemplifies these characteristics and who has graduated in the last five years.  These awards have been given to many distinguished women in the legal field over the last twenty-three years, including judges, prominent attorneys, professors, deans and authors.  The recipients this year are welcome additions to the legacy and tradition. 

The 2015 Woman of the Year reception was co-sponsored by Allegheny County Bar Association Women in the Law Division, Women's Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania, Duquesne Law Alumni Association and the Office of Student Organizations. The 2015 honorees are:

Tracey McCants Lewis, Esq., L'00 is assistant professor and assistant director of Clinical Legal Education at Duquesne University School of Law. She teaches in the Civil Rights Clinic and focuses her scholarship on critical race theory, feminist legal theory and the application of legal storytelling in clinical legal education.

McCants Lewis was appointed to the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board in 2013. She served as the chair of the Allegheny County, Courts Administration Vision Team Committee in 2012. McCants Lewis was named recipient of the 2012 NAACP Pittsburgh - Homer S. Brown Award for Legal Service and the 2012 Urban League Young Professionals of Greater Pittsburgh - Decade of Dedication Award.

A member of the Pennsylvania State Bar, McCants Lewis formerly practiced law as an associate with K&L Gates LLP and served as a law clerk for the Honorable Max Baer of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. McCants Lewis earned her B.A. degree from Gannon University in Political Science and her J.D. from Duquesne University School of Law, where she served on the Law Review Board and was the recipient of the National Association of Women Lawyers - Outstanding Woman Law Graduate of 2000. She was also a member of the Louis L. Manderino Honor Society for Distinguished Achievement in Moot Court Competition.

Gabriela Steier, Esq., L'12 graduated from the Duquesne University School of Law in 2012. She also holds a B.A. from Tufts University and is pursuing a doctorate in comparative law at the University of Cologne in Germany. Attorney Steier is a barred in two states and focuses on food safety, policy, animal welfare and GMO issues domestically and in the European Union. She has lectured on these topics at various universities and she is joining the Duquesne University School of Law as Adjunct Professor in January 2015, where she will co-teach a breakthrough new course on food law.

As Co-Founder of Food Law International, LLP, a new organization for the advancement and development of scholarship and interdisciplinary legal education on all aspects of international food law with the goal to promote environmental sustainability, public health, food safety, animal welfare and social integrity, she has lectured on these topics and continues her research. She works at the Center for Food Safety in Washington, D.C., a national non-profit public interest and environmental advocacy organization working to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and sustainable agriculture.   

Attorney Steier has published widely on international food law, policy and trade and has earned several awards for her work. As experienced editor and with her numerous publications ranging from peer-reviewed articles in international medical journals to law reviews, Gabriela has gained wide-spread interdisciplinary interest and some of her articles have been on the Top Ten List on SSRN for several months. She is also Co-Editor of the forthcoming textbooks International Food Law and Policy and International Farm Animal, Wildlife & Food Safety Law.

 Past Recipients

  Woman of the Year Recent Graduate of the Year
2015 Tracey McCants Lewis Gabriela Steier
2014 Nicola Henry-Taylor Christina Horton Duty
2013 Mary C. McGinley Lisa Barnett
 2012 Ella Kwisnek Kathryn M. Cooper
 2011 Amelia Joiner Sarah L. Andrews
 2010 Toni Pellegrini Michelle A. Mantini
 2009 Vanessa S. Browne-Barbour Amie M. Mihalko
 2008 Mary-Jo Rebelo Nicole Scialabba
 2007 Honorable Stephanie Domitrovich  
 2006 Honorable Kate Ford Elliott  
 2005 Honorable Joy Flowers Conti  
 2004 Maureen P. Kelley  
 2003 Jacklyn A. Cherry  
 2002 Marie Milie Jones  
 2001 Vanessa S. Browne-Barbour  
 2000 Honorable Joan Orie Melvin  
 1999 Honorable Cynthia A. Baldwin  
 1998 Linda L. Kelly  
 1997 Honorable Maureen E. Lally-Green  
 1996 Honorable Donetta W. Ambrose  
 1995 Caroline Mitchell  
 1994 Lynne N. Crenny  
 1993 Gretchen Haggerty