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HomeAWLA Sarah Herring Sorin Award


Every year during the State Bar Convention, AWLA awards the Sarah Herring Sorin award to an AWLA Member who has demonstrated support and encouragement for the advancement of women in the legal profession.   The award is conferred at the Mary Anne Richey Scholarship Breakfast, during which AWLA raises funds for the Mary Anne Richey Scholarship.

The award is named in honor of Sarah Herring Sorin (1861-1914), Arizona's first woman lawyer, and the 25th woman to be admitted to practice in the United States.  In the early 1900's, she became the fourth woman to argue a case before the United States Supreme Court.  She practiced throughout the Arizona Territory, developing a specialty in mining law.  She studied law under her father, and during much of her career, father and daughter practiced law together.  She was admitted to the Arizona bar in 1902.

In 2017, AWLA will confer the Award upon the Honorable Patricia Orozco of the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Honorable Patricia Orozco


Patricia A. Orozco was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology in 1977 from the University of Arizona. After graduation, she worked with developmentally disabled children with the Arizona Department of Economic Security.   In 1986, she returned to school to earn her law degree and in 1989 graduated from the University of Arizona, College of Law.  In 1991 Patricia moved to Yuma to work for Bowman & Smith, P.C.. In 1994, she opened her own law practice and served as Judge Pro Tem for the Cocopah Tribal Court for 5 years. In February, 1999 she was appointed by the Yuma County Board of Supervisors, as the Yuma County Attorney. She served in this position until December 2004, when she was appointed by Governor Napolitano to the Court of Appeals, Division One.   She retired from the Court of Appeals in December 2016.  She now spends her time traveling, visiting with family and friends and just enjoying retirement.


Past recipients of the award are:
Helen Perry Grimwood, Doris F. Mindell, Roxana C. Bacon, Grace McIlvain, the Hon. Mary M. Schroeder, Barbara A. Atwood, Laura A. Cardinal, Amy Schwartz, Georgia A. Staton, the Hon. Janis Ann Sterling (ret.), the Hon. Ruth V. McGregor (ret.), Amelia Craig Cramer, Paige A. Martin, Hon. Rebecca White Berch (ret.), Dee Dee Samet,  the Hon. Ann Scott Timmer, the Hon. Donn Kessler, and Barbara LaWall. 


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   Arizona State University, Office of General Counsel