InsideCounsel’s September 2011 cover girl, Amy Schulman, Pfizer’s executive vice president and general counsel, president of Pfizer Nutrition and business unit lead for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, received a noteworthy award last week.
Schulman and four other women in law were honored with the 2012 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award on Aug. 5 at the award’s 22nd annual luncheon during the 2012 American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting in Chicago. The award is named after the first woman lawyer in the U.S.
“Each year we recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of five outstanding women lawyers who excelled in their field and paved the way to success for other women in the profession,” Mary B. Cranston, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, said in a press release. “Our five honorees come from a wide range of backgrounds, but they share tremendous achievements as lawyers and in their devotion to helping other women, and served as pioneers for those in the legal profession and beyond.”
Schulman is involved in many innovative initiatives geared toward the advancement of women in law, include Pfizer’s Global Women’s Council, which helps increase diversity and expand opportunities for both women and men across the country. Schulman also prioritizes hiring young lawyers directly out of law school.
During her award acceptance speech, Schulman touched upon the recently reignited discussion about whether women can “have it all”—in other words, whether women can be successful leaders in their professions while balancing their family and personal lives. Schulman noted that the problem of inequality between men and women in the legal field and other professions isn’t that women want too much or think they’re entitled to have it all. Rather, she said, “as long as we allow that to be the lens through which we explain the persistent failure to achieve full equality in our own voices, that will be the vehicle through which we are divided and conquered. We need to have the courage to insist on calling out pernicious false choices and refuse to remain hostage to unconscious biases.”
Other 2012 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award recipients include California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye; Marcia Devins Greenberger, founder and co-president of the National Women’s Law Center; Joan M. Hall, a retired Jenner & Block partner who is involved in the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School of Chicago; and Arlinda Locklear, a Native American lawyer who has been involved in Native American law throughout her career.
Read more InsideCounsel coverage of Schulman and Pfizer: