Judge Mercedes Deiz Award


The Judge Mercedes Deiz Award recognizes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to promoting minorities in the legal profession and in the community. The recipient of this award is a person who has influenced minorities to pursue legal careers, opened doors for minority attorneys, or advanced opportunities for minorities within the profession.

In 1960, Judge Mercedes Deiz became the first Black woman to be admitted to the Oregon State Bar. Nine years later, her appointment as a district court judge made her the first woman of color in the Oregon judiciary. In 1972 she won election to the Multnomah County Circuit Court, becoming the first Black woman to be elected to the bench in Oregon. She exemplified a high standard of public service through her commitment to making opportunities available to those with little historical access to legal resources and careers.

A nomination form for the 2016 Judge Mercedes Deiz Award will be available in the fall.

Here are the past Judge Mercedes Deiz Award recipients:

Judge Mercedes Deiz, 1992
Gayle Patterson, 1993
Nargess Shadbeh, 1994
Justice Edwin Peterson, 1996
Armonica Gilford, 1997
Okianer Christian Dark, 1998
Judge Janice Wilson, 1999
Madelyn Wessel, 2000
Lynn Nakamoto, 2001
Marva Fabien, 2002
Adrienne Nelson, 2003
Leonard Girard and Pamela Jacklin, 2004
Stella Manabe, 2005
Daniel Santos, 2006
Justice Wallace P. Carson, Jr., 2007
David F. Bartz, Jr., 2008
Judge Richard C. Baldwin, 2009
Mary Oberst, 2010
Judge Darleen Ortega, 2011
Judge Angel Lopez, 2012
Julia E. Markley, 2013
Lissa Kaufman, 2014
Liani Reeves, 2015