Law Professor Presents Lifetime Achievement Award to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

January 14, 2013

Brook Arbeitman
Director of Marketing and Communication
Oklahoma City University School of Law
(405) 208-6300

(OKLAHOMA CITY – January 14, 2013) – Oklahoma City University School of Law Professor Danne Johnson recently traveled with a delegation of law professors to the Supreme Court of the United States to present a Lifetime Achievement Award to Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Professor Johnson was the 2011 Chair of the American Association of Law School’s (AALS) Section on Women in Legal Education when she developed the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Section on Women in Legal Education is largest organization of female law faculty with more than 1,500 members. The Award honors an individual who has had a distinguished career of teaching, service and scholarship for at least 20 years.  The recipient should be someone who has impacted women, the legal community, the academy and the issues affecting women through mentoring, writing, speaking, activism and by providing opportunities to others.

Justice Ginsburg was nominated and selected by the Section to receive the inaugural award. Throughout her distinguished career, she has inspired lawyers, women and people from all walks of life.  Professor Johnson was honored to make the presentation of the Sections’ first Lifetime Achievement Award to Justice Ginsburg in her chambers at the Court with other law school professors in attendance for the presentation.

“Meeting Justice Ginsburg and making this presentation is a dream come true, a thrill of a lifetime, for me and the award could not have gone to a more deserving person,” said Johnson. “Justice Ginsburg is a rock star in our world.”

Justice Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Bill Clinton and took office in 1993, becoming the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court. A 1954 graduate of Cornell University, Justice Ginsburg finished first in her class. She later enrolled at Harvard Law School as one of nine women in a class of about 500 and was the first female member of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. Justice Ginsburg would transfer to Columbia Law School in New York City, to join her husband, where she was elected to the school’s law review and graduated first in her class in 1959.

After clerking for United States District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri (1959-61), she taught at Rutgers University Law School (1963-72) and at Columbia (1972-80), where she became the school’s first female, tenured professor. During the 1970s, she also served as the director of the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, for which she argued six landmark cases on gender equality before the United States Supreme Court. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Professor Danne Johnson is the second tenured African American Professor of Law at Oklahoma City University. She is an esteemed law professor, scholar and community leader.  She has represented the Law School at a number of domestic and international scholarly conferences and was recently recognized by the Journal Record as one of 50 Making a Difference. Professor Johnson is a graduate of The National Law Center at George Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to moving to Oklahoma, 10 years ago, Johnson lived in New York City, NY where she was a Branch Chief of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission’s Northeast Regional Office’s Division of Enforcement, and later was Counsel at MetLife in both the Mutual Fund and Variable Annuity Units. She is a member of the Links, Incorporated and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.