Baltimore attorney receives Trailblazer Award at National Summit of Black Women Lawyers


Ava E. Lias-Booker, managing partner of McGuireWoods’ Baltimore office, received the Trailblazer in Excellence and Diversity Award at the 2015 National Summit of Black Women Lawyers on April 10, 2015 in Chicago. The award recognizes lawyers for extraordinary career accomplishments and for supporting and advancing diversity in the legal profession.

An awards committee received nominations nationwide and chose Lias-Booker after a competitive vetting and selection process.

The three-day summit hosted by the Black Women Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago provided a forum for diversity advocates, African-American women lawyers and thought leaders to connect and exchange ideas for developing and empowering African-American women in the legal profession. The event included panel discussions on topics such as the diversity pipeline, mentoring, and career and professional development.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition and grateful to the Black Women Lawyers Association for all that it does to develop and promote African-American women in the legal profession.” Lias-Booker said. “The National Summit is so important to advancing that mission, and I was proud to participate in this year’s event.”

Lias-Booker was a featured speaker on two panels. She joined managing partners from other large law firms for the program “All Eyes on Us: Combating the Decline of Black Female Associates.” She also joined a panel of highly successful lawyers for a roundtable titled “Make it Rain: Building a Multi-Million Dollar Book of Business.”

“I can’t think of a more worthy honoree than Ava,” said McGuireWoods Managing Partner Tom Cabaniss. “Not only is she an accomplished lawyer and valuable contributor to our firm, she also is an outstanding leader and a role model for all of us. We’re so proud she has received this recognition.”

Lias-Booker heads McGuireWoods’ Baltimore litigation practice group. She represents businesses in complex commercial and civil litigation in state and federal courts and frequently speaks on litigation, leadership and diversity issues. In 2010, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association named Lias-Booker a “Leading Law Firm Rainmaker.”