Betty Lugo Awarded 2020 Ruth G. Schapiro Award at NYSBA Annual Meeting

By Brendan Kennedy

January 26, 2021

Betty Lugo Awarded 2020 Ruth G. Schapiro Award at NYSBA Annual Meeting


By Brendan Kennedy

Betty Lugo, a founding member of Pacheco & Lugo, the first Hispanic women-owned law firm in New York, received the 2020 Ruth G. Schapiro Memorial Award on Tuesday during the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) Women in Law section meeting.

This annual award is named in honor of Ruth G. Schapiro, the first chair of the then-Committee on Women in Law, and honors a female or male member of NYSBA who has made a noteworthy contribution to addressing the concerns of women over the past year.

“Betty works tirelessly and passionately to ensure that women in all their diversity are fully represented in the legal profession,” said Terri A. Mazur, chair of the Women in Law Section. “She is also deeply committed to mentoring women – law students and women practitioners alike – and is a worthy recipient of the Schapiro Award.”

Lugo leads the firm’s litigation practice in the areas of general and commercial liability, construction, employment, labor law and real estate. She has conducted trials, hearings, arbitrations and appeals in complex matters in both state and federal courts, while also counseling and representing clients on matters involving banking, bankruptcy, corporate, commercial, not-for-profit, real estate and risk management.

She began her career as an assistant district attorney in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office and was the first Hispanic woman to work in that role. In addition to her role as advisor to several not-for-profit organizations, she also serves as general counsel to both the Association for Puerto Rican Education and Empowerment (APREE) and the Latino Court Officers Society.

She received her undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College and her J.D. from Albany Law School.

Past recipients of this prestigious award include Judith S. Kaye, former Chief Judge of the State of New York, who was the first recipient in 1992. Recent recipients include Hon. Rosalyn H. Richter in 2019, Deborah A. Scalise in 2018, Bernice K. Leber in 2017, Chief Judge Janet D. Fiore in 2016, Dean Patricia E. Salkin in 2015, Hon. Joan S. Kohout in 2014, Kathryn Grant Madigan in 2012, Kim K. Azzarelli in 2011, Susan B. Lindenauer in 2010, Hon. Evelyn Frazee in 2009 and Karen DeCrow in 2008.

The Women in Law Section’s Annual Meeting – the 17th Annual Edith I. Spivack Symposium, “Ready to Lead” Advancing Women Attorneys During the Pandemic and Beyond, was held over two days this year.

Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting tradition. The 144th Annual Meeting is focusing on more than 65 different topics each day from Jan. 19 to 29. Subjects include Employment Litigation in the Wake of COVID-19, Conducting a Jury Trial in the Shadow of COVID-19, State Tax Implications From the Pandemic and Vaccines: Legal Mandates and Challenges.

The Presidential Summit, which will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 27, is titled: “The COVID-19 Pandemic: Legal, Constitutional, and Public Health Issues.”  One of the nation’s top constitutional law scholars, Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley Law; and Dr. Irwin Redlener, a pediatrician, public health activist, author, academic, and advisor; will speak at the event.

Other featured speakers at the Annual Meeting include Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Pascal Saint-Amans, director of the Centre for Tax Policy and Administration, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, click here.

About the New York State Bar Association
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Since 1876, the Association has helped shape the development of law, educated and informed the legal profession and the public, and championed the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in our communities.


Contact: Brendan Kennedy
[email protected]

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