The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York will celebrate its 30th anniversary with a special recognition of retired Family Court Judge Marilyn Hoffman O’Connor.
Judge O’Connor will be presented with the Betty Ellerin Mentor Award for her commitment to mentoring women attorneys and for her community leadership. The event will take place Dec. 4 at the Hyatt Regency Rochester, held in conjunction with the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys.
The Betty Ellerin Mentor Award was created five years ago as a tribute to Justice Ellerin for her accomplishments as a jurist and mentor. Justice Ellerin, chairwoman of the New York State Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts, will present the award to Judge O’Connor.
Judge O’Connor, a founding member of GRAWA, taught in Monroe County public schools for 16 years before pursuing a career in law, starting at the University at Buffalo Law School in the mid-1970s.
Before being elected family court judge in 2000, Judge O’Connor served as a paralegal in the Monroe County Law Department, an assistant public defender representing clients in family court and a confidential law clerk for the Monroe County surrogate.
As a family court judge, she focused on fairness for everyone, particularly children. She recognized the need for family planning after seeing parents repeatedly have their children taken away from them and continue to have more children.
Making national news was Judge O’Connor’s decision to have a drug-addicted couple refrain from further pregnancies while the Department of Social Services was trying to help them get their existing children returned from foster care.
The event starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E. Main St. Tickets are $95, two for $180 or a table of 10 for $900. Mail payment to: WBASNY Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 936, Planetarium Station, New York 10024-0546.
Reservations should be made by Dec. 1. RSVP to www.wbasny.bluestep.net.