California Women Lawyers (CWL) presented the Fay Stender Award to Lynn Schenk, Sept. 11 at its 40th anniversary dinner held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. The dinner also featured keynote speaker Justice Joyce L. Kennard.
The award was created in 1982 in honor of Fay Stender, a CWL founder and staunch supporter of under-represented groups and individuals. It is presented each year to someone who has demonstrated feminist perspective, has served as a role model for female attorneys, and has demonstrated ability to affect change as a single individual.
Schenk, of La Jolla, is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and has held multiple leadership roles for the California state government. Among her accomplishments, Schenk is credited with being the first woman to hold cabinet post as Secretary of the California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency during her tenure with Gov. Jerry Brown.
She also became California’s first female chief of staff when appointed by Gov. Gray Davis. Furthermore, Schenk holds the recognition of being the first female Congressmember elected south of Los Angeles. She is a “founding mother” of Lawyers Club of San Diego and CWL, both of which have missions to advance the status of women in law and society.
Still active in the legal community, Schenk serves on the board of directors for Sempra Energy and Biogen IDEC, and is a member of California High Speed Rail Authority.