CMWL Award

The Committee on Minorities and Women in the Law presents the CMWL Award to an attorney who meets the following criteria:

Has achieved professional excellence in his/her field AND

1. Influenced minorities and/or women to pursue legal careers OR
2. Opened doors for minority and/or women lawyers in a variety of job settings that historically were closed to them OR
3. Advanced opportunities for minority and/or women lawyers within a practice area or segment of the profession OR
4.  Advanced and initiative or project on behalf of or to promote minorities and women in the law. 

2014 Recipient

Song Ong pic

Judge Roxanne K. Song Ong
was appointed the Chief Presiding Judge of the Phoenix Municipal Court in 2005.  She is recognized as the first Asian woman judge in the State of Arizona and is the first woman and minority to be named as the City’s Chief Judge. She has served as a judge for Phoenix since 1991 and was appointed the Assistant Presiding Judge in 2000.  Prior to that, she served as a judge for the Scottsdale City Court from 1986-1991. Prior to judging, Judge Song Ong practiced in the areas of criminal prosecution, defense, and immigration law.  

Offices Held: 2014 President of the National Conference of Metropolitan Courts (NCMC); Chair of the Arizona Supreme Court’s Commission on Minorities (COM); Immediate past Chair of the Arizona Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Education and Training (COJET); Member Arizona Judicial Council (AJC); Member Supreme Court Commission on Technology (COT);  2012 President of the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education; Board Member and faculty for the State Bar of Arizona’s Leadership Institute;  Faculty for the Arizona Supreme Court’s New Judge Orientation Program and the Arizona Judicial College.  

Honors and Awards:  2014 YWCA Tribute to Leadership Award for Public Service; 2013 Maricopa County Bar Association’s Hall of Fame Inductee; 2013 Arizona Supreme Court Judge of the Year;  2013 Asian Pacific Community in Action Award;  One of “48 Most Intriguing Women in Arizona 2012” by the Arizona Historical Society; 2010 recipient of the Arizona State Bar’s Judicial Award of Excellence; 2009 National Asian American Bar Association’s Trailblazer Award; One of  “100 Outstanding Women and Minorities for the State of Arizona 2000” by the State and County Bar Associations; and, the 1999 Arizona Bar Foundation’s Attorney Law-Related Education Award.


Previous Recipients

The award has been presented to:

2000     Marian M. Yim
2001 Jo Ellen McBride
2002 Hon. Michael D. Ryan
2003 Chris Brian Nakamura
2004 JoAnn P. Garcia
2005 Jenae R. Naumann
2006 Patricia A. Green
2007 Mari I. Valenzuela
2008 Lisa S.K. Loo
2009 Shelli Soto
2010 Prof. Charles R. Calleros
2011 Richard J. Gonzales
2012 Rodney Lewis
2013 Mary Dolores Guerra