Women Lawyers Forum 2008 Award of Excellence

Maria Morellato, QC was presented with the Women Lawyers Forum highest honour, the Award of Excellence, on October 29, 2008. This award celebrates Morellato's distinguished career achievements and her outstanding contributions to women in the legal profession as a change agent, leader and mentor.

Maria Morellato, QC (left) and Linda Robertson, Chaire, CBABC Women Lawyers Forum.
Maria Morellato, QC (left) and Linda Robertson, Chair, CBABC Women Lawyers Forum. Photo courtesy of the Canadian Bar Association, BC Branch.

Morellato was nominated for this honour by Anna Fung, QC, past president of the Law Society. Fung said, "You may ask, why, amongst this group of amazing women, is Maria particularly worthy of this award? Because she has shown us that it is possible to 'have it all,' a successful and challenging legal career, a loving family and personal fulfilment by way of active volunteerism in her community and her profession. Along the way, she has never compromised her principles, her values or her sense of humour, and she has remained true to her core, her womanhood. She is a warm, compassionate, loving and supportive woman who treats everyone with utmost respect, courtesy and humanity."

Morellato leads the First Nations and Aboriginal Group in the Vancouver office of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP. She has acted as legal counsel before all levels of the court system, including the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court, and also regularly appears before administrative tribunals and regulatory commissions. She maintains an active role in several professional organizations which currently includes: member, the Law Society's Retention of Women in the Law Task Force; Co-Chair, CBA Aboriginal Law Scholarship Trust Fund-Raising Committee; member of Canadian Bar Association; and Pro Bono Legal Clinic volunteer (Western Canada Society to Access Justice).