For the first time, the Anne Lukingbeal Award went to a staff member: Susan Pado, administrative assistant for the Cornell Law Review, Cornell International Law Journal, and Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy.
"I was very surprised," Pado said. "It was a really big honor."
Established in 1999 by the Women's Law Coalition (WLC), the award goes to a member of the faculty or staff at Cornell Law School who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the women at the school. It also serves as a tribute to Anne Lukingbeal, Associate Dean and Dean of Students, who won the first award.
"Everyone was thrilled," said outgoing WLC President Kerry Harnett. "Sue has been able to stay under the radar, but it's time she got some recognition."
The mission of the WLC, Harnett explained, is "to promote the women of Cornell Law School, women in the legal profession, and women in general." The group brings in speakers; hosts academic panels and social events; and participates in a number of volunteer activities, including the annual 5K run in Ithaca that raises money for breast cancer research.
As Senior Notes Editor of the Law Review, Harnett works closely with Pado. "She is the warmest person I've ever met," said Harnett. "She takes on so many responsibilities yet is still always asking students if she can help with anything. She has really touched the life of every student at this school."
Pado has worked at the Law Review for 25 years. "When I first started, we were all about the same age," she recalled. But few women were on the Review. "I remember working for the first female editor-in-chief," she said. "Now the board is about half women, and there is a female editor-in-chief every few years."
In the late 80s, Pado noted, most law students were right out of college."Now I see older students who have had a career or come from the military. Quite a few are married and even starting families."
The students keep in touch. They let her know when they pass the Bar Exam and send wedding and baby pictures. Many sent e-mails congratulating Pado on her award. "I feel like they are members of my family," she said.