The Infinity Project congratulates Attorney Gloria Stamps-Smith for being honored with the Minnesota Women Lawyer's 2020 Myra Bradwell Award.
The 2020 MWL Myra Bradwell Award recipient is Gloria Stamps-Smith.
The Myra Bradwell Award is presented to an MWL member who expresses the highest ideals of the legal profession and who possesses the qualities exemplified by Myra Bradwell such as courage, perseverance, and leadership on issues of concern to women.
Additional Criteria for Selection 1. An attorney who is a leader in their field and who has exemplified legal excellence, professionalism, and ethics. 2. An attorney who has reached out to assist other women, e.g., by mentoring, by facilitating institutional support, and/or by being a role model.
ABOUT GLORIA STAMPS-SMITH: Gloria Stamps-Smith is an Assistant Hennepin County Attorney in the Adult Services Department. She represents hospitals, the courts, and social workers in the civil commitment of people experiencing a mental health crisis or struggling with chemical dependency. Stamps-Smith graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law and is a proud summa cum laude graduate of Jackson State University in Mississippi.
Ms. Stamps-Smith grew up in Mississippi and believes the mentors she had growing up inspired her commitment to serving others to her community. She states she has always been surrounded by strong women who instilled in her the value of giving back to the community and showed her the rippling impact of servant leadership. Ms. Stamps-Smith also enjoyed learned about strong women in American history. Harriet Tubman and Shirly Chisolm were two historic “sheroes” who greatly influenced Stamp-Smith. Harriet Tubman – a slave who escaped to freedom but would not rest until she rescued as many slaves as her body would allow, placing her own life and freedom in jeopardy – exemplified not being comfortable when others are suffering. Shirley Chisolm who famously said “service is the rent we pay for living on this earth” reminds Stamps-Smith that she is called to serve others and that calling is greatest when the difficulty is greatest.
Ms. Stamps-Smith began her career as the first African American woman attorney in the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office. And later became the first African American attorney to work for the Supreme Court of Tennessee’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Ms. Stamps-Smith later joined the Hennepin County Attorney’s office where she worked in the Juvenile Prosecution Division for 15 years before joining the Adult Services Department.
Ms. Stamps-Smith has a passion for uplifting the next generation of lawyers. She has devoted her career to mentoring and championing women law students and young lawyers. Ms. Stamps-Smith is a mentor through the University of St. Thomas Mentor Externship Program and the Mitchell Hamline Mentoring Program. She also mentors young lawyers in her office, through the Hennepin County Bar Association, and through the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers.