[Editor’s note: I am serving this year on the committee that will select the winner for the fourth annual Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award, named in honor of my friend and former colleague Monica Bay, the longtime editor of Law Technology News. Below is the committee’s press release announcing the opening of the process for submitting applications.]

The Monica Bay STEM Leadership Committee is pleased to announce that applications for the fourth annual Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award are being accepted. This annual award continues Monica Bay’s work by recognizing individuals who are leaders in the advancement of technology, mentors and sponsors for women in the legal technology field, and team players.

This year, the award will be given in conjunction with the Electronic Discovery Institute (EDI) Annual Summit, which will be held Oct. 11 and 12 in Orlando, Fla. The committee is grateful to EDI for its support and is honored to be collaborating with EDI.


Applications will be reviewed by an independent panel who will evaluate applicants based on their recent achievements and continuing efforts in the advancement of women in legal technology. The board and selection committee for 2018 includes Gail Gottehrer, Donna Payne, Judi Flournoy, Bob Ambrogi, Nishan DeSilva and Monica Bay. The applicant who is chosen as the winner is encouraged to attend the EDI Summit to receive the award; however, attendance is not required and an applicant’s willingness to attend the EDI Summit will not increase his/her chances of being selected as the winner.  The award committee and EDI will not pay any costs associated with the winner’s attendance at the EDI Summit, including travel costs, registration fee, and lodging costs.

Men and women are eligible to apply for the award. The deadline to submit applications is Sept. 1, 2018. To apply, you must submit a letter providing the information listed below. Clear, succinct descriptions are appreciated. Submit applications to bryanblackburn@thepaynegroup.com.  Applications submitted to other email addresses will not be considered. The judging panel will review applications and inform the winner that he/she has been selected on or by Sept. 12, 2018.

Application letters must include the following:

  • Your full contact information;
  • A description of the positions you have held and the work you have done to further the advancement of women in legal technology;
  • A description of the initiatives you originated/participated in within the legal industry (in law firms, corporate law departments, academia and/or government), highlighting the specific ways you have supported and advanced the careers of women;
  • A description of your role in affinity groups and organizations that support efforts to advance the careers of women in technology in the legal industry;
  • An explanation of your leadership style, and how that translates into actions to advance the careers of women in technology;
  • An outline of the specific initiatives you would pursue and actions you would take, if you were selected as the winner of the award, to assist the committee in raising the profile of our group, assisting women in legal technology, and growing our community; and
  • Contact information for three references the committee can contact if you are selected as a finalist.

The Monica Bay STEM Leadership Award recognizes individuals whose contributions have led to innovation and progress in the legal technology industry. It is named for Monica Bay, whose trailblazing career as the editor-in-chief of ALM’s Law Technology News and now as a fellow at CodeX: The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics and a freelance journalist, has inspired numerous people to pursue technology-related careers. This annual award is given to leaders who make it their mission to mentor and sponsor women in the legal technology profession, and who stand out as thought leaders and innovators. Prior winners of the award are Alison Grounds from Troutman Sanders, Sheryl Nolan from Microsoft, and Kate Cain from Sidley Austin.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.