Judge Diana Murphy speaks after being presented with the first Honorable Diana E. Murphy Legacy Award during a "Leadership, Gender, and Judicial Selection" program October 17, 2008 in School of Law's Schulze Grand Atrium.

Judge Diana Murphy's Legacy

Lisa Brabbit from the School of Law remembers her mentor Judge Diana Murphy.

Lisa Brabbit remembered her mentor Judge Diana Murphy at a memorial service for her in October 2018. Brabbit is the senior assistant dean for external relations and programs at the School of Law.

“She brought a richness to the rule of law,” Brabbit said. “I asked her once if the fact that she was a woman made a difference on the court, and she responded without hesitation, ‘definitely.’ History supports her conclusion.

“Personal and professional lessons were shared with all who sought her guidance, and I know that from personal experience. She listened carefully, and she probed. She took tremendous pride in helping, coaching, mentoring. Her competence and confidence inspired us all to aim high, and her wise, thoughtful counsel helped countless individuals navigate the complexities of professional life. She didn’t mince words. But even when direct, you knew her words came from a place of love and goodness.”

Brabbit concluded, “It’s not what she left for us, it’s what she left in us – regardless of whether we fit within conventional roles and expectations, the courage and confidence to bring our best selves forward as a unique and irreplaceable gift.”

Brabbit is one of the founders of The Infinity Project, whose mission is to increase the gender diversity of the Minnesota and federal bench to ensure the quality of justice in the 8th Circuit. In 2008, The Infinity Project established the Judge Diana Murphy Legacy Award and Brabbit presented Murphy with it. This year, the award went to Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

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