Joan S. Kohout, a family court judge in Rochester since 1988, is the 2015 recipient of the Ruth G. Schapiro Award, given by the Committee on Women in the Law of the New York State Bar Association.
Kohout received the award on January 30 during the State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in New York City. It recognizes a State Bar member for outstanding contributions to addressing the concerns of women.
A leader in family court reform in New York State, Kohout has advocated for increased services for girls in the juvenile justice system. She also has worked to reduce the disproportionate number of minority children in foster care and juvenile justice. She was the first woman attorney hired at the Monroe County public defender’s office in 1976 and is past president of the New York State Family Court Judge Association.
“Judge Kohout has spent her career mentoring women attorneys and jurists,” said Ellen G. Makofsky (Makofsky & Associates), co-chair of the Committee on Women in the Law. “She has shown enormous dedication to advocating for the needs of women and children.”
The award is named for the late Ruth G. Schapiro, a nationally regarded tax lawyer, who was the first woman partner at Proskauer. Active in the State Bar Association, she was the first chair of the Committee on Women in the Law, chair of the Tax Section and the Finance Committee, and one of the first women to serve on the Executive Committee. She died in 1991. The Ruth G. Schapiro Award was created in her honor in 1992.
“It is a great honor to receive the Ruth G. Schapiro Memorial Award and join the distinguished list of prior recipients,” said Kohout. “I thank the New York State Bar Association’s Women in the Law Committee for this award and their many efforts over the years to promote the success of women in our profession.”
The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.
-30-Contact: Christina Couto
Senior Media Writerccouto@nysba.org