Judge M. Margaret McKeown

2022 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Ninth Circuit

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA–Judge M. Margaret McKeown has been selected to receive the prestigious 2022 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Ninth Circuit. Chief Judge Mary H. Murguia will present the award to McKeown during the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference July 17-21 in Big Sky, Montana. McKeown has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit since 1998.

Before joining the court, McKeown was a White House Fellow and the first woman partner at Perkins Coie LLP in Seattle and Washington, DC, where she specialized in antitrust and intellectual property law. “Throughout her life, Judge McKeown has worked to advance equal rights for women,” says Victoria Fuller, vice president and president-elect of the San Diego Appellate American Inn of Court, who nominated McKeown for the award on behalf of the Inn. “In one of her memorable speeches, she advises that the mantra should not be ‘lean in,’ which is internally focused, but instead should be ‘lean down and lift up those who follow.’” The American Bar Association (ABA) gave McKeown its Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award in honor of her long-standing commitment to equal rights. McKeown later chaired the ABA’s Commission on the 19th Amendment, which produced a cookbook to celebrate the women’s suffrage centennial. The Girl Scouts awarded the former troop leader and national board member its Cool Women Award.

McKeown is also committed to the international rule of law. She serves as a board member of the World Justice Project and a special advisor to the ABA’s Rule of Law Initiative. She has helped Latin American countries make the transition to an oral, adversarial criminal justice system. She also chairs the Ninth Circuit Pacific Islands Committee, which offers judicial education in current and former U.S. territories.

Back at home, McKeown played a key role in launching the San Diego Appellate Inn in 2016. Formerly a judicial master for the Lewis M. Welsh American Inn of Court in San Diego, she is now judicial master for the Appellate Inn.

A Wyoming native, McKeown serves on the board of the Teton Science Schools and is author of the forthcoming book Citizen Justice: The Environmental Legacy of William O. Douglas—Public Advocate and Conservation Champion.

McKeown earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming in 1972 and earned her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1975. She holds an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University.