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OSBA honors Cleveland attorney with Women Lawyer’s Award (+video)

Kathleen Balthrop HavenerKathleen Balthrop Havener of Cleveland has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Ohio State Bar Association’s Nettie Cronise Lutes Award. Havener received the award during the OSBA Annual Convention in Cleveland.

The Nettie Cronise Lutes Award, named for the first woman to practice law in Ohio, was created by the OSBA Women in the Profession Section to recognize women lawyers who have “improved the legal profession through their own high level of professionalism and who have opened doors for other women and girls.”


“Earning this award is truly an honor and a privilege,” said Havener. “I’m a firm believer in former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s philosophy that women should help other women, and I strive for that every day.”


When she frequently found herself turning to other women lawyers for counsel or when referring clients, Havener felt there was a need for a free referral network specifically dedicated to women. Investing her time and money, she established the Woman-to-Woman Lawyer Referral Database. The searchable database is a resource for women lawyers and clients to seek assistance with legal matters from particular women lawyers, with particular expertise, and in particular regions of our country and the world. Less than a year into its existence, the database includes the names of more than 700 women lawyers from 10 countries.


“Havener is a role model for her commitment to the community of women lawyers,” OSBA President Judge Patrick Fischer said. “Her persistence and passion to improve and give back to the profession in connecting women across the globe is providing an invaluable tool for potential clients.”


A 1976 alumna of Spring Hill College with a bachelor of arts in both history and philosophy, Havener enrolled at Harvard Law School at the age of 34 when she was the mother of three young children. She graduated from Harvard Law School with honors in 1991.  


Havener has her own private practice in Cleveland with her husband and law partner, Thomas G. Havener, and is licensed to practice law in Ohio, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland. She has handled a broad range of cases, including tax litigation, antitrust, multidistrict litigation, corporate employee raiding, securities fraud litigation, environmental regulation, intellectual property litigation, insurance coverage disputes and government contracts bid protests. One of her engagements involved Havener as venue counsel for World Cup USA, and she was responsible for coordinating safety and security arrangements throughout the Washington D.C. area.


Havener is a member of the OSBA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Section Council and is a past member of the OSBA Council of Delegates. An active member of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s Women in Law Section, she has served as co-chair of the American Bar Association Litigation Section’s Woman Advocate Committee, and as a member of its President’s Council on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline. In 2011, Havener was selected as a finalist by Crain’s Cleveland Business as a “Woman of Note.”


Havener finds time to write on a variety of subjects, including legal technology, and is a public speaker who promotes the use of small law firms by large companies. Additionally, she promotes diversity for women, racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT and disabled lawyers in the legal industry. She is an avid reader and quilting enthusiast. Havener’s three daughters are grown now and she is a grandmother of four.

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