Sherri Blount, partner at Washington D.C.’s Fitch, Even, Tabin & Flannery; and Debra Lee, chairwoman and CEO of BET Networks, are being honored by the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia (WBA) in conjunction with the Women’s Bar Association Foundation (WBAF) as the WBA Woman Lawyers of the Year in Washington D.C. Women Lawyers of the Year are recognized annually with for their exceptional achievements and accomplishments in the legal profession and can also be recognized for contribution to the advancement of women in the legal profession.

The theme for the 2011 Women Lawyers of the Year is “Women Helping Women.” This theme is in concert with Phase III of the WBA’s Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women: Navigating the Corporate Matrix, Advancing Women in Corporate Law Departments. This focuses not only on the women who work in-house, but the role that other women, particularly women outside counsel, can play in that process.

Under Lee’s leadership, BET has become the leading provider for media and entertainment for African Americans and consumers of Black culture worldwide. Lee has championed diversity and inclusion, and has personally mentored and sponsored numerous women and persons of color.

Blount, who was named Top Intellectual Property Lawyer in Washington, D.C., by the Washington Business Journal in 2007, routinely handles advertising, entertainment and media matters. Including television and radio production deals, she also handles program acquisitions, rights clearances, syndication, FCC content review, and other entertainment and media issues.

Blount and Lee have blazed trails for not just women attorneys, but for women in all professions. They have reached the pinnacle in their respective fields, while never losing sight of giving back and assisting future women lawyers to reach their full potential.

Blake Bryson