University of Mississippi School of Law graduate, Pshon Barrett (JD 1979), received the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mississippi Women Lawyers’ Association. The award celebrates her 37 years of work as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Mississippi.
“I was deeply honored, surprised, and humbled when I found out I was going to receive this award. I looked up a list of people who have received it in the past, and each one of those individuals is someone I feel great respect for,” said Barrett.
As an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Barrett works to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as litigates cases involving criminal and civil debt collection on behalf of the Government, plus a general civil caseload, which may include land matters or tort cases. Barrett holds a juris doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi Law School, which she received in 1979.
A premature birth caused Barrett to be born blind. She attended the Mississippi School for the Blind from elementary school through high school, before attending Belhaven University and later receiving her bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University. Her decision to attend law school was motivated by an interest in politics and a possible political career.
“I went to law school to study that field because I felt strongly about constitutional law and the importance of disability laws,” Barrett said.
Barrett is a member of the Attorney General’s advisory committee on Disability Employment at the Department of Justice. In addition to handling Americans with Disabilities Act cases in the Southern District of Mississippi, she also lectures frequently about the ADA and its requirements and regulations for various organizations. She is also on the board of directors for Mississippi Industries for the Blind, American Association of Visually Impaired Attorneys, and Good Will of Mississippi.
The Mississippi Women Lawyers’ Association aims to empower and encourage women’s leadership in the legal profession. The organization’s theme is “Working Together to Shatter The Ceiling: Celebrating 40 Years of Encouragement, Empowerment, and Leadership.”