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U.S. District Chief Judge Tena Campbell was honored by Women Lawyers of Utah for professional excellence and her work in advancing women in the legal profession.

The group announced Wednesday that Campbell has been named the 2007 Christine M. Durham Woman Lawyer of the Year. The award - named after the chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court, the first woman in the post - is presented each year to a female member of the state bar.

The group noted that Campbell, the first female judge on the federal court bench in Utah, has devoted most of her professional career to public service.

After four years in private practice, she worked as a Salt Lake County prosecutor and then as an assistant U.S. attorney. President Clinton nominated Campbell to the federal court bench in Utah in 1995 and she was confirmed unanimously by the Senate. She became chief judge of the court earlier this year.

Campbell has been a vigorous advocate for greater diversity on the federal bench and for flexible work arrangements to allow women to balance their professional and family lives, according to the group.

In addition, she serves as a role model in her personal life, making her family a priority, the group said.

- Pamela Manson