The Isabella Award

Hon. Isabella Horton Grant (1924-2011)

Judge Grant was a pioneering lawyer and judge who specialized in the fields of family law and probate law. She practiced law for 25 years before being appointed in 1979 to the San Francisco Municipal Court by Governor Jerry Brown and then in 1982 to the Superior Court. Judge Grant served as presiding judge of the Family Court, where she initiated a separate domestic violence calendar and was involved in the passing of California’s no fault divorce legislation. Judge Grant later served for 11 years as presiding judge of the Probate Court, where she established a new staff structure, streamlined court procedures, created the Guardianship Monitoring Program, and assured that up-to-date court rules were available to attorneys.

Judge Grant was an active member of the National College of Probate Judges and the recipient of its coveted Treat Award in 2000.  In 2011, she was awarded, posthumously, the Rose Bird Award from the California Association of Women Lawyers.

“The  Isabella” Award, is presented to the recipient at the NCPJ Spring Conference each year.  Nominations for the award should include the name, address and position of the nominee and the nominator(s), together with a brief description of the accomplishments of the nominee. Supporting letters may be included.  Nominations may be submitted by probate judges, probate practitioners, guardianship practitioners, academicians, or others having personal knowledge about the nominee.  The nomination deadline is December 1 of each year.

Qualifying achievements may include a variety of activities, such as:

  • Innovative programs leading to improvements in guardianship laws
  • Articles, treatises, books or other  publications of unusual quality and impact on guardianship issues
  • Leadership roles or other activities in organizations that have led to significant improvements in the laws, administration, or practices in the guardianship field.

Nominations should be sent on or before December 31st this year to:

The Isabella Horton Grant Award
c/o National College of Probate Judges
300 Newport Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Nominations may also be emailed to: or you may use this form: