A former equal rights lawyer and basketball coach have been recognised in the New Year Honours list.
Ex-barrister Vera Baird said being made a dame for services to women gave equality "a boost".
Newcastle Eagles player-coach Fab Flournoy has been appointed MBE for services to basketball.
Retired Northumberland chief fire officer Alex Bennett has been awarded the Queen's Fire Service medal.
He was described as being "innovative" while leading the service through £2m budget cuts in the last two years and the closure of Haydon Bridge Fire Station.
Ms Baird, a former Labour MP for Redcar who is also Northumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, acted for miners arrested during the 1984 strike.
She also represented Emma Humphreys, whose murder conviction was reduced to manslaughter in a case about the implications of the law of provocation for battered women who kill their violent partners.
Flournoy is the most successful coach in the British Basketball League with 22 trophies, including a third clean sweep in 2015.