Welcome!I am honored to be the WBA President for this year. Last bar year, we emphasized how the WBA and all of us “Stand Together.” It is that sense of togetherness on which we will continue to focus, with the theme of “Advancing Together.”
Among the key tenets of the WBA mission are to advance and protect the interests of women lawyers; promote their mutual improvement; and encourage a spirit of friendship among our members.” This mission does not get fulfilled by any single one of us. Success with respect to advancing women is not achieved by a single person. The WBA is well-positioned to be a catalyst for women helping women. And, yes, for men helping women, for we do not live in a vacuum and cannot make all the changes necessary without involving our fellow male lawyers.
Although each of us may think on occasion that we can get it all done by ourselves, it is impossible to be Superwoman every day. Rather, it is important to recognize the benefits of helping each other to be the greatest success possible. Rarely is life a zero-sum game, where one must lose for another to win. Acknowledging that up front allows us to let go of the concept that to succeed, we must do so on our own or at the expense of others. Together we will advance further.The WBA is a great vehicle for helping us to advance—to help us develop our skills and networks to best position each of us to advance to the next stage in our career, to be promoted, to take a position at a new organization, to transition out of or back into the work force, or to advance into a leadership position.
Advancing Together also envisions working collaboratively with our male colleagues to advance women. With respect to increasing the number of women at the top in companies, Mike Kaufmann, chief financial officer of Cardinal Health was quoted as saying "If you want to change the numbers, you have to get men involved." The same is true in the law.
The WBA recognized the importance of engaging men, by including in our strategic plan a goal to engage in more outreach to men, particularly leaders and decision-makers in the profession, so as to develop a dialog about and support for overcoming the challenges facing women lawyers and the role the WBA plays in addressing such challenges. By working with our male colleagues, we can advance together by continuing to break the glass ceiling, by working to ensure pay equity, and by increasing the numbers of women general counsels, partners, law firm chairs, and other women leaders.
Over the course of this year, we will continue our abundance of programming in various substantive areas of law to help lawyers advance in their existing or progress into a new area of practice. We will provide additional programming in our Leadership Task Force series to help develop skills for effective leaders and prepare women attorneys for the next stage in their careers. We will continue the WBA’s Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women by focusing on pay equity and other benefits (such as unpaid parental leave) that have a disproportionately negative impact on women. We will also continue the journey to our Centennial Celebration.
I am excited to work with our board and co-chairs to bring you these and other events throughout the coming year as we Advance Together.
News and HighlightsWBA's Fall Donation Drive
This fall, the WBA is collecting toiletries, feminine products, small toiletry bags, and monetary donations for Bread for the City. Toiletries must be unopened. A drawing will be held in late December for a $100 gift card compliments of Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot LLP. If you have any questions or are interested in helping with the drive please contact Kelly Fisher at KFisher@koonz.com or Hellia Kanzi at hkanzi@DELOITTE.com.
Reception honoring Margaret Brent Awardees was a success!
We had over 10 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement awardees present, along with over 40 men and women present to honor them. Judge Wald gave beautiful keynote remarks about women and the path to leadership in the profession, which can be read here. For more information about each of the honorees, click here.
Woman Lawyer of the Year - Call for Nominations!
The Woman Lawyer of the Year Award is the WBA’s oldest award and was first made in 1964. It is given each year to recognize a woman for her exceptional achievements in the legal profession or for her extraordinary contributions to the advancement of women in the profession. The theme for the 2016 Woman Lawyer of the Year is Advancing Together. The WBA is looking for nominees who strive to help women advance in both their professional and personal goals. The nomination narrative should describe how the nominee has helped further the principles of the WBA mission by advancing and protecting other women lawyers, promoting their improvement, and encouraging friendship.The deadline for nominations is 5:00pm, Monday, November 16, 2015. Click here to download the nomination form for the award. Please submit nominations to the Awards Committee via the WBA office. Information for submission is included on the nomination forms. Contact the WBA office with any questions: 202-639-8880.
WBA Board Election Results
Congratulations to the successful candidates in the 2015 Board election:
President-Elect: Sonia Murphy
Treasurer-Elect: Sadina Montani
Secretary: Roya Vasseghi
Board of Directors: Anne Collier, Jill Dash, Cynthia Hemphill, Maria Mendoza
WBA Foundation Announces its 2015 Grant Recipients
The WBA Foundation is excited to announce the grantees for 2015. They include: Break the Cycle, Legal Counsel for the Elderly, Amara Legal Center, Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, Bread for the City, DC Volunteer Lawyers Project, and Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. Read more about the incredible work they do here.
Click here to learn more about our Centennial Celebration.
Maintaining the honor and integrity of the profession; promoting the administration of justice; advancing and protecting the interests of women lawyers; promoting their mutual improvement; and encouraging a spirit of friendship.
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