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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.

Susan Kovarovics
2015-2016 President



News and Highlights

2016 WBA Election
Thank you to everyone who voted in the recent election. Below are the results. Congratulations to our new Board members!

President: Sonia Murphy, White & Case LLP
President-Elect: Kerri Castellini, Price Benowitz, LLP
Treasurer: Sadina Montani, Vedder Price, P.C.
Treasurer-Elect: Charlotte Kuenen, CFP®, Morgan Stanley
Secretary: Nausheen Hassan, SABIC
Board of Directors:
Elaine Fitch, Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C.
Cathy Pagano, U.S. Postal Service
Roya Vasseghi, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP

LTG Flora Darpino is the 2016 Woman Lawyer of the Year
Lieutenant General Flora D. Darpino, The Judge Advocate General of the United States Army, is the 2016 WBA Woman Lawyer of the Year. She will be recognized at the organization’s Annual Dinner on May 25, 2016, in Washington, DC. Lieutenant General Darpino serves as the 39th Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Army. She is the first woman to hold this position since the first Judge Advocate General was appointed by George Washington in 1775. She has achieved many other “firsts” in the Army, among them the first female assistant executive officer to become The Judge Advocate General and the first Judge Advocate General to join the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG Corps) direct from civilian life.

Volunteer Opportunities
Get Involved with our Committees and Forums and maximize your WBA membership. Applications for those interested in serving as a co-chair or on a committee are accepted on an ongoing basis. Email admin@wbadc.org or call 202-639-8880 for more information.

Our Mission

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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