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Dear WBA members, friends and supporters:
I am honored to serve as President to lead the WBA into its next 100 years of service to women in the profession. The Women’s Bar Association has a rich history of empowering and advancing women lawyers by fighting for equality, promoting diversity, and providing women with tools to succeed.
In 1921, to the ABA Section of Legal Education, WBA Co-Founder Emma Gillett, said:
"I want to say…that the women’s day is here. The women are not at the top yet. Does the road wind upward all the way? Yes, to the weary end, and women who are studying law and practicing law are not at the top yet. It is possibly just as well that the road should wind somewhat up as we go up."
Emma Gillett’s words are as relevant now as they were all of those years ago.
While we have reflected on the accomplishments of the WBA during our Centennial year, we are faced with imagining the vast landscape of possibilities for the future of the association. During my remarks at our Annual Dinner on May 17, 2017, I challenged each of you to envision a world where the WBA does not need to exist. It is a world where law schools, law firms, and top positions in government and corporations reflect the demographic of our society. It is a world where every female attorney receives equal pay for the work she performs. It is a world where both men and women lawyers have the support they need to perform well in the work place and at home with paid family leave. To put it simply, it is a world where the work of the WBA is complete.
While we have made great advances towards this idyllic reality in the last 100 years, our work is far from done. We need to “march on” together to make possibility into reality.
This year, our programming and activities will focus on “marching on” together. Specifically, we are planning innovative programs that encourage women to run for public office, foster the use of technology in the profession and focus on the next phase of the WBA’s ground-breaking Initiative on Advancement and Retention of Women.
The WBA has already created a pathway to “march on” by completing a five-year strategic plan which will drive the association towards success.
Through the Centennial oral history project and digitization of the WBA archives, we are reminded that the advancements and achievements of women in the legal profession were not accomplished in giant leaps by unassisted trailblazers. Rather, those victories towards a brighter future were accomplished by working together, side by side, making small advances, until the sum of that community, and the sum of those accomplishments became the remarkable victories that we have enjoyed in the last 100 years.
I challenge each of you to join our effort this year. If you are not a member, join us today! If you are already a member, check out our calendar to take advantage of the programming and events that will help support the effort to “march on.”
If we work together, I have no doubt that the WBA can indeed finish the work that our founders began 100 years ago.
News and HighlightsWoman Lawyer of the Year Awardees congratulate the WBA on it's Centennial
The WBA debuted a powerful video featuring several past recepients of the Woman Lawyer of the Year award at this year's Annual Dinner & Centennial Celebration. The featured women explain why the WBA is important to them and speak to our continued relevancy.
The WBA Foundation has released its RFP for the 2018 grant cycle. Non-profit organizations that support the legal and related needs of women and girls in the DC Metropolitan community are encouraged to apply. Letters of Intent are due by 5:00pm Friday, September 8, 2017. Click here for more information.
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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