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Welcome WBA Friends!
I am thrilled to serve as your president for 2019-2020 and look forward to working with our network, both those who are stalwarts and those who are new to the Women’s Bar Association. Last year we “dared to make an impact,” and we still have so much more to do.
Our theme for the year is “Building Community, Building Power.” This theme recognizes that if we put our energies into making change collectively, with determination and creativity, we will achieve great things. Throughout the year, we will be thinking about the spaces where women lack representation and where working together, we can make great strides. We will be talking about women in a variety of leadership roles–in law firms, in boardrooms, in law schools, in nonprofits, in the judiciary, in legislatures, in government agencies, and in the DC community more broadly. Because, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”
We will also kick off our celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. We often extol the vision of our founders, Ellen Spencer Mussey and Emma Gillett, by noting that this organization was founded in 1917, before the 19th Amendment was ratified, but we all stand on the shoulders of the women who marched, organized, and died for women to have their voices heard in the governance of this country. The women of the WBA and of course the women across the country would not be where we are without the recognition bestowed by the 19th Amendment.
In any given year, the WBA is a busy and prolific organization with many facets. In any given month, you’ll find us hosting panel discussions, partnering with legal organizations across the area (and sometimes across the country), signing on to amicus briefs on cases where women’s rights or other issues critical to our mission are at stake, and mentoring those around us. But this is also a sisterhood, so you’ll also find us celebrating each other’s wins, lending advice or a shoulder for support, giving referrals for business, and sharing job opportunities.
We know you have limited time between work, family, and community obligations, but I hope you’ll take the time to join us. We are always in search of dedicated volunteers, whether for a matter of hours or (as in my case) a matter of decades. If we are going to make lasting change, we need allies as we build our community and launch women into all the spaces where they belong.
News and Highlights
Woman Lawyer of the Year Announced
The 2020 election is open. Ballots must be cast by 5:00pm ET on Friday, April 10. Click here to review the candidates and their election statements. All current memebrs in good standing received a ballot via email (Survey Monkey). If you did not receive a ballot or need to check your membership status, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
WBA Statement on Independent Judiciary, February 14, 2020
With women making up just one-third of the federal judiciary, the WBA was proud to honor the women of the District of Columbia federal courts in September 2019 for our annual Stars of the Bar reception, including Judge Amy Berman Jackson. Judge Jackson has served on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia with distinction and integrity. As the WBA has previously stated, “[i]t is critically important that the legal profession articulate its support for a strong, independent, and diverse judiciary . . . . For our democratic system to continue to flourish, respect for each branch of government is crucial.” We reiterate that support here and call on the legal profession and the American public to do the same.
Jeannie Rhee is the 2020 WBA Woman Lawyer of the Year. Ms. Rhee is a Partner in the Washington, DC office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. The award will be presented at the organization’s Annual Dinner on May 20, 2020, in Washington, DC. Click here for more information about Ms. Rhee. Click here for Annual Dinner tickets and sponsorship.
All-In for Women
The WBA is recognizing law firms with 100% WBA membership among their female lawyers. The WBA is committed to advancing the interests of women lawyers, and we applaud law firms that share this commitment and demonstrate it by encouraging WBA membership. This month, we thank Kalijarvi, Chuzi, Newman & Fitch, P.C. and KaiserDillon PLLC for being All-In for Women! If your firm (or office or practice group, in the case of a larger firm) is interested in being All-In for Women, please contact the WBA Membership Committee at email@example.com.
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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