The Women In Law Section offers an effective platform for women lawyers to advocate on behalf of women in the legal profession. In seeking to improve the standard of excellence in the practice of law, we:
Secure the full participation of women in the justice system and the legal profession
Empower women to excel by providing effective mentoring, training and support
Provide networking opportunities for women lawyers
Assist law firms and organizations in their efforts to attract and retain women lawyers
Provide women lawyers an avenue to return to the active profession of law
We do this by providing the necessary support, resources, training and networking to women lawyers as well as our male colleagues, and by partnering with other advocacy organizations.
As women, we know all about giving, supporting others, and doing a great job. But when it comes to our careers, we need to think proactively: take. Take control. Decide where we want to be, and how we are going to get there. Take credit for our accomplishments. Take the initiative to network, and to develop business. Take the initiative to find diverse mentors. Take advantage of opportunities as they arise, especially those outside of our comfort zone.
The Executive Council consists of the officers and at least three members at large.
The at large members include:
Susan Vitaz White
Ann M. Caresani
Sherri L. Dahl
Click here to view the Section's bylaws.
The Committees are aligned with the objectives of the Section, which are (1) mentoring; (2) networking; (3) professional and community leadership; and (4) advocacy on behalf of women lawyers.
Membership Development and Advocacy Committee
Chair: To Be Announced
The Membership Development and Advocacy Committee seeks to increase the involvement, commitment, and engagement of section members in order to provide a section that advocates for the advancement of women in the legal profession and provides continued value to members. In addition to fostering current relationships with section members, the Committee seeks to increase involvement from law firms, corporations, and government attorneys that are not currently involved in the section in order to create a better awareness of what the section does as well as form strategic relationships.
Not only does the Section offer free monthly lunches to Section members, but it has reduced cost CLE offerings, numerous networking opportunities, and Food for Thought small group meetings.
The Committee will also be reaching out to women’s initiative and diversity leaders at law firms that are underrepresented in the section. Committee members will engage in discussions with these leaders to determine how the section can best meet the needs of women lawyers and to inform these leaders of the numerous benefits of the section. Time will also be spent reaching out to those current members who are non-lawyers that take advantage of the CMBA’s Affiliate Membership program. Engaging these members will provide the Committee with insight as to the value the section provides to non-lawyers as well as how to attract and retain non-lawyer members.
The Committee will also coordinate with Diversity Circle regarding the Spring Diversity and Inclusion Conference.
Input from existing members is essential to the continued success of the section. Therefore, the Committee welcomes and thanks all returning members, and seeks input from them regarding how the section can better meet their individual needs.
The Committee is always looking for volunteers who are committed to providing consistent support and help.
Food for Thought
Chair: Susan Vitaz White
This networking and mentoring program runs from September through May. Groups are formed based on preferences such as breakfast, lunch, or cocktail hour, and geographic location. Group members are diverse, ranging from law students to experienced professionals.
Professional Development and CLE Committee
Chair and Liaison to the CMBA Staff: Kami Brauer
The Professional Development & CLE Committee will focus on programming designed to advocate on behalf of women lawyers and to develop and enhance leadership skills within the law firm environment and other legal work environments, and in the community at large. Proceeds from the CLE Program, excluding the December program, remain with the Section.
The Committee is in the process of arranging various other programs to be announced later.
Four or five members needed to help secure speakers, plan programs, and attend/coordinate some of the programs. While the programs are held throughout the year, members should be ready to dive in immediately, as the committee’s activities primarily occur during the first few months of the bar year.
The WIL Roster is now available through Section's Community Page. To access the Community Page, log in to the CMBA website and click on "profile" in the upper right corner. Select "My Communities" from the menu bar, and then select Women in Law. The directory is located under the Documents tab. For more information on Communities, please click here to view the Community Guide
The Women in Law Section holds meetings at the CMBA at Noon on the first Wednesday of every month. These meetings are intended as an opportunity for networking, mentoring, and becoming more involved with the Section. Meetings typically end at 1:00, or may be scheduled to run longer if accompanied with CLE. Minutes are posted to keep those who are unable to attend informed. Section Members, and anyone considering membership, are welcome to attend!
If you are not receiving emails about monthly meetings and other events, your email system may be blocking these messages. Please check whether you can add contacts to prevent this from occurring, or consider asking CMBA to use your personal email address. You can also join our LinkedIn group, check Communities, and check this website for updates.
The WIL Section has launched a new pro bono initiative, Lawyers for Women in Crisis.
Below are resources that may assist volunteers: