It is with honor and pleasure that I assume the position as Chair of the standing committee on Women & the Law. I have been involved with this committee for several years, at the urging of now ISBA President Irene Bahr. Throughout her legal career, Irene has been committed to promoting and securing the status of women lawyers in our profession.
This will be an exciting year for women in the bar. Throughout my years working with the standing committee on Women & the Bar, we have had many successful projects, including co-sponsorship of the hugely successful “Women Everywhere” day in Chicago. This year we are focusing on several areas. First, we are working on becoming a major substantive resource for the unique issues facing women and families. Specifically, our committee is working on CLE projects that would address the legal issues attendant to domestic violence and also to the escalating and unfortunate issue of trafficking of young women.
Additionally, we are committed to continuing our networking and leadership activities throughout the state. One of the most successful and enjoyable aspects of the committee, from my perspective, has been the various receptions we have held, in an effort to exchange ideas and discuss issues with “fellow” female attorneys throughout Illinois. Often, we held these receptions at the various appellate courthouses throughout the state, as well as other public buildings, such as the new Abraham Lincoln Library & Museum in Springfield. This year, we will be holding our networking reception in the burgeoning Western suburbs, in an attempt to focus on “Women of the West” who practice law. Details will be forthcoming. Irene Bahr, herself from DuPage County, will attend the event. Hopefully, as with all our receptions, we will have a good compliment of practicing lawyers as well as sitting judges.
In keeping with our theme of building relationships and networking, we are also are planning a reception during the annual mid-year conference. The reception will be held at the law offices of Jenner & Block on December 7, 2006 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. It will be a jointly sponsored event between ISBA Women & the Law standing committee and ISBA Minority & Women Participation in the Law committee. We also plan to co-sponsor with the Minority & Women Participation in the Law committee a diversity roundtable discussion which will take place at the conference. Again, more details will be forthcoming in another newsletter.
We look forward to a wonderful year and if you have any suggestions at all as to how we can improve our service to you or the bar, or items you’d like to see in the newsletter, feel free to call me or one of our committee members.