Greetings from the Standing Committee on Women and the Law! As we embark upon a new year, I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve as Chair this year. This Committee has held a special place in my heart since I became a member of it in 2006. I have grown so much professionally and personally as a direct result of my participation in this Committee and I look forward to leading the Committee whose members will undoubtedly carry on the important work of advancing the interests of women attorneys this year. I would also like to recognize the excellent leadership of last year’s chair, Sandra Crawford, and all of the past chairs that came before me. I hope that my tenure as Chair this will be as successful and meaningful as years past.
This year the Committee plans to undertake several exciting programs for women in the profession. Currently, we are in the process of planning and developing new CLE programs on critical issues to women lawyers and the legal profession in general. Additionally, we will take every opportunity to support and encourage women lawyer’s professional development and leadership in their firms, the judiciary, the Bar, and the community. Indeed, my decision to go Solo and start my own firm as of September 1, 2011, was due in large part to the programs and resources on professional development, support, and mentoring that I received by my participation on this Committee. This year the Committee will continue to serve and support women lawyers in the ISBA and the Illinois legal profession overall in developing and pursuing their own goals and dreams. Likewise, our Committee will continue to vigilantly review and comment on proposed Illinois legislation that significantly impacts women. Our Committee is made up of a group of women and men attorneys with diverse interests and professional backgrounds. We celebrate this diversity as a Committee and desire to contribute to the dialogue on a wide variety of legal issues affecting women.
Finally, the Committee and the ISBA hope to partner with the Illinois Judges Association in the Spring of 2012 and hold an event at the 5th District Appellate Court in Mt. Vernon (REAL DOWNSTATE to all of you Chicagoans J). I am a southern Illinois girl, having grown up in Mt. Vernon and now practicing in Edwardsville, and I am thrilled that the ISBA is going to sponsor a top-notch program about “Women in the Illinois Judiciary” in the South that will provide downstate women lawyers a very-much-needed networking opportunity and a top-notch program and reception open to all ISBA members—north and south alike! I hope to see many of my dear northern and central Illinois friends in the Bar Association come down for an excellent program and some southern hospitality!
I am very excited about all of the upcoming events and opportunities that we are planning for this year. I look forward to serving as Chair and to continue the work and commitment to advancing the interests of women attorneys in the ISBA and the Illinois legal profession overall. ■