Member Groups

Diversity Matters
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council

June 2010, vol. 4, no. 1

Update from the Chair of the Women and the Law Committee 2009-2010

• On October 20, 2009, the Committee presented a program entitled “Seek Power: A Woman Lawyer’s Guide to Authentic Self-Promotion.” The program was a quick sell-out, and included a compelling presentation by Paula Hudson Holderman and Delilah Flaum of Winston and Strawn. Each attendee left armed with practical advice on how to promote herself in a way that is effective, comfortable and genuine.

• On August 1, 2009, the Committee was a co-sponsor of the ABA Women’s Business Law Network program entitled “The Women in the Law: Past, Present and Future.” The Committee was also a co-sponsor of Ms. JD’s “Third Annual Conference on Women in the Law: Avenues to Advancement” held on November 20-21, 2009 in Chicago.

• On December 10, 2009, as part of the Diversity Leadership Council’s Mid-Year meeting program “Lincoln’s Legacy: Lawyers Who Protect Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” the Committee highlighted the groundbreaking work of attorney Jody Raphael who has extensively studied sex-trafficking of women and girls in Chicago.

• On February 25, 2010 the Committee presented the program “Women and the Criminal Justice System—Justice Delivered or Denied?” co-sponsored by the ISBA Criminal Justice Section Council and the ISBA Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services. The program highlighted the distinct reasons women are brought into the criminal justice system, the treatment they received while there, and the problems they may encounter afterward. Many notable speakers discussed topics including the characteristics of women offenders, the social, familial, and economic influences affecting these women, the types of crimes committed by women, and how their crimes may differ from male offenders. Speakers also discussed gender responsive practices and ethical considerations for law enforcement and the legal community, the effectiveness of probation, incarceration, treatment programs, post-prison programs and re-entry in the family and community. The final segment of the program focused on how we, as attorneys, can improve the system and effectively reduce the crime rate in this distinct population. The program concluded with a presentation by a woman, previously classified as an offender, who successfully re-entered the community.

• On March 9, 2010, the Committee coordinated ISBA President John O’Brien’s luncheon entitled “Celebrating Women in the Profession: Reach Out and Build Our Future.” Hundreds of attorneys joined together at the Standard Club in Chicago to honor women who have advanced our profession. The Honorable Jane L. Stuart and the Honorable Susan F. Hutchinson were both presented with Presidential Commendations for their contributions to the legal profession. Barbara J. Howard, President of the Ohio State Bar Association gave the Keynote Address.

• On April 9, 2010, in conjunction with the Committee on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, the Committee traveled to the Northern Illinois University College of Law in DeKalb. The Committees held a program for law students on authentic self-promotion. They then hosted a networking reception for law students, attorneys and judges in the area.

• The Committee also continued to focus on promoting women attorneys. Women and the Law identified and nominated several deserving women attorneys for numerous awards given by the ISBA and other organizations. ISBA member are encouraged to bring such candidates to the Committee’s attention so they may continue to nominate these outstanding women attorneys. ■