Letter from the chair
(Notice to librarians: The following issues were published in Volume 9 of this newsletter during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2004: September, No. 1; November No. 2; February, No. 3; June, No. 4).
Assuming the Chair of the Women and the Law Committee is a daunting task. Not only am I following in the footsteps of such lawyers of note as Kate Kelly, Gilda Hudson-Winfield and Celia Gamrath-but I am assuming the gavel knowing that two of the three immediate past chairs of the committee gave birth during their tenures as chair! This fact gave me great pause as I contemplated, at my age, just how badly I wanted to chair a committee steeped in the tradition, nay expectation, of pregnancy. After much soul-searching and a gentle nudge from Janet Sosin, who assured me that it was not too late to adopt Vice Chair Meredith Ritchie's new baby son, I decided to take the plunge. Here I am. Rest assured that if I end up in the family way, there will be a lawsuit!
On a serious note, this is a very exciting time to be a member of the ISBA Committee on Women and the Law. Think of the fine tradition of this committee. Founding members of the committee have been at the forefront of women's issues for over a decade. Many members of the 1990 Task Force on Gender Bias in the Courts were the first members of the ISBA Committee on Women and the Law. Through the years, the committee has addressed many issues from domestic violence to gender disparity to projects aimed at the enhancement of confidence and self-image of women. The committee has taken an active role and strong voice on all matter of bills and resolutions proposed in the legislature that can and will affect women. The committee is comprised of judges, public and private lawyers, law professors and public interest advocates from all areas of the state. The statewide participation has been phenomenal, which speaks to the importance of the topics and issues addressed by the committee. Through the years there have been many opportunities to socialize with the judiciary and lawyers and to carry the ISBA message of equality and fairness throughout the state. This year will prove to be equally challenging with the committee studying such topics as equality in the construction industry, equal pay and grandparents' rights. We look forward to a year of progress for women and the law in Illinois.