Member Groups

The Catalyst
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law

November 2007, vol. 13, no. 1

Your Opinion Needed! ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law Examines Committee Goals—and we need your help!

Why are we here? What is our purpose? It’s an age-old question that has puzzled great thinkers for centuries… But now, YOU can help provide an answer! The ISBA Standing Committee on Women and the Law is re-examining its goals. At a meeting in April of last year, our members created a list of what they believed to be areas of primary focus for our committee. In no particular order, these action items, expressing our purpose and mission as a Standing Committee, are as follows:

1. giving voice to women within the organized bar;

2. promoting women in the legal community into leadership positions and supporting effective women leaders;

3. promoting women within the ISBA membership for positions on committees and for positions or inclusion in other important ISBA groups or projects by writing letters of support to the incoming President, all as part of a clear and well-articulated STRATEGY for increasing the representation of women in such positions of influence and leadership;

4. encouraging awareness of our leaders and the issues they are addressing or should be addressing;

5. articulating a policy for successful integration of women and our issues into the ISBA mainstream thinking about the profession;

6. responding to proposed legislation and proposing legislation from a perspective consistent with our mission and purpose;

7. creating a network, and also creating networking opportunities and providing guidance on how to network effectively by, among other things, holding receptions throughout the State, involving and profiling state and federal women judges (e.g., Rebecca Pallmeyer) to show other women that they can get there too;

8. giving voice and incentive to women lawyers who need a place to talk about issues of importance to them;

9. finding ways to find out HOW to determine what issues are of importance to women attorneys;

10. reaching out through our Newsletter, for example, to get more members, especially men;

11. promoting each other;

12. finding out what happens to the women who “term off” this Committee, the Women and Minority Participation Committee, and the YLS;

13. engaging in outreach efforts (not as an official policy but ‘under the radar’) to help find and promote women in office and on the bench; and

14. being a credible authority on the issues of importance and relevance to women so people will listen and HEAR US when we speak, give voice to, educate, and inform on these issues.

We are asking members to rate, revise and otherwise re-think these items so that we can have a productive discussion on the topic at our October meeting. To that end, please go to your computer and type in the following link:

There you will find a VERY BRIEF survey on this issue. We need as many responses as possible to ensure that we get accurate feedback, so please take a moment and give us your two-cents’ worth today!