August 2016Volume 22Number 1PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)

Chair’s column

The 2016-17 Standing Committee on Women and the Law (“WATL”) is off to a great start! Our newly appointed committee had a strong showing at our first meeting, which took place during the ISBA Annual Meeting. I am honored to serve as Chair with Melissa Olivero as our Vice Chair and Lori Levin as Secretary. The theme for this year is Honoring the Working Attorney Mom.

We have big plans for this WATL Bar Year! Some highlights include:

Paid Family Leave

What better way to honor working moms but to work toward the passage of an Illinois Paid Family Leave Act? Senator Daniel Biss has filed the pending bill as the first amendment to SB 260 and it is currently in committee. WATL is hosting a lunch and Learn about the Paid Family Leave Act on August 17, 2016 at noon at the ISBA Chicago Regional Office. All are welcome! To register for the event and pre-order a boxed lunch contact Melissa Burkholder at

Bridging the Gap Between Women’s Bar Groups

WATL is just one of many other groups and associations in Illinois for the benefit of women lawyers. One of our goals this year will be to coordinate opportunities to support one another and to keep the lines of communication open so that our events and efforts can be most beneficial to all women attorneys in Illinois.

Public Outreach and Social Justice

WATL is working to improve access to justice by producing videos for the ISBA YouTube channel on topics such as voting and Ask-a-Lawyer sessions on various topics of concern to the public.

This is just a glimpse into what WATL has instore for the 2016-17 Bar Year. To learn more or to get involved, please contact me directly or join us as a guest at our next meeting on Friday, August 19, 2016 at noon at the ISBA Chicago Regional Office. All meetings are open to any ISBA member.

It’s going to be a great year!

Pictured: The Standing Committee on Women and the Law for the 2016-2017 bar year.

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