December 2018Volume 24Number 2PDF icon PDF version (for best printing)

Chair’s column

This year, the Women and the Law Committee (WATL) is continuing its legacy of successful advocacy for women’s issues in general and women’s lawyer interests specifically.

In October, the committee and the larger Illinois State Bar Association were honored by the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership Training Academy with a Trailblazers Award for our work that helped Illinois pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. Our committee’s members not only lobbied the ISBA to unanimously support the amendment but then lobbied legislators and provided background material to the General Assembly that finally secured Illinois’ ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. We continue to provide resources to lawyers in other states, such as Virginia, who are working to be the final state necessary for ratification.

In November, we presented a successful Continuing Legal Education program on Advancing Your Firm: Personal Branding for the Female Attorney. Organized by members Dina Ninfo and Tracey Douglas and moderated by Board of Governors member Ava George Stewart, the panel featured different and ethical marketing strategies and gave tips how to target different and diverse audiences. Our panelists were committee members Shira Truitt and Annemarie Kill as well as Melissa Smart from ARDC and ISBA members Masah Samforay and Carol Jones. Following the program, a reception sponsored by Komie and Associates allowed the audience to mingle with the speakers and gain one-on-one practical advice.


Member Kristen Prinz taped a video on the differences between equal and equitable pay for the ISBA’s YouTube channel. As women strive for equality, issues of equal pay as well as equitable pay remain in the forefront. This video is one of several planned to further public outreach and access to justice.

We plan to hold our third annual International Women’s Day Tea in March and have an exciting continuing legal education program on girls in crisis that will feature national and local speakers.
For more information on these efforts and others, please reach out to Melissa Burkholder, ISBA Director of Section Services,, 312-920-4682 or me.

Lori G. Levin is an experienced criminal and juvenile defense attorney who practices in the Chicagoland area. She can be reached at 312-972-3756 or Her website is She can also be found on Facebook at and Twitter @LoriLevin.

Login to post comments