I am humbled by the privilege of serving as your Women’s Bar Association President. I accept this awesome responsibility with enthusiasm and laser focus. Recognizing the rich history and impactful legacy of this prestigious organization, we will run our leg of the race with just as much intensity and dedication as our intrepid predecessors.
Standing on the shoulders of our founders and the phenomenal leaders that succeeded us, and building on our many accomplishments, we plan to assist our members in their pivot from a year of isolation and provide tools for success in a post-pandemic legal environment.
Accordingly, our theme for this Bar year, is “Getting Back to the Basics.” Our foundation will inform our future endeavors. Many of our earliest challenges remain the same. Since 1917, the WBA has been advocating for women’s proper place in the legal profession by fighting for equality, advancement, and social justice. As often stated, the WBA was crucial then, relevant now, and vital as we revive our careers and personal lives from a year of quarantine due to the international COVID-19 pandemic.
We will build on the successes of the 2020-2021 Bar year, led by our fierce immediate past president, Sadina Montani, and work with our friends and allies as we refresh the Anti-Racist Toolkit, continue prolific programming, and expand on our consequential advocacy. We will continue to showcase our value and welcome colleagues who maintain the honor and integrity of the legal profession and support the advancement of women lawyers.
More than 104 years after our founders started this organization, suffrage remains front and center as residents of the District of Columbia have no voice in the U.S. Senate and many states continue to pass legislation to limit access to the voting booth. So, through the reactivation of the Advocacy Committee, the WBA will be steadfast in supporting and pushing for the right to vote and equal justice under the law. We will work toward reinvigorating WBA Initiatives by culminating our advocacy work into an analytical document, similar to the 2006 “Creating Pathways to Success: Advancing and Retaining Women in Today’s Law Firms,” the 2008 “Creating Pathways to Success for All: Advancing and Retaining Women of Color in Today’s Law Firms,” and the 2010 “Navigating the Corporate Matrix: Advancing Women in Corporate Law Departments.”
Finally, every project, effort, and initiative will be governed by fellowship. After a year of unimaginable seclusion, we will continue to pursue every effort to ensure that our members feel connected. As we march forward and work to make improvements, we will celebrate one another’s triumphs, roll up our sleeves to assist our fellow members accomplish goals, and, if necessary, help one another recover from life’s disappointments; and, we will do so with a warm smile.
We have a lot of work to do, but because we are leveraging our legacy, we are well-prepared and well-suited to make the changes we want to see by “getting back to the basics.” So, whether you are a member of the Board of Directors, a Co-Chair, a member of a committee, or a general member, I encourage you to get engaged and help us live up to our traditions of making a difference. I ask you to reach out to others who are not yet members, but would benefit from or can make contributions to the WBA, and invite them to join us!
I look forward to working with you this year.