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February 2016 - CWL
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Why Should WLALA Members Join CWL?

WLALA is an affiliate organization of California Women Lawyers.  What does this mean for you, as a member of WLALA? 

To be a voting affiliate and have an Affiliate Governor on CWL's Board of Governors, WLALA needs to have 20% concurrent membership with CWL (or 100 CWL members, whichever is less).  Affiliates are absolutely essential, not just to CWL’s strength and growth, but to the strength and growth of a statewide network of women lawyers.  Sacramento and Washington listen to this network.  

California Women Lawyers is the only statewide organization with the mission of advancing women in the legal profession and in society.  Since its formation, CWL has exercised a leadership role in promoting the advancement of women and eliminating bias in our profession and throughout society.  CWL has organized face-to-face meetings with leaders of women’s bar associations across the state and with the Judicial Appointments Secretaries in administrations across the political spectrum; spear-headed legislation focused on issues vital to women and children; and initiated a statewide mentoring network enabling women lawyers from throughout California to connect with one another and gain insights into career advancement, balancing work and private life, and resolving other challenges of practice.  In 2012, CWL launched its In-House Counsel Network so that CWL and women in-house counsel from across the state and from across industries can partner to work on common issues, such as breaking the glass ceiling and promoting women in the law, gender pay equity, and bringing diversity to corporate legal departments and law firms.  CWL additionally writes or joins amicus briefs in cases that affect women's rights, at both the state and national level, and it hosts an annual conference to present cutting edge programs specifically directed to the advancement of women in the law.  In 2014, CWL launched its “Elect to Run” program to educate women on why they should run for public office, to demystify the process of running, and to encourage and empower women to elect to run.

CWL’ s statewide legislative work distinguishes it from other women’s bar associations because it provides a cohesive, singular statewide voice supporting legislation that seeks to advance women in the law and society.  CWL is known and respected, and is often asked for input, both by legislators and by the Governor’s staff.  Together, CWL and its affiliates are able to make our voices heard in a way that would be impossible for a single local bar association.  

With the help of its affiliates, CWL will continue its vital and effective work to promote diversity on the bench, through a combination of judicial evaluations, its signature award-winning “So, You Want To Be A Judge?”™ seminars, and communications with the Governor’s Judicial Appointments Secretary and United States Senators.  CWL is also continuing its pipeline programs to help girls think about law as a career and women lawyers plan their careers to maximize the possibility of being appointed to the judiciary.

CWL additionally serves as a liaison to national organizations, such as the National Association of Women Judges, and is a member of the National Conference of Women's Bar Associations.  As a strategic ally with the National Association of Women Lawyers, CWL shares ideas on national and statewide platforms.  Through activities with these organizations, CWL is able to have a voice on a national, and sometimes international, level.

Being a member of both WLALA and CWL is not duplicative--the organizations work in a complementary way.  WLALA provides tremendous support for women locally, and CWL is an effective advocate for women lawyers (and women generally) throughout the state and nationally.   By being a member of WLALA and CWL, and by facilitating WLALA's status as a CWL affiliate, you can ensure that women's voices are heard--both near and far.


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