President's Message - JANUARY
Amy T. Brantly
WLALA President 2017-2018
Happy New Year!! Not since the end of 2007 when our country entered the Great Recession have I been so happy to see a year end. Last year challenged my faith in fair elections, the progress that we’ve made as a nation in dealing with racism, and question how mass shootings became an all too common event in America (not to mention how to calm my three children who wanted to know how we stay safe if North Korea sends a nuclear bomb our way). These challenges, among others, have resulted in some positive change. Groups of concerned citizens have gathered to exchange ideas, offer solutions, and volunteer to try to make our country a better place. It is always encouraging to see our democracy in motion. For I believe that it is our right to organize, peacefully protest and speak freely that makes our country great.
I am truly looking forward to a new year. WLALA has many plans for the New Year, including a fantastic Litigators Forum on March 1 focused on pay inequity and our annual silent auction – WLALApalooza – which will take place in the early summer. We are also planning programs for transactional lawyers, young lawyers, business developers, small firm lawyers, sole practitioners, government lawyers, public interest lawyers and in-house counsel.
WLALA has also been asked to join amicus briefs on an unprecedented scale and has already joined in three amicus briefs, each filed in a lawsuit challenging women’s reproductive rights or anti-discrimination laws intended to safeguard the rights of women and other protected classes. I know that there will be many more to come in 2018. Our legislation committee has also been busy vetting new legislation that affects women and children and relates to WLALA’s mission.
Our appointive office committee has begun to vet and rate potential candidates for the bench and will continue to do so next year. In addition to all of this, we will also have some fun nights out planned for our members so we can let our hair down, network, support other women and laugh together – the first of such events will take place on January 24th for the Young Lawyers Section’s New Year Kick-Off Mixer (don’t let the name completely scare you – some older lawyers like me will be there too!).
This year we will also continue to give back through our Annual Giving Campaign which raises money for fellowships, public interest grants and scholarships for law students and the Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell Scholarship that will be awarded to a high school student who attended our Power Lunch program and plans to go into a career in public service. If you have not donated, you still have time – the Campaign closes at the end of this month. Any amount is appreciated and is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
I think 2018 will be a great year for women in large part because we will make it so. Carry on!!