J. Reuben Clark Law Society

Incorporating Women in Law to Strengthen Legal Practices, Communities, and Families


The mission of the Women in Law Committee in Salt Lake City is to affirm the strength and contributions that women lawyers bring to their legal practices, communities, and families. To fulfill this mission, WIL has held several events in 2014 and 2015 to connect women lawyers with each other, to facilitate thoughtful discussion, and to encourage women in their own career paths. Events have ranged both in format—from a single guest speaker to panel discussions—as well as topic.
 
In September 2014, WIL had a kick-off luncheon where Justice Christine Durham of the Utah Supreme Court spoke on "Women in Law: The 21st Century Version." Justice Durham cited multiple statistics about the number of women in the legal profession and spoke about her own impressions of the status of women in the profession. 
 
In December 2014, WIL had a luncheon where Neylan McBaine spoke on "Football, Primary Songs and Elections: Examining Gender Relations in the Church Today." Ms. McBaine had recently published her book Women at Church and spoke thoughtfully about gender relations in the Church and how those relations could be improved. 
 
Finally, in April 2015, WIL hosted another luncheon: "Increasing Women's Influence in Corporate Governance and the Legislature: A Panel Discussion." An exemplary panel addressed the audience: Dr. Ann Millner, former president of Weber State University and a Utah State Senator; Ashlee Burt of springBoard Utah; Gretta Spendlove of Durham Jones & Pinegar; and Emilee Wagner, who is a member of the Legislative Coalition for People with Disabilities and whose bill was recently passed by the Utah Legislature. The moderator was Lisa Watts Baskin, an administrative law judge and a member of the organizing committee for Real Women Run, an organization that 
encourages women to be more involved in civic leadership. The panelists spoke about challenges they faced in their respective fields; the benefits of networking and being in leadership in organizations outside of their profession; and the practicalities of running for office, getting a bill through the legislature, or getting on a corporate board. The discussion was wide-ranging and exemplary, drawing from the vast and diverse experiences of the panelists. 
 
The WIL section in Salt Lake City has had a great year, and we have more exciting events planned for the fall. We encourage other chapters and areas to incorporate
 
By Emily Adams, Women in Law Committee Member


Posted: July 7, 2015

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