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Women in Law Student Chapters Clark Society Advisors Appendices
Women in Law
The Women in the Law Committee (WIL) exists (1) to encourage participation by women lawyers in local and international Law Society activities and units; (2) to help all Chapters in their organization and support of WIL sections; (3) to affirm to all Law Societ members the strength and contributions that women lawyers bring to their legal practices, communities, and families; (4) to facilitate communication among women lawyers throughout the Law Society; and (5) to promote fairness and equal opportunities for Law Society women lawyers. Each year the WIL Committee prepares and submits to the Executive Committee its Goals and Plan of Work for the year.
Women lawyers sometimes do not feel comfortable in the Law Society. Assuming that women are equally as important to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) as men and that women lawyers have equal and valuable contributions to make in furthering the purposes of the Law Society, the WIL Committee believes that communication both with male leaders and members and with LDS female lawyers will help create an environment where women will feel more comfortable and willing to participate. Creating an organized framework in which women can fill designated roles will help women feel more a part of the Law Society.
The WIL Committee consists of a chair, a vice-chair, a secretary, an Executive Committee liaison, a BYU law school alumni association liaison, and representatives of geographical regions. From time to time, others may be asked to join the committee or attend committee meetings for specific purposes. These others may include the Student Chapters Board liaison, the BYU law school WIL section chair, a representative from the Law Society Student Chapters Committee, etc. The WIL Committee meets monthly via conference call. For a listing of individuals who have served on the WIL Committee since the committee’s inception in 2007, click here.
Women in the Law Sections in Law Society Chapters; Law Student Representative
Each Law Society Chapter throughout the world is encouraged to have a Women in the Law section. Such sections will exist to further the purposes above stated. While a WIL section may not be possible at a given time in a Chapter, each Chapter is encouraged to work toward that goal. Even if only one woman lawyer can be found who participates in Chapter functions, that one woman should be invited onto the Chapter board to organize and direct Chapter efforts to (1) locate and involve more women in each Chapter and (2) hold Chapter events (lunches, humanitarian projects, seminars, etc.) that address issues that may be of particular concern to Law Society women lawyers. Each Chapter is encouraged (1) to have one woman board member who serves in this capacity and (2) to invite women to assume other leadership roles on the board. For suggestions on how to start and maintain a WIL section in a JRCLS chapter, click here.
WIL student representative
Each Chapter that sponsors a Student Chapter should also have a WIL student representative. One female law student per law school or per Student Chapter should be designated to encourage women law students to participate in Chapter and WIL events, to facilitate communication between the Chapter and the women law students, and to assist the WIL section in the planning of events.
The WIL Committee has created and maintains a blog as a means of sharing news and discussion topics of interest to women attorneys in the Law Society. Men participants are also welcome. All are invited to submit news of WIL events or other law-related events of interest to the women of the Law Society by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Interested readers can sign up on the blog site for email notifications of new blog postings. The blog is found at: www.jrclswomen.blogspot.com.
WIL Chapter Events
Chapters should include WIL-sponsored or targeted events on their annual calendar of events. For example, if a Chapter holds monthly luncheons or seminars, at least one and preferably two of those twelve annual events should be sponsored or organized by the Chapter’s WIL section. If a Chapter holds six annual events, at least one of those events should be sponsored or co-sponsored by its WIL section. Women should be heavily involved in planning and conducting these events. Such events may be either for all members of the Chapter or for just women members. It is recommended that at least one event per year for all members, both male and female, should be organized and conducted by the WIL section. WIL leaders are encouraged to sponsor or work closely with Chapter leaders in sponsoring at least one service event each year. For a description of some WIL events held in various chapters, click here.
WIL Participation in Law Society Events
The WIL Committee is responsible for portions of the following two Law Society-wide events: (1) the annual leadership conference, usually held in October, and (2) the annual members’ conference, usually held in February.
- At the annual Leadership Conference, the WIL Committee will host a one-to-two-hour long series of training sessions for WIL section leaders or other designated attendees. Topics discussed at these sessions could include how to start a WIL section, how to integrate law students into WIL sections, how to find and attract WIL section members, activities and topics for WIL section meetings or WIL-sponsored Chapter events, and sharing of WIL experiences among the various sections. The WIL Committee may also address plenary sessions, Chapter chairs, or other subgroups of the Law Society, as assigned by the Executive Committee or conference chair. The WIL Committee will be available to answer questions and provide information to Chapter chairs or others at informal open house settings, as requested.
- At the Annual Conference, the WIL Committee typically is responsible for two events: (1) a breakfast or other time when all women members can meet together for round-table sharing or other informal discussion and getting acquainted, and (2) a regular break-out session during the conference, to which all members, both male and female, are invited.