Structured Networking Added to TCWLA Membership Meetings
Our membership meetings are new and improved this year. Members have requested the opportunity for more network- ing in addition to our free CLE, and we have listened.
Beginning with our first meeting of the bar year on September 21, members will have time for both structured net- working from 11:30 to 12:00 and informal net- working at the conclusion of the meeting as we intro- duce ourselves to the group, discuss referral opportunities, and mingle.
Of course, CLE will be included as well. From 12:00 to 12:45, Linda Chanow, Executive Direc- tor of the Center for Women in Law at the Uni- versity of Texas School of Law, will present the latest studies regarding women in our profession. This free CLE is made possible by our sponsor, Scarab Consulting (www.consultscarab.com). Lunch will be catered by a locally-owned business ($15 for members/$20 for non-members). Advanced registration at www.tcwla.org is required for lunch.
From Your President Cindy Connolly
I am not one that appreciates the extra titles that we, as women, some- times receive. Growing up, I loved to play soccer, but was only allowed to play girls’ soccer. I now love to run. And, as you can imagine, I don’t like to be told that I run like a girl, or that I am fast “for a girl.” You get the idea. I just want to be a soccer player, a runner, and yes, a lawyer—without the extra title. Not surprisingly, I was not immediately drawn to join the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association. I didn’t think I needed a self help group to be a lawyer. So why am I not only proud to be a member, but honored to be the new President of a women lawyers group? It’s a complicated answer, but I am now a true believer that this group can benefit us all. And as a group, I believe we are stronger than we can be as individual lawyers.
Sadly only 15% of equity partners are women when more than half of the law school graduates were women 10 years ago. The percent- ages in board rooms and executive teams in corporate America are even lower. And my own practical experience is not any better. In only about one in ten of my cases do I find another woman lawyer at the counsel table. I realize there are many practical reasons for this, not all of which are bad. I find women lawyers are more multi- dimensional than our male counterparts. We are wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. We allow ourselves to be all these things and often allow all these things to distract us from career goals. And while it may be reducing our numbers in owner- ship, management and partnership of law firms, I believe it is our gift. We can multitask, problem solve and analyze issues with the best of them. It makes us better people and yes, better lawyers.
Having now embraced the woman lawyer in me, I believe we can do more to work together and rise—together—in greater numbers to the top. I want TCWLA to offer more networking opportunities and business generation to its members. I plan to do this in three ways. First, we are offer- ing (for the second year in
a row) a networking skills and branding workshop by Marny Lifshen, author of Some Assembly Re- quired: A Guide to Net- working for Women. Marny will change the way you think about busi- ness development. Sec- ond, we are expanding our lunch CLE format to allow thirty minutes of dedicated networking time prior to the noon lunch program. Please plan to show up for our lunch meetings at 11:30 a.m. and bring your busi- ness cards. Third, we are working toward expand- ing our website function- ality to allow our mem- bers to use it as a referral network. The next time I have a client with transac- tional needs, estate plan- ning advice or immigra- tion questions, I want to refer the business within our group. And if we can all commit to doing that, we can build a very pow- erful network—a power- ful network of women lawyers. Yes, after 15 years of practicing law my perspective on that extra title has changed. I don’t want to practice law like a man. I think my practice of law is better— as a woman lawyer.
TCWLA/TCWLF Annual Grants & Awards Luncheon a Sold-Out Success
TheTravisCountyWomen Lawyers’ Foundation, together with the TCWLA, held their Annual Grants and Awards Luncheon on May 4, 2011.
At the luncheon, TCWLF awarded grants to twelve local non-profit organizations that provide legal services to women, children, and families in and around Central Texas. Additionally, TCWLF and TCWLA recognized a number of law firms and women attorneys who have made significant contributions in the Travis County legal community this year.
This year’s luncheon featured Cathy Lamboley, for- mer General Counsel for Shell Oil Corporation and a Founding Member of UT’s Center for Women in Law.
The luncheon was the most successful by far, enjoying a sold-out reception, and rais- ing over $18,000 in contribu- tions.
TCWLF and TCWLA would like to thank everyone who made this year’s luncheon a success!
TCWLA and TWL Provide Over 3,000 Meals through “Food from the Bar” and Fund Drive
Thank you to everyone who supported the Capital Area Food Bank this year through the Texas Women Lawyers’ Food from the Bar and Fund Drive. Our donations of non-perishable food and money provided over 3,000 meals for those in need during the summer months! The summer months are a critical time for food pantries because children do not have access to subsidized breakfasts and lunches at school.
Donations were provided to Capital Area Food Bank, a non-profit that distributes food to needy families, seniors and others throughout Travis County and 20 other surrounding counties. Donations were especially important this year because of persisting negative economic conditions. In fact, U.S.D.A. donations of food to regional food banks have dropped 60% during the past 5 years.
The Capital Area Food Bank reports that it assists more than 48,000 people in Central Texas with their food needs each week. Nearly one in five adults and one in four children in Texas are food insecure. Twenty thousand children under the age of 18 in Travis County are confronted with food insecurity every day.
Donations are especially important during the summer months when children do not have access to subsidized breakfasts and lunches at school.
The following members of TCWLA led their firm’s participation:
Jana Terry, Greenberg Traurig
Anna Kana, Winstead
Danielle Ahlrich, Texas Department of Insurance Lisa Hobbs, Vinson & Elkins
Susan Haney Attorney at Law
Paige Williams, TCTA
Catherine Kyle, Chamberlain McElhaney
Susan Morrison, The Fowler Law Firm
ABA/AYLA LEADERSHIP ACADEMY Accepting Applications for 2012 Leadership Class
The ABA/AYLA Leadership Academy is an exciting opportunity for Austin-area lawyers who are interested in learning more about making a difference in our community and serving the Bar.
A class of approximately 30 (thirty) members of the ABA and AYLA will be selected from applications submitted by lawyers of all areas of practice, firm size and levels of experience. The Academy will begin with a mandatory retreat, followed by a series of six lunch presentations during which participants will network with and enjoy lunch presentations by leaders in federal, state and local government, public education, non-profit organizations, and the Bar. The course will culminate with the organization of an optional class project.
Applications for the 2012 Leadership Class are due on Friday, October 28, 2011. The Leadership Class will begin with a mandatory retreat on Friday, January 13, 2012 from 9:00 am – 4:00 p.m. CLE is available and lunch will be provided. The Class will then meet on the following Thursdays from 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.:
January 26, 2012 February 16, 2012 March 8, 2012 March 29, 2012 April 19, 2012 May 10, 2012
Please confirm that you are available to attend the retreat and all meetings before applying. Meeting locations will be provided to the selected members of the Academy.
If you are interested in applying to the 2012 class, applications can be found online at www.ayla.org/leadership.html or you may complete the application form on the opposite page.