ARIZONA WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION Arizona Women Lawyers Association promotes and encourages the success of women lawyers by providing members with information and support, by fostering connections among women lawyers, and by monitoring and celebrating the successes of members and women lawyers at large in our community. Its overall operations and statewide programs are administered by its board of directors, while local programs are overseen by the steering committees of its two regional chapters. AWLA hosts monthly luncheons, an annual convention and also special programs throughout the year. Through each event, the association provides free or low-cost CLE credit. Though not all luncheons offer CLE credit, the speakers unfailingly address important issues and topics to the attendees. This is the opportunity to form strong relationships with others in the legal community; not only business relationships, but personal as well. After all, the attorneys and judges you add to your circle of friends are ultimately colleagues who understand the pleasures and pressures of practicing law. AWLA encourages referrals among members. To help in this goal, AWLA created an annual membership directory, which is available on their websites. It lists members by geographic location and by practice areas, making it simple for members to find attorneys in other fields. AWLA also sponsors “members only” social events, encourages the creation of mentoring relationships, participates in community events, and promotes the accomplishments of members. AWLA offers assistance for members seeking an appointment or election to judicial office. The association champions diversity on the bench by monitoring the process of judicial appointments in Arizona. AWLA has also undertaken a study of gender equity practices in the state of Arizona, with the goal of identifying, creating and promoting best practices for the workplace. Sarah Herring Sorin Award Every year during the State Bar Convention, AWLA awards the Sarah Herring Sorin award to an AWLA member who has demonstrated support and encouragement for the advancement of women in the legal profession. The award is named in honor of Sarah Herring Sorin (1861-1914), Arizona’s first woman lawyer. In the early 1900s, she became the 25th woman to argue a case before the United States Supreme Court. She practiced throughout the Arizona territory, developing a specialty in mining law. She studied law under her father, and during much of her career, the two practiced law together. The 2013 honoree is Tucson attorney Dee-Dee Samet. Past recipients of the award are Helen Perry Grimwood, Doris F. Mindell, Roxana C. Bacon, Grace McIlvain, the Hon. Mary M. Schroeder, Barbara A. Atwood, Laura A. Cardinal, Amy Schwartz, Georgia A. Staton, the Hon. Janis Ann Sterling (ret.), the Hon. Ruth V. McGregor (ret.), Amelia Craig Cramer, Paige A. Martin and the Hon. Rebecca White Berch. Mary Anne Richey Scholarship The Arizona Women Lawyers Association sponsors the Mary Anne Richey Scholarship. The scholarship is named in honor of Mary Anne Richey, a distinguished member of the Arizona bar and bench. The scholarship is awarded to an Arizona law student on the basis of the student’s past and present public service, commitment to future public service, and financial need. The scholarship is funded entirely by private contributions. For more information or to join AWLA, visit www.awla-state.org. Women In Law Statistics • In 1972 only 9.4% of enrolled J.D. students were women. • In 2010, 47.2% of enrolled J.D. students were women. • In 2012, women made up 31.1% of all lawyers. • In 2009, 20.6% of Deans and 66.2% of Assistant Deans in Law Schools were women. • In 2011, 19.5% of all Law Firm Partners were women. • 51.9% of Private Practice attorneys are women. • Only 23% of all federal judgeships were held by women, and only 27% of state judgeships were held by women. • Only 15% of Equity Partners are women. • In a survey of the 50 best law firms for women, only 12% had female managing partners. • In a survey of the best law firms for women, 79% of them provide backup childcare at a facility. Statistics provided by Catalyst. For more information, visit www.catalyst.org.
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