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Lawyers Club of San Diego is a specialty bar association committed to advancing the status of women in the law and society. We use this space to share articles written about Lawyers Club events and programs and items of interest to our members which are relevant to our mission. The opinions outlined in content published on the Lawyers Club of San Diego blog are those of the authors and not of Lawyers Club. All members are encouraged to participate respectfully in discussions regarding the topics posted on the blog. Guest writers are welcome. Guidelines for writers may be found on the Leadership Resources page.

 

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Protecting Our Children

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Friday, August 7, 2020
Updated: Thursday, August 6, 2020
The vulnerabilities of children are not lost to many in our society. We all are able to recognize that, when interacting with children, care, patience, and thoughtfulness are key. It was, then, shocking when our community learned that this past Sunday, six girls, ages six to 17 years old were made to lay down on the ground face down with guns drawn against them, and the oldest girls were handcuffed by Colorado police officers. Certainly, if a parent were to make their child lay on the ground with a gun drawn, it is not a stretch of the imagination that the consequences would involve arrest and prosecution.

Experiences like this are called Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). The Center for Disease Control explains that four or more ACEs substantially increase the risk of negative physical and mental health outcomes for children as they become adults. As lawyers we have the opportunity to help ensure ACEs of this kind do not happen by using our voice to advocate for the improvement of the administration of justice. We can write letters, make calls, or simply support organizations that are committed to improving the lives of children and families.

Lawyers Club is proud to advocate for the well-being of women and children through our Fund for Justice. Annually Lawyers Club selects grantees that address social and legal issues related to our mission and the unmet legal needs of females, particularly programs that support and improve the administration of justice.

 

Yahairah Aristy is a Deputy Public Defender, and is the 2020-2021 president of Lawyers Club of San Diego.

 

Tags:  adverse childhood experience  advocacy  cdc  children  community  fund for justice  gun violence  justice  legal profession 

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Leadership, Engagement and Growth

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President’s Perspective, Friday, June 26, 2020
Updated: Thursday, June 25, 2020

As with important advancements for women in the past, a fundamental step to further the advancement of women in law and society is to collectively organize.  In the San Diego legal community, there is no other organization that advocates for the advancement of women better than Lawyers Club.  For over 48 years, our organization has championed the causes of women and for equal and fair treatment for all women. 

The success of our organization is evident by the success of our members.  Many of our current judges were past presidents or are active members.  Many of our local law firms have partners that are active members.  The leaders of our public legal entities regularly support and attend Lawyers Club events.  I can attest that Lawyers Club has been an integral part of my legal career.  I found mentors whom I still call, learned valuable skills, gained clients, and learned how to be a better leader in my practice and my community.  To continue to advance the status of women in law and society, it is incumbent on us to continue support our mission.  I ask all of you to RENEW your membership, continue to support our organization, and become involved with our committees. 

Finally, since this is my last weekly message, I would like to thank all of our members, members of the judiciary, elected officials, sponsors, co-chairs, board members, advisory board members, staff, and volunteers, for their support of our organization.  It has been an honor and privilege to serve as president of Lawyers Club. 

 

Elvira Cortez practices business and commercial litigation and employment defense at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and is the 2019-2020 president of Lawyers Club.

 

Tags:  community  law firms  members  membership  mission  organization  president  women  women's advocacy 

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And Justice for All

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President’s Perspective, Friday, June 19, 2020
Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2020

As many of you know, June is Pride Month, a month to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and create awareness for their continued struggle to achieve equality.  This month we join the community in celebrating a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court, which finally recognized that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBTQ individuals from discrimination and unequal treatment.  Under this decision, the Civil Rights Act now protects LGBTQ employees from being fired or otherwise discriminated against due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. 

The Supreme Court ruling was a culmination of decades of work by activists and academics to obtain the recognition that LGBTQ individuals deserve to be protected from discrimination.  As far back as the 1950s, pioneers such as Frank Kameny, Barbara Gittings, and Kay Tobin Lahusen have advocated to protect the rights of LGBTQ individuals and secure equal treatment under the law.  This decision remedies past jurisprudence that refused to recognize LGBTQ rights and bends the arc of the social justice towards progress.

Although this is a significant victory for the LGBTQ+ community, the fight for equality is not over because LGBTQ individuals continue to face discrimination in society, including in the military, housing, and business.  We need to continue to support the LGBTQ+ community in the pursuit of equality.  If you would like to learn more on how you can support our community, please join the LGBTQ Committee. 

 

Elvira Cortez practices business and commercial litigation and employment defense at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and is the 2019-2020 president of Lawyers Club.

 

Tags:  civil rights  civil rights act  community  equality  LGBTQ+  LGBTQ+ committee  pride month  Supreme Court 

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Take the Census

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President’s Perspective, Friday, April 24, 2020
Updated: Thursday, April 23, 2020
This year you have an opportunity to participate in an event that only occurs once in decade.  However, a recent article in The New York Times highlighted that a recent survey found that fewer women than men intended to participate in this year’s census. This is concerning because the census count determines how valuable federal funds get distributed to the states.  This federal funding is vital to many services that women depend on, including, but not limited to, funding for childcare, programs to protect women and children from domestic violence, and healthcare.  The study also found that women of color were even less likely to express an intention to participate.  This is equally concerning because women of color tend to live in communities most in need of these vital services for women.  
 
One of the reasons for the lack of enthusiasm to participate may be that women are very busy.  Not only are they occupied by their careers, but they are also tasked with caregiving responsibilities, including for children and parents (sometimes simultaneously).  This may also be compounded by COVID-19, which has caused their lives to be upended and created further responsibilities, including the difficult task of trying to work from home with children or running errands for parents who cannot leave their homes. As such, responding to the census might be the last responsibility on women’s minds. 
 
I encourage you all to take time out of your busy lives to fill out the census and encourage others to do the same.  We should not let such an important resource for women to be misallocated, since these services are so vital to assisting women in leading successful lives. 

Elvira Cortez practices business and commercial litigation and employment defense at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and is the 2019-2020 president of Lawyers Club.

 


Tags:  census  childcare  community  domestic violence  healthcare  services  women  women of color 

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A Resolution Focused on Progressional Growth

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President's Perspective, Friday, January 3, 2020
Updated: Friday, January 3, 2020

As we begin the new year, we all contemplate resolutions to improve our personal health or well-being. Every year we promise to lose weight, improve our physical fitness, or simply keep better contact with friends. As we attempt to part the Red Sea of our responsibilities to achieve these goals, in about a month, the impending flood of our professional and familial responsibilities eventually wipes out our hopes for self-improvement.

This year, I challenge you to make a resolution focused on professional growth. As you know, women are substantially underrepresented in leadership positions in the legal profession and are paid less for the same work as men. In order to change these inequities, we need to “lean in” and take steps to improve outcomes for women. Therefore, I challenge you to commit to take your practice to the next level.

To achieve this goal your resolution should be concrete and tailored to your practice. You may wish to grow your book of business, obtain a promotion, open your own practice, or join the bench. The goal need not be achievable in one year; however, you should establish benchmarks that can be achieved throughout the year. For example, you may commit to obtain two potential client referrals each month or serve as second chair on a jury trial.

Next, you should create an action plan by listing the steps you will undertake to achieve those goals. If it is a promotion you seek, then plan how you will develop the skills necessary to apply and find an advocate to champion your achievements. In the private practice, create a plan on how to improve your recognition in your firm and in the community. Brainstorm how to best advocate for yourself. Obtain a leadership position in a local organization. Attend local events and concentrate on creating referral sources. Learn about opportunities to speak at seminars or write an article for a local periodical.

Do not just make a mental pledge to yourself, instead write it down or make a poster board (feel free to be creative). Writing down your professional goal and action plan provides you with a concrete reminder of your commitment to professional growth. It also serves as a tool to measure your progress throughout the year and an opportunity to recommit yourself to the task. By focusing on professional growth, we can begin to change the paradigm. Do you accept the challenge?

 

 

-Article first published in LC News,January 2020

 

Elvira Cortez practices business and commercial litigation and employment defense at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and is the 2019-2020 president of Lawyers Club.

 

Tags:  achievement  challenge  community  goals  growth  legal profession  Professional  referral challenge  resolutions 

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It Takes A Village

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President's Perspective, Thursday, December 12, 2019
Updated: Thursday, December 12, 2019

Our Fund for Justice luncheon is our opportunity to directly support organizations that provide services to women and children in our community. I understand we are all very busy during the holiday season; however, many of you decided to take time to make an impact by joining us at our luncheon. I want to thank all of you. I am happy to announce that this years’ luncheon had the most attendees in the last five years. I also wanted to give special thanks to our Title Sponsor Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg & Bagley LLP, our Champion of Justice Sponsors Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch LLP and Singleton Law Firm, and our three amazing co-chairs Jennifer Chang, Rebecca Kanter, and Becky Zipp whose hard work made the event a success.

If you were unable to attend the event, you can see the video created to showcase the vital work our grant recipients provide to our community here. For those of you that were unable to donate at the event, please consider making a donation to our fund this holiday season. One hundred percent of your donations support our grant recipients and allow us to continue to make a substantial difference in the lives of women and children within our community. Thank you for you continued support of our Fund for Justice.

 

 

Elvira Cortez practices business and commercial litigation and employment defense at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and is the 2019-2020 president of Lawyers Club.

Tags:  charitable organizations  charity  community  donate  fund for justice  give  women 

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more Calendar

9/30/2020
Fall Virtual Mixer: Shaking and Crushing Stereotypes in the Male Dominated Cocktail Industry

11/19/2020
Equal Pay Day Event

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