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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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The Time Is Now to Support Our Women Lawyers Who Are Mothers

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Labor Day. Summer Vacations Winding Down. First Day of School. New Outfit. Freshly Sharpened Pencils. Parents-Sad, Happy, & Off to Work. These common September experiences are suspended this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents will reinvent these experiences to capture the pandemic version. What will not be seen in the photos or videos is the worry, the tears, and the struggle of parents as they determine how to ensure their child receives a quality education. The quality of which will depend on if the child attends school in-person, attends virtually at home or a combination.


Rightfully or not, the government and school districts decide. California’s guidebook for the safe reopening of California public schools, Stronger Together, while not a one-size-fits-all guide, makes clear that the health and safety of the students and staff is the top priority when deciding to physically reopen schools. The California Department of Public Health in July 2020 approved in-person school instruction for any school district or school in a county not on the COVID-19 monitoring list.


The negative impact of the school closures cannot be understated for working parents in our legal community. This negative impact will weigh most heavily on women, who bear the greatest child rearing responsibilities in the majority of United States’ families. Consequently, female employees will suffer most the limitations inherent in the federal and state laws that provide paid leave to care for a child whose school is close.


Given that, what can we as Lawyers Club members do to help improve the circumstances for our colleagues who are experiencing an additional inequity simply because they are females? We can advocate because “[g]ender equality and women rights are essential to getting through the pandemic together, to recovering faster, and to build a better future for everyone” (Justice for Women Amidst COVID-19 Report quoting António Guterres United Nations Secretary-General).


We can be allies by supporting lawmakers that advance proactive legislation on reproductive health, rights and justice, which the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) divides into six categories, abortion, contraception, pregnancy care, sexuality education, supporting parents, and nondiscrimination (NIRH Gaining Ground 2020 Midyear Report July 2020 emphasis added).


Each of us can join Lawyers Club on September 17, 2020 for Lawyers Club’s Advocacy and Reproductive Justice Committee’s first virtual event exploring Reproductive Justice Amidst the Pandemic.


I hope to see you then.


In Solidarity,

 

-Article first published in LC News, September 2020

 

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

 


Tags:  advocate  California  California public schools  childcare  children  COVID-19  education  employment law  legal community  parents  school  summer  support  women 

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Critical Educational Needs for Central Elementary Students

Posted By Stacy Roby for Lawyers Club's Community Outreach Committee, Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Education has become reliant on technology and this can be expensive, especially for economically disadvantaged schools such as Central Elementary in City Heights. The twice-yearly Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Read-In is a powerful way for Lawyers Club members to share their career journey and act as role models. Read-In volunteers strive to inspire students and to instill the belief that with focus and determination, they can succeed in achieving a professional career of their choice.

Public funding in education is lacking and the current critical need for Central Elementary classrooms is headphones for every student. Computers, iPads, and Chromebooks are used daily for learning programs, research, and assessment testing which provides data on students’ academic progress. With this knowledge, teachers can provide instruction to improve areas of weakness and enhance students’ strengths.

In 2020, Central Elementary needs 600 sets of headphones (specifically, Califone 3068AV Switchable Stereo/Mono headphones). For less than the cost of two Starbucks drinks, you can donate one headphone set. If you have a group of people wanting to help the needs of the students, the cost is less. Even if you are unable to attend the Read-In on February 28, 2020, please consider donating to help this underserved student population (donate here).

As an affiliate member of Lawyers Club of San Diego with eleven years as an educator, I have a first-hand understanding of the impacts caused by lack of educational funding, and of the desperate need for the educational tools that assist teachers in providing stimulating instruction. My philosophy is and has always been, “Education is the Key to Freedom.” Your donation will help level the educational playing field for these children.

Stacy Roby co-owns The Roby Company Real Estate Brokerage specializing in property valuation, disposition, and estate sales throughout San Diego County, and wrote this for the Lawyers Club of San Diego’s Community Outreach Committee.

 

 

 

 

Tags:  Central Elementary  Community Outreach Committee  donations  education  equipment  freedom  headphones  read-in 

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Lawyers Club’s Global Reach

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President's Perspective, Thursday, November 21, 2019

Human trafficking, which includes sexual exploitation and forced labor, is a significant problem in San Diego. According to data from the FBI, San Diego is one of the 13 worst regions in the United States for sex trafficking, an underground industry worth $810 million in San Diego County.

Since 2016, Lawyers Club sponsored a committee, the Human Trafficking Collaborative (“HTC”), to address the pervasiveness of human trafficking in San Diego and collaborate with local organizations to combat human trafficking and rehabilitate survivors. More specifically, HTC engages in (1) issue education, (2) survivor services, (3) advocacy and outreach, and (4) support for non-governmental organizations. For its efforts, HTC was honored by the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations with the prestigious national Public Service Award. In 2018, HTC also received the San Diego Law Library Foundation's Bernard E. Witkin, Esq. Award in the category of Community Change Makers.

The success of HTC has also been internationally recognized. This month, the co-chairs of the HTC, Casey French and Colette Mahon, and I will meet with nine officials from the country of Bahrain. The officials wish to learn more about HTC and the support it provides to survivors and to combat human trafficking. While we are proud of the impact HTC has on our community, we are equally honored for the opportunity to assist in helping women internationally. If you are interested in learning more about the HTC or how to contribute, I encourage you to join our collaborative.

  

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

 

 

Tags:  advocacy  changemaker  education  HTC  human trafficking  international  outreach  sex trafficking  survivor 

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Read-In, For Inspiration

Posted By Guest Blogger Joe Mayo, Tuesday, February 26, 2019

 

On October 31, 2018, the San Diego Lawyers Club’s Community Outreach Committee (COC) and San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) conducted the Halloween Read-In at Central Elementary, a pre-kindergarten through 5th grade school located in the heart of City Heights. San Diego Lawyers Club has a twenty-three-year Read-In partnership with Central Elementary, where students are among the most economically challenged in the district. This year’s Halloween Read-In event featured numerous memorable costumes and volunteers included many San Diego Lawyers Club members, SDLRLA members, judges, law students, and San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott. Both the Halloween and Spring Read-Ins are influential events, where volunteers serve as role models, and provide an opportunity for students to learn about different careers while inspiring them to dream big.

 



This was my first Read-In and I was placed in Mr. Lou’s second grade class. I was paired with Attorneys Danielle Ward and former Lawyers Club President Kate Kowalewski. Danielle read from a book with wide-eyed children looking on with wonder as she pointed to various characters in the book and read out loud. I was moved to see how receptive the children were to Danielle’s reading.

After Danielle read the book, Mr. Lou conducted a mock trial, based on a patent case involving magic wands. Kate acted as the judge as Danielle made her case as plaintiff’s counsel that a student’s wand with a yellow star was copied by another student who had a wand with a blue star. Kate’s evenhanded judging and Danielle’s civil approach echoed San Diego’s courteous legal climate. Just to be clear, I appealed the decision brought down by the jury—a real travesty!

Also, I was touched to see how interested the students were as Mr. Lou went between the two students and explained each step of the trial in terms the youngsters could understand. Lawyers use a lot of big words—who knew?! At any rate, Mr. Lou is an awesome teacher and is the kind of teacher that changes lives and makes a real difference in our society. This event affirmed my belief that teachers like Mr. Lou deserve to be valued highly in our society.

I saw the young lady that was on my side of the patent case outside the school after the event was over. I told her that she did a great job and that she could do anything she wanted if she worked hard. This is one of the best events I have ever attended and am thankful to have been given the opportunity to make an impact on the students.

Mark your calendar for the Spring Read-In on Friday, March 1, 2019 – register here if you wish to participate. In the interim, COC will continue to provide much-needed basic school supplies to Central Elementary through a school supply donation drive and email lc.communityoutreachc@gmail.com to participate in that effort.


Here are some pictures from the event:

 

 

 

Joe Mayo is patent agent at ARC IP Law, PC, a member of San Diego Lawyers Club’s Community Outreach Committee, and is First Man of Lawyers Club 2018-19.

 

Tags:  Central Elementary  civility  Community Outreach Committee  education  mock trial  read-in  San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association  teacher 

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more Calendar

9/30/2020
Fall Virtual Mixer: For Members New and Not-so New: Where Everyone Takes a Seat at the Bar!

10/15/2020
Diverse Women's Committee Program: Women at the Forefront of Social Change

10/26/2020
HTC MCLE Labor Trafficking 101

11/19/2020
Equal Pay Day Event

Lawyers Club of San Diego

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San Diego CA 92101
619-595-0650

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