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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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Civil Rights Leader Inspired When a Woman Said No

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Friday, July 31, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 30, 2020
When Rosa Parks was asked to sit at the back of the bus—she said No. Her doing so changed the late 14-term United States Congressman John Lewis’ life forever, said Lewis in an interview recorded in January 2020 and re-posted on July 19, 2020 in the podcast What It Takes Academy of Achievement. Lewis was no stranger to acknowledging the influence women had in the civil rights movement. He stated “I truly think and believe women were discriminated against. They did all of the work; they did the heavy lifting. They were kept back.” (September 21, 2016 Roundtable on Voting Rights). 

Inspired by Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a young Lewis began his civil rights journey not knowing he will become a civil rights leader with a philosophy of non-violence while making “good trouble, necessary trouble”. When asked “what shall I do” Lewis advised “Find a way to follow the dictates of your conscience. Find your inner compass and follow it. Do what is right. Be kind. Don’t hate, love is a better way. Don’t become cynical. Forget about your own circumstances and find a way to get involved in the circumstances of others. Try to do something to serve the common good, and don’t be afraid.”

Congressman Lewis’ advice is advice we can all take as we continue to advocate for equality of women through Service, Inclusion and Advocacy. May he rest in peace.

 

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

 

Tags:  advocacy  civil rights  civil rights movement  congressman john lewis  equality  inclusion  leader  martin luther king jr  rosa parks  service  women  women's advocacy 

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The Unsung Women Behind the Declaration of Independence

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Friday, July 3, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 2, 2020

The celebration of Independence Day this year will look different with the wearing of masks and social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. As we celebrate the significance of Independence Day, I invite you to reflect and remember women who stood out at the time for their courage and advocacy for women’s rights.

In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote letters to her husband when he left his family to draft the Declaration of Independence. Some of her letters became the earliest known writings advocating for women’s rights. In March 1776, advocating for women, she wrote:

“And, by the way, in the New Code of Laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors ... If particular attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no Voice, or Representation.”

Another woman less known though she supported the rebellion to declare separation from Great Britain is Mary Katherine Goddard. She was the first person to print the official copy of the Declaration of Independence. Her name appears at the bottom of the declaration of independence as observed in the copy held in the Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Continental Congress & Constitutional Convention Broadsides Collection.

We wish you and your family a safe and healthy Independence Day!

 

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

 

Tags:  Abigail Adams  COVID  Declaration of Independence  independence  Mary Kathern Goddard  women  women's advocacy 

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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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We're in this Together

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President’s Perspective, Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Updated: Monday, June 1, 2020

Lawyers Club has been hard at work during this difficult time to support our members and the community.  We continue to serve the needs of our members by providing valuable virtual programming for networking and connecting, joining amicus briefs for important cases, endorsing judicial candidates for appointment and election, and supporting our law students and diverse legal community.  We need to continue to focus on advancing our mission because the issues affecting women have not ceased during the pandemic.  Indeed, in some respects, the pandemic has exacerbated issues that women face.  Now, more than ever, we need to support each other. 

As many of you know, Lawyers Club counts on your membership dues to support our efforts to execute our mission.  For those of you who can, RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP.  Lawyers Club also recognizes that, during economic downturns, some members may wish to remain a member of our organization, but may be unable to renew their membership.  Therefore, we have created the Lawyers Club Pay It Forward Program, which allows members to contribute to the cost of a membership for another member or law student.  If you are able to assist, in addition to renewing your membership, please consider contributing to the cost of a membership for other devoted members.

With your support we will continue to advance our mission and ensure women in the future have the same vibrant and active organization that has supported you in the past.

 

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

 

Tags:  economy  membership  mission  pay it forward  women  women's advocacy 

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We Can Do It

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President’s Perspective, Saturday, May 2, 2020
Updated: Friday, May 1, 2020

During this time of crisis, it is important to recognize the many brave women who have sacrificed and risked their lives to help the sick during this pandemic, including the countless doctors, nurses, medical staff, and first responders. We are equally grateful to those women who continue to work at essential businesses, including, but not limited to, grocery store works, janitors, and transportation workers. These women have stepped up for the good of society.


Of course, women have a long history of sacrifice in times of crisis and the struggle to better society. Countless of women participated in the struggle for women’s suffrage. During World War II, millions of women heeded the call of duty by joining the work force, some even served in the military, in positions traditionally reserved for men. The experience of these women and the injustices they suffered helped ignite the women’s movement about a decade later. Again, women were on the front lines of the struggle for social change. Women protested against discrimination, for reproductive rights, and against domestic violence. We have made significant gains over the last 100 years to improve the status of women, but in this time of crisis women are disproportionately affected.


According to the U.N. Secretary General, the pandemic is having a devastating social and economic impact on women and girls. Domestic violence against women has increased during the pandemic; some states have taken the opportunity to attack reproductive rights; women are working at home while still being tasked with caring for the children at home; all while women are paid less than men. Indeed, the coronavirus has highlighted the inequalities still faced by women, sometimes in unexpected ways, for example one developing country
recently provided advice for women on how they can politely ask their husbands to contribute to household duties during the crisis.

 

Like the women in the generations before, we should embrace the moment to advocate for fair policies for women. This is an especially opportune time to advocate for women-centered policies because many people, who are now sheltering at home, may now empathize with the need for affordable healthcare, affordable childcare services, flexible work schedules, and equal pay. This is our time to be advocates for change and to push for the policies that women need. We can do it. 

 

-Article first published in LC News, May 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:  childcare  COVID  crisis  domestic violence  essential  healthcare  pandemic  politics  reproductive justice  social change  society  women  women in 

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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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Vote

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President's Perspective, Friday, March 27, 2020
Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2020

It is the time of year when we ask our members to vote for our new cohort of Lawyers Club board members.  Our board members are the backbone of the organization who ensure that engaging and valuable programming fulfills our mission and values.  I have found serving on the board as an especially rewarding experience. Our board members are talented women who devote countless hours of their time and inspire others to continue to carry the torch of the fight for equality.

I have no doubt that our current candidates for the board are equally accomplished and will be just as engaged. The candidates offer a wide array of experiences that will add to the strengths of our current board.  We are grateful that such an impressive group has agreed to continue to run during these difficult times.  Given the time and energy expended by these wonderful women, I encourage everyone to take time to learn about each of the candidates who will electronically circulate their credentials for your consideration.  Our elections open on April 1 and will close at 5:00 pm on May 1, 2020, and can be completed by mail or electronically.  Please make sure to VOTE!

 

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

 

Tags:  board  election  leadership  mission  women 

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A New Chapter for our Judiciary

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President's Perspective, Thursday, January 9, 2020
Updated: Wednesday, January 8, 2020

 

As many of you know, despite comprising half the population, women only make up thirty-six percent of judges in the Superior Court of California. Women are likewise underrepresented in leadership positions on the bench. Lawyers Club is excited to recognize that Judge Lorna Alksne was elected to serve as the new Presiding Judge for the San Diego Superior Court. Importantly, Judge Alksne is only the third woman to serve as Presiding Judge in San Diego County. The first woman to serve as presiding judge was Justice Judith McConnell, one of our founding mothers.

Judge Alksne selected a number of women to assume leadership roles in the judiciary, including Hon. Randa Trapp, Supervising Judge for Civil (the first African-American Supervising Judge for Civil); Hon. Margo Lewis Hoy, Supervising Judge for Family; Hon. Ana L. España, Supervising Judge for Juvenile; and Hon. Eugenia Eyherabide, Supervising Judge for Criminal. Judge Alksne also selected Hon. Dwayne Moring to serve as the first African-American Supervising Judge for the South County Courthouse. Lawyers Club congratulates and welcomes the new Presiding Judge and looks forward to her wisdom, leadership, and guidance in helping shape our judiciary.

 

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

 

Tags:  diversity  equality  judiciary  leadership  legal profession  superior court  women 

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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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