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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 Power of Choice

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Friday, August 21, 2020
Updated: Thursday, August 20, 2020

The power of choice has never been more on display than it was yesterday when a male presidential candidate deliberately chose a woman who is a person of color to be his running mate. Only two other women have been vice presidential nominees, Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Sarah Palin in 2008. This historical moment cannot be ignored and must be acknowledged regardless of political affiliation or thought.


Our mission is to advance the status of women in the law and society, and thus Lawyers Club applauds United States Senator Kamala Harris’ trailblazing accomplishment. Lawyers Club has long invited women who are breaking gender barriers for all women to share time with our members. Therefore, it is no surprise that in May 2011 Harris was the annual dinner keynote speaker and in September 2008 was the luncheon speaker.

Harris has been breaking gender barriers for years. In 2003, she was elected the first person of color to serve as San Francisco District Attorney. In 2010, she was elected the first woman and first person of color to serve as California Attorney General. In 2016, she was elected the first Indian American person, and second African American woman to serve in the United States Senate.

Regardless of the state of political affairs and racial tensions today, the nomination of a woman and person of color as vice president for 330 million Americans is a prodigious moment for the advancement of women and diversity in our society.

 

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

 

Tags:  election  gender  president  running mate  women of color  women's advocacy 

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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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Consequences of Anti-Feminism

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Friday, July 24, 2020
Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2020

Feminism the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

When self-proclaimed anti-feminist Roy Den Hollander intending to kill Esther Salas, the first Latina woman to serve as United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, instead killed her son, 20 year-old Daniel Anderl and injured her husband, Mark Anderl, judges and citizens around our nation mourned this stark reminder of the vulnerabilities of being a woman judge. These vulnerabilities serve as a powerful reminder that women judges, though they wear the black robe, are not immune from the callousness of people who do not believe women's rights are human rights.

As of August 2019, the appointment of women to Article III courts did not reflect the gender makeup of the United States. (Building a More Inclusive Federal Judiciary (October 2019). In fact, 60 percent of all judges were white males. (Ibid.) People of color, women, and queer people were respectively 20 percent, 27 percent, and 1 percent of all sitting judges. This despite, 40 percent of people of color, 51 percent of women, and 4.5 percent of queer people live in the United States. (Ibid.)

Seeing a woman of color, a double minority, targeted five days ago because of her gender and race is a grim reminder that the fight for the equality of women is far from over.

 

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

 

Tags:  equity  feminism  gender equality  judge  women of color  women's advocacy 

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A Champion for Women's Rights

Posted By Yahairah Aristy: A President’s Perspective, Saturday, July 18, 2020
Updated: Friday, July 17, 2020
A guardian of justice, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has served for over 25 years in the United States Supreme Court. She is the second female of only four women appointed in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 231-year history. Prior to being appointed, she served for 13 years as a judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Before her judicial service, Justice Ginsburg’s career significantly focused on advocating for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights. A tenacious advocate, she won five out of six gender discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Her tenacity is also seen in her fight against cancer since 1999. She successfully fought her battle against cancer four times, whether it was colon, pancreatic, or lung cancer. In January 2020, Justice Ginsburg announced that she was cancer free.

So, when Justice Ginsburg was hospitalized on Monday, July 13, concern for her and women’s rights were at the forefront of my mind. In fact, my heart sank because if she is not on the U.S. Supreme Court, women’s rights are in peril. It appears I was not alone in this reaction. I have heard many friends and colleagues express relief that Justice Ginsburg was out of the hospital and doing well.

Justice Ginsburg embodies this year's theme of Service, Inclusion & Advocacy. Her tireless service and advocacy have created a more inclusive society for women, and we all can learn from her. 

 

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

 

Tags:  justice ruth bader ginsburg  RBG  Supreme Court  US Supreme Court  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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Driving Change

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President’s Perspective, Friday, June 5, 2020
Updated: Thursday, June 4, 2020

As I prepared my final address for the newsletter, I thought of the message I wanted to leave our members to conclude my service as president. Serving as our 48th president and reflecting on all of the achievements Lawyers Club has accomplished since its founding, some important rights and legal protections remain out of reach for women, like paid family leave, protecting access to reproductive rights, and equal pay.


Despite our vigorous advocacy and the advocacy of others around the country, some of these goals seem unattainable. To change the status quo, I decided to focus my presidency
on the goal of encouraging our members to become leaders in the legal community. When women become decision makers, they can cause real change in the workplace and in society.

 

When I began my presidency, I focused on programming geared toward providing our members with the skills needed to become leaders in their places of work. With respect to
our civil practitioners, this included tools and strategies for developing a book of business. To inspire our members, we called on various leaders in our community to provide guidance on how to become leaders, including San Diego City Council President Georgette Gomez, Carlsbad City Councilwoman Priya Bhat-Patel, San Diego County Superior Court Presiding Judge Lorna Alksne, and founding mother, Justice Judith McConnell. Recognizing that some women are unable to take the traditional paths into leadership positions, we turned to the inspirational journeys of attorneys Connie Broussard, Andrea Guerrero, and Heather Riley who explained how they undertook different paths to become leaders and stressed the importance of understanding that having set-backs do not define your success. In addition, some of our committees put on programming focused on developing trial skills and a book of business.


I am also proud of Lawyers Club’s other accomplishments. At our annual Fund for Justice fundraiser, due to the generosity of our members we raised over $28,000 thereby continuing
our support of women in our community. Our Human Trafficking Collaborative was internationally recognized and met with nine officials from Bahrain to advise on strategies to curb human trafficking and provide support to survivors. As we began the new year, our newsletter team created a stylish, updated design for the newsletter.


In early March, we were all excited to participate in another successful Red, White and Brew event. Little did we know that the event would be our last in-person event of this year. As you are aware, the events of the global pandemic precluded us from providing further in-person programming. Indeed, as a result of the pandemic, our society and way of life has changed. While initially our concerns were focused on the practicalities of the restrictions (like not having enough toilet paper), we soon understood that the greatest tragedy has been the significant losses of so many lives.


In addition, the pandemic has highlighted the inequalities and challenges that continue to exist for women: incidents of domestic violence against women have increased, some state governments have placed substantial barriers to reproductive rights, and some women working from home have simultaneously been tasked with childcare. As a consequence, our mission for Lawyers Club has not changed and our mission is more important than ever. As we continue to push for social policies that support women, we must remember not to pause during these difficult times. The best way to shape the river of social change is to continue to use our tools of advocacy, especially when society gets off track. Together, as so many women before us, I know we will continue to carry the torch of the women’s movement to ensure that we protect the hard-fought gains from the backsliding of complacency and move our society towards finally achieving equality for all women.

 

-Article first published in LC News, June 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:  advocacy  book of buiness  equality  fund for justice  human trafficking  inequalities  leadership  leadership development  legislation  pandemic  politics  president  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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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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