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President's Message - July August 2019 - Lawyers Club of San Diego
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The Year Ahead

Elvira Cortez, Lawyers Club President 2019-2020
I am honored to serve as your Lawyers Club president for the 2019-2020 year. Given the notable achievements and distinguished careers of past presidents, I am humbled to have been chosen to continue the legacy of Lawyers Club. I encourage all members and non-members to join us this year as we focus on improving women’s representation in management positions of the private and public sectors of the legal profession.

This year commemorates 150 years since the first woman was admitted to practice law in the United States. While women have made monumental strides since 1869, advancement into the upper echelons of our profession continues to be out of reach for many women and true equity with men is, as of yet, seemingly unattainable. Notably, there have been only four women Supreme Court justices; only two of the last 85 U.S. Attorneys General were women; women constitute 35% of United States Attorneys and only 20% of equity partners in largest firms in the United States.

While Lawyers Club has made great strides towards equity in the legal profession and society for women during its 47 years of existence, it seems that women’s advancement in the legal profession has plateaued. Women are commonly told that they will advance professionally if they work hard and master their craft. However, for many women, hard work and legal mastery are not enough. Although women make up 51% of law students, women continue to remain significantly underrepresented in positions of authority in the both the private and public sectors.

With these concerning statistics in mind, I decided to focus my presidency on empowering women to change the paradigm. But how do we change 150 years of underrepresentation? When it comes to private law firms, the way for women to overcome the structural barriers and biases is to provide women with the skills and tools to develop a book of business. For attorneys practicing outside of a law firm, I seek to propel more women into leadership roles. Once women tip the scales of representation toward parity, we can directly address the structural inequities and unconscious bias that hinder the advancement of women in the legal profession. With more seats at the table, we can demand equal pay, meaningful work for female attorneys, healthy work-life balance, and fair paid family leave policies.

So, what concrete steps can we take together? First, renew your membership or become a member of Lawyers Club. This way you are able to attend the fantastic events that Lawyers Club sponsors for its members. At these events, members engage with one another and develop important professional networks, which can be a stepping stone to joining the Lawyers Club leadership.

more Calendar

8/1/2019
Co-Sponsored MCLE Event: POWER Act Panel

Lawyers Club of San Diego

402 West Broadway, Suite 1260
San Diego CA 92101
619-595-0650

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