Previous Items of Interest

Pay equity is necessary for all lawyers to thrive, say prominent women lawyers at ABA meeting

At a panel held during the 2013 ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, panelists explored the continuing gender pay gap.  Among the discussion points, the panel cited  that "over a woman’s lifetime, there can be a difference of $700,000 to $2 million in earnings depending on her education level." The panelists also agreed that while obvious discrimination for women in the workplace has diminished, implicit bias has remained as a barrier to equal pay.   As stated by panelist Christina M. Tchen, assistant to the president and chief of staff in the office of the First Lady Michelle Obama, “A lot of best practices for compensation and transparency are also issues that are not just good for women partners, they’re good for the health of the firm overall.” The ABA Gender Equity Task Force site has a link to the ABA's article, including links to other publications.

Insight Into Gender Diversity on the Bench and Bar

The Washington State Bar Association completed a 2012 Membership Study that took place between September 2011 and February 2012, and the results are now available here. The study captures significant data from the WSBA membership - including with regard to gender diversity in the legal profession  - with a goal of providing statistical evidence that will assist the WSBA in addressing and improving the bar in Washington. 

Additionally, the Washington State Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission has released a report of the Judicial Officers in Washington State in 2012.  As of the time of the report, women comprised 35% of the judicial officers in the state. 

We encourage all members to view these reports and share any thoughts you may have with the Board as we remain part of the ongoing conversation regarding these results.

Plugging the Leaky Pipeline Town Hall Discussion Series
"The Pay Gap"

ABA Commission on Women in the Profession’s has recently published a booklet called How to Negotiate for Increased Compensation. This link will take you to a pdf of the publication.

 WWL Adopts Official Diversity Policy

On April 10, 2013, the State Board of Washington Women Lawyers formally adopted an official diversity policy that applies to the entire organization at both the chapter and state levels. We are pleased to have adopted a policy that has always been the longstanding mission and practice of the organization: to foster diversity in the legal profession.

Read the full policy here.

First Time in State History for Female Majority, Chief Justice on Washington Supreme Court

OLYMPIA, WA - On Monday, January 14th, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. newly-elected Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud was sworn in as the newest Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, marking the first time in state history that the Court will have both a female majority and female Chief Justice. For a link to the full press release, please click here.

Of particular interest regarding our Supreme Court as well is Chief Justice Madsen's Priority Letter, which she released following her re-election this past November. In it, she discusses her priorities for the next four years, including on page three where she prioritizes, “Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion Within Our Court System.



Honoring our Legacy

WWL recently hosted an event  “Honoring our Legacy” which included a reception for past WWL presidents, current WWL board members and participants in the “Her Day in Court” film.  Both the original and updated versions of "Her Day in Court" were shown. We thank K&L Gates for generously donating the location and refreshments. See slideshow above. 

Women's Bar Outstanding Member Award 2013

The National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations (NCWBA) is pleased to announce that the winner of its 2013 Outstanding Member Program Award is Washington Women Lawyers for its Legacy Project. The Legacy Project, under the direction of Karrin Klotz, as a WWL VP, is a program established by Washington Women Lawyers (WWL) and designed to honor the heritage of women lawyers in our state by acknowledging and paying tribute to the contributions of founding members of WWL, as well as other pioneering women judges and attorneys in Washington

The Outstanding Member Program Award, first presented in 2008, recognizes innovative women’s bar programs and services which primarily provide training and other benefits for their members.

The purpose of the award is both to honor the work of the organization selected and to inspire other women’s bar groups to consider creating similar programs in their own associations and communities.

The award will be presented at a luncheon during the 2013 Women’s Bar Leadership Summit, Gender Equity-Moving the Bar Forward, to be held on Friday, August 9th at the historic City Club of San Francisco. Keynote speaker at the luncheon will be former US Representative Patricia Schroeder. WWL members are encouraged to attend the Summit.

WWL Member Jaime Hawk Awarded the 2013 Myra Bradwell Award

Please join WWL in extending a well-deserved congratulations to Jaime Hawk, a member of the Spokane Chapter, for being awarded the 2013 Myra Bradwell Award at a ceremony and reception in her honor at the Gonzaga Law School. For more than twenty years, the Myra Bradwell Award has been annually awarded to a Gonzaga Law alumnus who has made a difference in the lives of women and children, a task embodied by Ms. Hawk, given her long-standing dedication to women and children's rights. Prior to law school, Ms. Hawk worked as a domestic violence and sexual assault advocate. As a law student, she represented immigrant children with Columbia Legal Services and helped to draft a United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report in the Balkans with a focus on domestic violence and sex trafficking. Read more.

In Memory of the Honorable Judge Susan Agid

We would like to ask all WWL members to join us in remembering Judge Susan Agid, who died on January 28, 2013, following a battle with cancer.  As reported by the Seattle Times, “Intelligence, toughness and humor marked her career as a King County deputy prosecutor, a King County Superior Court judge and a member of the state Court of Appeals.”  Judge Agid is fondly remembered by those fortunate enough to practice with or before her, and is survived by her husband and her daughter. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that all donations go to the Seattle Humane Society or the Virginia Mason Foundation.  For a link to Judge Agid’s obituary, please click here .

Christensen O'Connor Johnson Kindness PLLC Announces the Election of Pam K. Jacobson to the Membership

COJK has announced that Pam Jacobson, Co-Vice President of Professional Development on the WWL State Board, has been elected to its membership.  Pam is a registered patent attorney with extensive experience litigating intellectual property disputes throughout the United States.  She also maintains an active patent prosecution docket and manages the intellectual property asset portfolios of her clients. Please join WWL in extending her a well-deserved congratulations!


Congratulations to Former WWL President Jessica Skelton

Pacifica Law Group has announced that, effective January 1, 2013, Jessica Skelton will become a partner of the firm. As the firm announced, Jessica was promoted as a reflection of her "significant contributions to firm clients, the community and the practice of law." Jessica has served five years on the WWL State Board, including serving as President in 2010-11. Please join WWL in extending her a well-deserved congratulations!

In Memory of the Honorable Judge Betty Fletcher

We would like to ask all WWL members to join with us in remembering Judge Betty Fletcher, who died on October 22, 2012. Judge Fletcher was a pioneer and an inspiration to all of us. Even though she graduated first in her law class at UW Law School in 1956 she was not able to immediately find a position in a local firm, or even obtain interviews with many firms, because she was a female graduate. She finally obtained a position at Preston Gates and Ellis when she interviewed with a partner who had been first hired by Betty Fletcher’s father, also a lawyer, as her father’s firm’s first Jewish attorney, in order to “give him a chance”. The partner said he would return the favor and hire Betty Fletcher. She subsequently became the first woman to become a partner at a major Pacific Northwest law firm when she ultimately became a partner at Preston. Her clients included former Supreme Court Associate Justice William O. Douglas. From 1972-1973 she served as the first female president of the King County Bar Association.

In 1979 she became the third woman to be appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as the nominee of President Jimmy Carter. Judge Fletcher became renowned for her pragmatic, progressive, key opinions on civil rights, employment law, Indian law, water rights, and environmental law matters, most notably for her dissenting opinion in the case which upheld the “don’t ask don’t tell” rule for the military. In later years she agreed to take senior status in order that her son, William A. Fletcher, could be appointed to the Ninth Circuit bench, under pressure from a political caucus in the U.S. Senate. She subsequently continued to take on a full-time load, until the day of her death. Her family members report that she always attended family events that required travel with a small suitcase full of clothing and her personal effects and a large suitcase full of legal briefs. Judge Fletcher was a wonderful mentor to women attorneys and women law students, and we are all grateful for all she did for all of us over the years, both personally and in light of her legal decisions.

Karrin Klotz, Co-VP of the Legacy Project, was privileged to have been able to interview Judge Fletcher a year before she died, and did so in Judge Fletcher’s chambers, for over an hour, even though Judge Fletcher was at that time using a walker. When the interview was completed Judge Fletcher immediately resumed her work. WWL has archived that interview, and a clip from it appears in the recently updated film “Her Day in Court”.


WWL Featured in WSBA Bar News

An article discussing WWL's mission and continued relevance was published in WSBA Bar News by outgoing King County Chapter President Kristen Larson. Thanks to Kristen for a terrific article and for generating additional awareness and support for our wonderful organization.





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