Do you want to know what the CWBA Committees have been up to for the past two years? Read more to find out!
We like to call the CWBA membership committee the recruiting coordinator, welcome wagon, and social chair of the CWBA! Our goals are to make sure lawyers from across the state know about the CWBA, to help new members get engaged, and to provide fun networking opportunities.
The CWBA continues to be a growing and thriving organization at a time when professional associations are losing membership. The membership committee is dedicated to continuing the CWBA’s growth. A large membership makes us stronger and allows us to be a leader in the community. The more members we have, the more support we can give you through quality programming and formal and informal mentoring relationships. Our general feeling is the bigger the better!
That said, what makes the CWBA so special is the smaller, more intimate moments it facilitates. The longstanding friendship that grows out of working on a committee with someone. The conversation at an event that keeps you lingering. Getting the inside scoop on a job you’re applying for. Gaining confidence and leadership skills from helping plan a program or event. Size is important, yes, but we value quality over quantity.
The CWBA Membership Committee’s primary responsibility is engaging our membership and welcoming new members to our organization. We try to keep our pulse on the membership to make sure we are meeting our members needs and desires. It is our responsibility to make sure both new members are joining and lapsed members are renewing so that we hit our revenue goals. To meet these goals, we plan socials, roadshows, and attend fairs at CU, DU and the bar swearing-in ceremonies.
The Membership Committee had a great 2019-2020 year! Our event highlights included our Summer Social at Polsinelli, Fall Social at Bixby's Folly, Membership Roadshow at the Denver District Attorneys Office, and Winter Social at Chuy's in DTC.
We also attended Community Fairs at CU and DU, as well as the November 2019 Swearing-In Ceremony. We had a successful February 2020 phone bank campaign to reach lapsed members, which resulted in a total of 47 renewals. Our Ninja Subcommitee worked hard all year reaching out to new members. Our efforts have paid off and CWBA recently hit a major milestone: 1500 active members, the most the CWBA has ever had in our 43 year history!
The best way to maximize the value of your membership is to join one of our amazing committees. We encourage you to give one a shot and show up at a meeting. You can even shop around and try a few before deciding which one is best for you. The time-commitment can be as much or as little as you like.
The membership committee organizes four social events a year. If you ever feel hesitant about attending one of our gatherings, please know that we always have a “Friendly Faces” table. This provides an opportunity to meet a committee member and others who worry they will not know anyone there. We hope this will take away any pressure you might feel to “work the room.”
We also occasionally put on “Roadshow” events at individual law firms and organizations. We will come to you for an informal fireside chat about how the CWBA can best serve you and your female colleagues.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee
Co-Chairs Magistrate Melina Hernandez and Ruchi Kapoor report that in order to carry out CWBA’s core values of diversity and inclusion, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee was established in the Spring of 2019. The Committee works to foster a shared culture at the CWBA that promotes the goals of accepting, respecting and valuing differences that include attributes such as age, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, sexual identity, ability, language, family and economic circumstances, geography, and cultural background. Among other initiatives, the Committee works to ensure CWBA has cutting edge policies and procedures to help check blind spots and implicit biases, assists with recruiting and retention of diverse members, plans training for our Board and membership, and partners with other Committees and outside organizations to ensure we are inclusive in all aspects of our work.
The 2019-2020 term was the inaugural year for this committee, which started the year as the Ad Hoc Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and ended the year as the Bylaw-established Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Our first task was to meet with Patti Jarzobski and Mario Trimble of the CBA Diversity and Inclusivity Steering Committee. They both impressed upon us two things: 1) it is crucial to be deliberate about whom we select to create a DEI Action Plan, and 2) it is crucial to accept how long it will take to do it right (and how important it is to do this correctly, because stakes are high; inarticulate execution can set both DEI organizations and historically underrepresented individuals back).
We met quarterly but intend to hold meetings more frequently in the 2020-2021 year. We released the “3 Questions, 5 Minutes” D & I Survey and results, which included the following questions:
What do you believe are the barriers to making the CWBA more diverse and inclusive?
What do you believe are the most obvious steps the CWBA could take to become a more diverse and inclusive organization?
What have you always wanted the CWBA to do or stop doing to become more diverse and inclusive?
We synthesized the answers to develop a four-pillar approach to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the CWBA; 1) Visibility and Accessibility; 2) “Pipe Up”; 3) Cost; 4) Internal Policies and Procedures. After fine-tuning these goals and incorporating them into next year’s strategic plan, we have a lot to do and look forward to the future.
The CWBA Judicial Committee seeks to promote diversity on the bench all over the state of Colorado by conducting due diligence on finalists for every judicial opening in District Court, the Colorado Court of Appeals, and the Colorado Supreme Court. In 2018-2019, the Judicial Committee had a record year, completing approximately 22 rounds of due diligence. The passage of Senate Bill 19-043, which authorized 20 new district court judicial positions across the state, forecasted another busy year in 2019-2020. The 2019-2020 Co-chairs of the Judicial Committee—Alison Connaughty and Hetal Doshi— joined CWBA President Sarah Parady and the leaders of Colorado’s diversity bars in a meeting with the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel, Jacki Cooper Melmed in the fall of 2019. The purpose of the meeting was to hold an open discussion on how the CWBA, the diversity bars, and the governor’s office can partner to help change the judiciary of Colorado so it better reflects Colorado’s population.
The CWBA Judicial Committee also oversees the Annual Judicial Reception, which honors all members of the Colorado judiciary, as well as a specific judicial officer for her or his meaningful work. The Judicial Committee honored Court of Appeals Judge Terry Fox at the 2019 Judicial Reception. Judge Fox was appointed to the bench in 2010 after working as an associate for Holland & Hart LLP, as an attorney with both the Public Officials Unit and the Litigation Section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, and as an attorney at the United States Attorney’s Office. Judge Fox is a former Judicial Committee co-chair, a former member of the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association Board of Directors, and she is currently working in collaboration with the Center for Legal Inclusiveness to diversify the bench. The Judicial Committee chose Judge Emily Anderson, Chief Judge of Adams County District Court, as this year’s 2020 honoree. Her reception has been postponed due to coronavirus concerns, and she will be celebrated on a date yet to be determined.
Finally, CWBA President Sarah Parady oversaw an amendment to the CWBA Judicial Committee memo format, to make it more streamlined and tailored to its intended audience. Conducting due diligence on behalf of the CWBA continues to be an honor and a responsibility. Volunteers are assigned a finalist with every opening and charged with calling all the attorneys and judges listed on that finalist’s application. Volunteers question interviewees about a candidate’s legal ability, judicial temperament, reputation for fairness and integrity, and treatment of women and minorities. The feedback collected by volunteers is compiled in a confidential memorandum that is submitted to the governor’s office. The Judicial Committee is always looking for new volunteers to assist!
Professional Advancement Committee
The 2018-2019 Professional Advancement committee focused on creating more transparency into the nomination and vetting process for the CWBA’s Mary Lathrop Award. Procedures were implemented to ensure that all nominations are treated with equal care and weight and are considered against the same measurable attributes. In 2019-2020, the committee continued to create and implement procedures surrounding each and every nomination the committee submits for an award, including creating subcommittees for each award and establishing deadlines to allow for a workable timeline to consider each award nomination. Additionally, the Professional Advancement committee is issuing a call to action for all CWBA members (board members included) to nominate at least one other CWBA member for an award. The professional advancement of our members requires everyone’s assistance!
The incredible women who make up Colorado's legal community made the job of chairing CWBA's Professional Advancement Committee easy for 2019-2020 co-chairs Jessie Pellant and Hannah Seigel Proff. Our dedicated committee members nominated women for various awards on the national and local levels. A number of our nominees were chosen, including Shannon Stevenson of David Graham & Stubbs for the Ms. JD Honors Woman of Inspiration Award and Hetal Doshi for the Center for Legal Inclusiveness Young Professional Award.
Additionally, our committee had the pleasure of reviewing the nominations for the CWBA Mary Lathrop Award. We were taken aback by the volume of deserving candidates for the award, and we are thrilled that our committee chose to honor the venerable Velveta Golightly-Howell.
Our committee also created a new program, Cocktails for the C-Suite, a signature event designed to provide members of the CWBA an opportunity to network with some of the most successful women in Colorado's business community. The theme was to elevate, celebrate, and spark conversations between leaders in the legal and business community. The energy was palpable as we stood and watched the women in the room connecting. We hope these connections will result in career-long business relationships.
The most incredible part about being a CWBA board member is connecting with members of our committee. Once a month, our dedicated committee gathered for happy hour at a cozy wine bar downtown to brainstorm awards and plan events. The work our committee accomplished over the last year would not have been possible without their guidance, and hard work. As we move on to lead other committees, we are happy to know that the new Professional Advancement Co-Chairs will have the strength of our committee members moving forward!
The Mentorship Committee was a new committee for the CWBA in 2019 and manages CWBA LIFT!, which is a mentoring program developed in partnership with the Colorado Attorney Mentoring Program (CAMP). The committee also works with student liaisons at the University of Colorado and Denver University law schools to increase ties between women attorneys and law students, as well as help women transition from law school to practice. The Mentorship Committee supports a series of discussion gatherings on gender bias in the law; and engages in outreach to experienced attorneys, including legacy leaders and recently retired members, to encourage their continued participation in mentoring.
In January 2019, the LIFT! program kicked off with a "Rockstar Mentoring" event that allowed interested participants to engage with and learn from the following leaders in the community: Jessica Brown, Judge Alfred Harrell, Patricia Jarzobski, Faye Matsukage, Beth McCann, Judge Theresa Spahn, and Phil Weiser. The LIFT! Program had 24 mentor/mentee pairs for the 2019 class.
The 2019-2020 CWBA Ad Hoc Mentorship Committee oversaw two main areas in its first year: the second year of the LIFT! Mentorship Program and Law Student relationships. The LIFT! Mentorship Program was the primary focus and demanded the most effort throughout the year. Once the 2020 LIFT! Class was up and running in February and March 2020, the committee was able to tend to the relationships with law students to explore how best to nurture that new potential piece of membership, with more and more law students joining the CWBA.
Throughout the first half of the board year, the Mentorship Committee supported the LIFT! 2019 class and shepherded those mentorship pairs to their conclusion. The committee hosted a happy hour in September for the LIFT! Cohort to socialize amongst the mentorship pairs and to encourage participants to bring someone who might be interested in learning more about LIFT! 2020.
The committee devoted the rest of the fall to planning the 2nd Annual Rockstar and Speed Mentoring event, which took place in January 2020 with eight new Rockstar Mentors to kick off the LIFT! 2020 Class. Attendees loved the event, and some even found their mentor/mentee for the 2020 LIFT! session. With a record number of applications from mentees to participate in the LIFT! 2020 class, the committee got to work with CAMP in creating the mentor/mentee pairs. The 2020 class saw more than 50% growth over 2019! The committee continues to support the 2020 LIFT! Class by sending monthly emails and planning quarterly social events in small groups to maintain community amongst the pairs.
Law School Outreach Plan
In January 2020, the committee hosted Virginia Sargent, the CU Law student representative for the CWBA Board to understand how the CWBA can best support the growing number of law students joining the CWBA. The committee planned to coordinate a happy hour timed with CU’s Women in Law Day, however the COVID-19 crisis sidelined the event. Going forward, the committee will discuss how to support graduating students studying for the bar exam.
This committee is high-functioning, dedicated, and excited! It’s fun to be a part of because many hands make light work, and there are plenty of opportunities to get out of your comfort zone and take on a leadership role.
2018-2019 Programs Committee
The 2018-2019 Programs Committee was all about change. In order to excite and engage new members, as well as enthuse recurring members, the committee revamped its regular programs schedule. For example, “Tea & CLE” transformed into “Brew & CLE,” with a happy hour twist of inviting in-house counsel to discuss their companies’ foremost challenges and solutions. Our popular Holiday Party still provided good food and stimulating conversation, but also offered exciting door prizes this year thanks to many wonderful sponsors. The largest change to the Programs agenda came with “Storming the Board,” a program focused on the promotion of women in Colorado to corporate boards through networking, education and visibility. This program, which alternates with “Storming the Bench” and “Storming the Ballot,” was part of the “Storming” series that was awarded the Outstanding Member Program Award by the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations in 2019! Jo Lynne Whiting, Chair of “Boardbound” of the Women’s Leadership Foundation was instrumental in the program’s success. Finally, “Our Mom’s Lunch” was such a popular event that it outgrew its space! This past year, the luncheons were held at the Chop House with donated centerpieces, including an inspiring speech from Eve Wood entitled “You Are Enough!”
2019-2020 Programs Committee
The 2019-20 Programs Committee year started off like any other: a look ahead at the year’s events; discussing priorities with the CWBA President; some innovation here, some tradition there; and a directive to research new venues for the Holiday Party, but no rush. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans…
Our first event, Brew & CLE, found itself in competition with the Great American Beer Fest, so we had to pivot. The result was a wildly popular program on Salary Negotiation offered by a partner at Snell & Wilmer, who also donated event space at the Tabor Center. Our Holiday Party at Haddon Morgan & Foreman turned out to be the last CWBA event at their venerable mansion, which is slated to be sold in 2020, so we signed a contract for the incredible Chambers Grant Salon in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, where we will have room to grow for the foreseeable future.
Our next event was the award-winning Storming the Bench. Featuring an esteemed slate of judicial officers, and scores of eager future candidates for the bench, this year’s Storming program got rave reviews and was spearheaded by a large and highly motivated group of Programs Committee members, who contributed all of their talent and energy to making another great installment of the Storming series.
Our final event, the annual Moms’ Lunch, ended up not being the final event. Because of COVID-19 closures, we converted the program to an online gathering with breakout rooms serving as the age-group focused lunch tables. The event was so successful, that we added two further installments: one on self-care and designing a personal wellness plan, and the other a joyful family music session led by our very own Dani Smith.
We are so grateful to this year’s Committee, who really stepped up and drove the agenda forward for not four, but six, fabulous events. Hannah Westmont will continue on as Co-Chair, joined by Kate Russell, who is swapping positions with Almira Moronne, who will be joining the Legal Services Committee.
Public Policy Committee
2018-2019 Public Policy Committee
2018-2019 was a momentous year for the Public Policy Committee, which was highlighted by the passage of The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which was signed into law by Governor Polis on May 21, 2019. Building on the previous year’s momentum, the equal pay subcommittee, including Sarah Parady, Charlotte Sweeney, Rachel Ellis, Mary Jo Lowery, Laura Wolf, Sara Magelin, Jennifer Carty and Gina Glockner, tweaked the bill’s language and combined it with a ban on prior salary history inquiries to formulate a comprehensive piece of legislation. Senators Danielson and Patterson sponsored the bill in the Senate and Representatives Buckner and Gonzales-Guttierez championed the legislation in the House. The Public Policy Committee worked hard to build a broad and diverse coalition to support the bill and teamed up with Katica Roy, economist and found of Pipeline, who helped the team dive into the economics of why gender equity provides an opportunity for financial growth in Colorado (to the tune of $9.2 million dollars). The law goes into effect on January 1, 2021, so businesses have time to understand compliance issues.
In addition to the equal pay bill, the Public Policy Committee actively engaged and testified on a multitude of bills (21 to be exact), on topics ranging from sex trafficking, to identity documents for transgendered persons, as well as criminalizing unlawful electronic sexual contact.
Outside the legislative session, the committee organized and hosted another successful summer fundraiser screening of the RGB documentary with an inspirational panel of speakers; hosted approximately 20 legislators at its annual Legislative Breakfast; and trained members at its second annual pre-session Legislative 101 seminar and webcast. The committee also hosted “Show Me the Money: Raise a Glass for Pay Equity,” a wine tasting event held at woman-owned Wild Women Winery, held in conjunction with SameSide (an entertainment meets activism organization). The event raised funds to support Equal Pay efforts in the General Assembly, and resulted in over 100 emails in support of the legislation sent to elected officials.
2019-2020 Public Policy Committee
The CWBA Public Policy Committee (PPC) had another active year despite unprecedented session disruption caused by the COVID19 pandemic. The General Assembly suspended session on March 14th and will resume on May 25th. The focus of the remaining session will be on passing a constitutionally mandated budget. The PPC plans to continue closely tracking prioritized legislation and weigh in on any remaining legislation or new legislation that could impact the rights of women and children.
Before the session was suspended, the PPC provided active support and testimony on a number of bills. PPC members adamantly urged action in support of HB20-1158 Colorado Building Families Act, demanding increased access to fertility treatment coverage. Members participated in Advocacy Day at the Capitol, provided hearing testimony, and met with their legislators to urge an aye vote. A huge debt of gratitude is owed to our courageous members for sharing some of their most vulnerable struggles with fertility. And thanks to the wide-spread activism and support, the bill passed with flying colors!
The PPC also teamed up with our sister Bar Associations this year (Sam Cary Bar Association, Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, Colorado Bar Association, and the LGBT Bar Association) to provide testimony in support of SB20-083 Prohibit Courthouse Civil Arrest, which would prohibit federal authorities from conducting civil arrests at State courthouses. Presenting a unified front, each Bar Association had a member testify during legislative hearings. The bill passed and is set to be signed into law! Further, the PPC also provided member testimony in support of HB20-1048 Race Trait bill, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of one’s race including hair texture, hair type, or a protective hairstyle commonly or historically associated with race. This Bill was signed into law by Governor Polis!
Unfortunately, Paid Family Leave did not and will not pass in the Colorado Legislature this year. There was much debate over a private option versus a public option. While some believed COVID19 would reignite support for the measure, in the end stakeholder and sponsors couldn’t come to an agreement. On Friday, May 1, 2020, the paid family and medical leave sponsors, Reps Gray and Caraveo and Sens Winter and Moreno, announced that they did not have the necessary votes to successfully pass a state social insurance program and would not be introducing a bill when the legislature returns later this month. Instead, the sponsors are endorsing the ballot initiative on paid family and medical leave and asking their fellow legislators to do the same.
Three initiatives were approved for circulation and will require 124,000 signatures to be put onto the November ballot. Colorado Families First is sponsoring the bill, and the proposed program would start collecting fees in 2023 with the requirement to offer paid leave in 2024. Those interested in more information can access a more in depth overview here: https://www.cpr.org/2020/04/30/colorados-paid-leave-bill-is-dead-but-voters-may-still-decide/.
Below is the list of all the bills the PPC provided some level of support or opposition to prior to suspension of the session:
HB20-1158 Colorado Building Families Act
HB20-1316 Gestational & Genetic Surrogacy Agreements
HB20-1270 One Parent Consent to Behavioral health Services
HB20-1296 Statute of Limitations Civil Actions for Sexual Assault
HB20-1228 Rape Kit Evidence
SB20-083 Prohibit Courthouse Civil Arrest
HB20-1048 Race Trait Bill
HB20-1014 Misuse of Human Reproductive Material
HB20-1079 Juvenile Sex Offender Registry
HB20-XXX Concerning Strengthening Workers’ Protections Against Discriminatory Practices
HB20-1271 Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act
HB20-1273 Equality and Fairness in Youth Sports
HB20-1144 Parents “Bill of Rights”
Outside the legislative session, the committee collected data on the prevalence of sexual harassment perpetrated against its members perpetrated by other attorneys or legal professionals. This data was compiled and provided to the Colorado Supreme Court through member testimony to advocate for an amendment to the Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 8.4, that explicitly prohibits sexual harassment by attorneys (the Rule was subsequently amended!). The committee hosted many legislators at its annual Legislative Breakfast and worked with four of our remote chapters (El Paso, Larimer, Mountain, and Boulder) live streaming the breakfast event and hosting their own local chapter breakfasts with some local legislators in attendance. The PPC also trained its new members at the third annual pre-session Legislative 101 seminar and webcast.
The PPC’s amicus subcommittee was officially established. The subcommittee worked diligently to revise and augment official guidelines that (1) established the subcommittee’s mission and purpose and (2) updated procedures for requesting CWBA drafted amicus briefs or participation as amici. The CWBA signed on as amici in the following cases:
Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda (Title VII – sex discrimination includes sexual orientation)
R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. EEOC (Title VII – sex stereotyping includes transgender discrimination)
Bostock v. Clayton County, Geogia (Title VII – sex discrimination includes sexual orientation)
Hogsett v. Neale, 2019SC44 (urging revision of Lucero common-law marriage factors in light of realities of same-sex marriages pre-Obergefell w/ LGBT Bar Association)
Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania (in support of 3rd Circuit enjoining enforcement of Final Exemption Rules allowing “sincerely held moral belief” exemption to contraceptive coverage)
Pennsylvania v. Trump, et. al. (motion for summary judgment to permanently invalidate the Final Exemption Rules expanding exemption to contraceptive coverage)
Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru & St. James School v. Biel (consolidated) (opposing expansion of the “ministerial exception” to civil rights protections for employees)
June Medical Services L.L.C., et al. v. Gee (undue burden on abortion access in LA)
The Equal Pay Subcommittee is partnering with the Women’s Foundation of Colorado to design and present webinars concerning implementation of Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.
Legal Services Committee
The Legal Services Committee is dedicated to providing quality legal resources to low-income women and children. Its mission is to guide CWBA members towards pro bono opportunities that are useful and accessible to both the attorneys who donate their services, and to the people who need the services.
For the 2019-2020 year, Co-chairs Kate Russell and The Honorable Adam Espinosa were focusing primarily on access. They wanted to make sure that the Committee was the best pro bono conduit that it could possibly be. They tried to approach pro bono realistically, and recognize that, for many busy attorneys, it is simply not possible to take on a case for full representation. They continually hear, however, that these same busy attorneys would love to give an hour here or an hour there. Thus, they tried to promote as many of these “bite size” pro bono opportunities as possible. The Committee sponsors two Denver Legal Nights every year. This is a great opportunity for CWBA members to turn out in force and demonstrate the CWBA’s commitment to access to justice. The Committee encourages all members to attend these Legal Nights, even if they can’t attend one of CWBA's sponsored nights.
This year turned out to be an inspiring one for the Legal Services Committee. The co-chairs decided to put all of their efforts towards funneling CWBA members towards new pro bono opportunities. To that end, the Legal Services Committee held its first-ever pro bono fair in August of 2019. This was an exciting event for the co-chairs to get off the ground, and they are both proud of the work and organization that went into the event. Barring COVID-19 concerns, they hope that future Legal Services Committee co-chairs will continue with the event! This event, in particular, really solidified the Committee’s shift from a focus on creating pro bono opportunities to an emphasis on publicizing pro bono opportunities.
In addition to the pro-bono fair, the Legal Services Committee also expanded its relationship with both the Colorado Lawyers Committee and the Mi Casa Resource Center. The Committee sponsored two legal nights with the Lawyers Committee this year and CWBA attendance was strong at both nights. The Committee also sponsored a legal night with Mi Casa Resource Center and had plans to sponsor a second night before the COVID-19 crisis hit. We have continued to communicate with both organizations and hope that the Committee can help publicize the virtual legal nights these organizations are beginning to host.
Overall, the Committee had a great year. The co-chairs are proud of the work that has been done already and excited to see where the Committee goes next. They hope that the Legal Services Committee will invigorate CWBA membership to be the best advocates they can be!
The Publications Committee had a successful two years between 2018 and 2020! Along with publishing three editions of The Advocate in 2018-2019, we managed to launch our new blog, The 1891, back in May 2019. We also established a new structure to our CWBA publications for the 2019-2020 year. Our new communication strategy consists of replacing our quarterly The Advocate newsletter with a new Annual Report and keeping a fresh online presence for our membership through The 1891.
The Publications Committee is dedicated to creating an online community that gives women a voice and a platform to share opinions on issues important to them. The 1891 does just that. The blog is comprised of five columns that touch on different topics with articles in each column published on a monthly basis.
Under Pressure is meant to make us feel less alone and give us an opportunity to discuss the particular pressures of being a working female attorney. This can range from cold offices, to being a working mother, to low-ROI networking events, to productivity tips on how to relieve the pressures that we experience.
Tales from the Trenches looks more closely at gender inequities borne from being a woman in a male-dominated field. This column addresses issues such as dissecting microaggressions and unconscious biases along with show casing professional challenges and triumphs.
Outside the Law features women lawyers in action beyond the practice of law. This can range from athletic prowess to community involvement. This column is meant to help CWBA members connect on a different level.
Professional Spotlight encourages self-promotion and the promotion of others. This includes introducing new firms, displaying member’s achievements in the law, and highlighting women in different practices areas. This column strives to be inclusive of women diverse backgrounds and career sectors. This is a free marketing opportunity and we encourage you to either nominate yourself or someone else.
Case Law Update will look for and analyze cases that particularly affect women and women’s rights nationwide.
The Committee will also keep membership updated about events and committee activities through our Around the CWBA column that was just added in the Spring of 2020. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, an online community has become even more essential to making sure that CWBA members stay connected to one another. Over the last two months, the Publications Committee’s goal is to roll out our #IRL and Book Club features of The 1891. #IRL (#In Real Life) is a meeting function that lists activities that our members attend and allows them to invite other CWBA members to join them. The Book Club will list a book for members to read and then establish regular meetings and online discussion forums.
If you are interested in being a blog contributor or editor, contact the Publications Committee Co-chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, make sure that you aren’t missing out on all of our new content by subscribing as a member of the blog on the “Member Tab” and turning on your email notification settings to receive weekly updates. Don't forget to participate in the discussion by commenting on your fellow member's articles and sharing them on your own social media networks.
The CWBA Historian serves on the Executive Committee of the CWBA Board and is generally
tasked to maintain the history of the organization. June 1, 2019 marked the 40th anniversary of the filing of the CWBA’s Articles of Incorporation with the Colorado Secretary of State and official formation as a non-profit corporation.
To continue to make the CWBA’s history visible and commemorate the 40th Anniversary, an ad hoc History Committee was formed and developed many projects in the 2018-2019 year-
Legacy Leadership Roundtable: To kick off National Women’s History Month in March, the First Annual CWBA Legacy Leadership Roundtable event was held on February 25, 2019. This was a unique opportunity for members to get up close and personal with some of the CWBA’s most respected Legacy Leaders who are CWBA Past Presidents. The Legacy Leaders facilitated small roundtable conversations with members about various topics, including the Legacy Leader’s path to success, experience being a woman lawyer, and the impact of the CWBA on her career.
History Article: The National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations compiled a publication of the histories of the women’s bar associations across the country. The CWBA hired freelance writer, Jessica Volz, to draft an article of the CWBA’s history for inclusion in the publication.
Founding Mother Video: A video of founding mother, Mary Hoagland, was produced. We hope to produce a video each year of a founding mother or past president.
History Corner: A History Corner was created on the CWBA website to showcase and commemorate the historic achievements and milestones of the CWBA and its members. The committee is creating a timeline of the CWBA’s 40-year history, which will be posted on the History Corner.
Virtual Anniversary Time Capsule: To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the CWBA’s formation as a non-profit corporation on June 1, 2019, we created a virtual Anniversary Time Capsule to showcase the history of the CWBA.
40th Anniversary Logo: A logo commemorating the 40th anniversary of the CWBA’s formation as a non-profit was created.
History Blog Posts: The committee drafted history posts for the CWBA’s new blog, The 1891.
Archive: The committee inventoried and organized the CWBA’s existing archive so that historical materials can be easily accessed for use on the History Corner and to assist with marketing other current CWBA events and initiatives.
The year of 2019-2020 has been one of evolution and collaboration for the CWBA Historian and for the recently-formed Ad hoc History Committee. First, the role of the Historian continues to evolve as we both expand the way the Ad hoc History Committee can serve the CWBA and narrow-down the important role the Historian can play. Specifically, the Ad hoc Committee has come together this year to research CWBA members who have been trailblazers or have been involved in the suffrage movement, to continue to document important CWBA moments both historically and moving forward, and to brainstorm ideas for event planning and outreach. Building on the momentum of prior Historian, Miranda Hawkins, I have also been identifying ways the Historian can be the most effective in this role in terms of managing the Ad hoc Committee, seeking creative ways the Historian herself can have an impact beyond simply recording CWBA news or events, carrying on existing and new traditions, and pursuing opportunities to collaborate. Second, we worked closely with a number of other CWBA Committees as well as organizations outside of the CWBA to recognize the Centennial Anniversary of the Suffrage Movement/passage of the 19th Amendment and to continue the tradition of recognizing one of our Founding Mother’s each year. Finally, we have several events and projects still underway and look forward to continued collaboration and the passing of the torch to our next Historian, Megan Garnett.
Our 2018-2019 Convention Committee Co-Chairs Megan Garnett and Bethany Gorlin reported that the committee held a very successful Convention in May of 2019. The 2019 Convention broke a record for number of registrants, sponsorships, and fundraising totals over all prior conventions! This achievement was the result of the Convention Committee’s tireless work over the past year, from identifying fabulous presenters, coordinating a plethora of activities, to improving the quality of the swag bags. As many of you commented, this committee left no stone unturned!
Some highlights include a memorable and special Mary Lathrop Reception recognizing CWBA's very own, Alli Gerkman. Additionally, the programming left attendees inspired and ready to take on the next year armed with more information and lasting relationships. Saturday night karaoke was filled with dancing, singing, and everyone having a great time.
The 2019-2020 Convention Committee and CWBA leadership have had quite a job on their hands converting this year's programming to a virtual platform due to the COVID-19 crisis. The CWBA's 43rd Annual Convention has the typical slate of high quality, nationally renowned speakers and practitioners lined up on timely topics ranging from wellness and gender equality to the changing workplace. Sky's the Limit!
$75 for CWBA members | $90 for non-members
ALL SESSIONS ARE BEING RECORDED If you miss a session, you can view it later Registration may also be purchased separately for each individual session: $25 each for members, $40 for non-members
Chapters & Liaisons
CWBA Mountain Chapter
Bringing our Mountain Chapter members together was a strong focus this year, our 5th year as a chapter. In addition to many of our chapter members attending various CLE's and CWBA events, we did some fun things together! Our members worked together and solved Escape Room puzzles in the nick of time, hiked beautiful mountain trails, sipped brewery concoctions, skied together, and ate breakfast with our local House representative, Dylan Roberts while participating in the remote webcast for the Legislative Breakfast. Our chapter recently held a virtual mediation with Mandy Benedict of Conscious Transformation where we learned some centered breathing techniques followed by a virtual happy hour. We are fortunate that our local judges actively participate in our events and our members have developed our own "watercooler" for our members to run ideas and referrals by our Chapter members. The mountain chapter brings camaraderie despite geographic distance.
DU Women's Legal Coalition
This past academic year, DU Women’s Legal Coalition (“DUWLC”) hosted and participated in several exciting talks, events, and movements geared towards female empowerment. During the fall semester, DUWLC co-hosted a “This Shouldn’t be Happening Here: Unequal Pay at Sturm” campus event with the Public Interest Law Group. Female law professors who successfully fought the University for equal pay discussed how they were doing one year after settlement and employment lawyer, Charlotte Sweeney, informed students about Colorado’s new Equal Pay Law. In the winter, DUWLC participated in the “tampon tax” protest in collaboration with Fordham Law, Lola, and Period Equity. In protest of Colorado’s law that taxes menstrual products, DUWLC passed out tax refund forms students could mail to the state tax body.
For the spring semester, DUWLC began to collaborate with campus organizations including the National Lawyers Guild, American Civil Liberties Union, and DU Law Democrats to host Karen Middleton, Cobalt’s President, for a lunch presentation on reproductive rights. Karen planned to discuss Cobalt’s history, Colorado’s role in abortion decriminalization, and update the campus on attacks on abortion in the Colorado General Assembly. Given the COVID-19 public health emergency and university closures, DUWLC will work with Cobalt to reschedule this event for the upcoming academic year. In addition to these events, DUWLC has excitedly gained new student members and has encouraged students to attend CWBA events each month. DUWLC is looking forward to the upcoming academic year to further provide a bridge between students and the local legal community and host events that seek to educate the university community about the pertinent legal issues affecting women today.
Our At Large Board Members focus on working with the remote chapters to ensure they are included in our programming and initiatives, as well as giving the chapters a voice in the CWBA. The 2019-20 At Large members, Carime Lee and Jennifer Guzman, worked together to help restructure and revive the Boulder chapter alongside the Boulder Chapter Rep, Heather Kelly, and the Boulder County Bar Association. Carime and President, Sarah Parady, also worked closely to assist the Weld Chapter in re-establishing their membership base and restructuring their chapter. As a result of the joint efforts of the At Large Board Members and the Public Policy Committee, the CWBA was able to host local legislative breakfast where chapter members were able to meet and get one-on-one time with local legislators.