I have been a member of the Colorado Women’s Bar Association (CWBA) for a few years now. I am frequently asked why I, as a man, would be a member of the CWBA.
When I was a younger lawyer, I was fortunate to work in a firm with a very close friend who was an active the CWBA board member. I fondly remember her excitement about attending CWBA events, and what a priority the CWBA was for her. Her elation about the CWBA was so infectious that I wanted to join. I remember thinking that the CWBA would surely be off limits to me, a male, and never inquired.
Years later, I would find myself in leadership with the Colorado LGBT Bar Association. In that role, I began to see how the various diversity bar associations interacted with each other. As the diversity bars, including the CWBA, advocated for diversity and inclusivity initiatives in bar associations, on the bench, and in big law firms, I began to understand that diversity and inclusivity had to be a two-way street. I could work to bring diversity and inclusivity to my own bar association. But I was compelled to reflect on what I was doing to make sure that my community was represented in other bar associations. I also wanted to reflect on how I could learn from other diverse organizations. So I joined as many of the diversity bar associations as I could afford to do at the time.
It was definitely outside of my comfort zone to attend my first CWBA events and feel like the only man in a room full of female, rockstar lawyers. But the excitement and positive energy I felt from attending CWBA events was intoxicating. I frequently tell people that I leave CWBA events thinking, “We’re going to be ok in this world.” The women who participate in the CWBA have fought and overcome obstacles that I may never fully understand. Yet these same fighters are leading change in the legal profession on an unbelievable scale, all the while lifting each other up and encouraging each other to reach new heights. I am proud to be their ally and do what I can to encourage them to reach new heights as well.
It’s easy to ask people to include us. But what are we, as individuals, doing to foster diversity in our own lives? What are we doing to be cheerleaders for others and celebrate their successes? That is why I am a CWBA member.
Bryon M. Large
Bryon M. Large is an Assistant Regulation Counsel in the Trial Division at the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver and his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of New Mexico. Prior to joining the office, Bryon worked in private practice as an immigration attorney for over nine years.
Bryon serves on the Ethics Committee for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where he previously served five years on the Board of Governors. He is a past Chapter Chair of the Colorado Chapter of AILA, a past Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Colorado Bar Association, and is a Past President of the Colorado LGBT Bar Association, where he continues to serve on the Board. In 2014, Bryon was honored by the Colorado LGBT Bar Association as the Attorney of the Year. Bryon is also a member of several of Colorado’s diversity bar associations, including the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, where he serves on the Board, as well as the Colorado Women’s Bar Association.
Bryon is particularly proud to be the primary caretaker of his two teenage children.