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    About NAWL

    The mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law. Since 1899, NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession, cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support, and collective success.


    Mark Your Calendar!
    2019 NAWL Event Schedule:

    April 30, 2019 | Denver Conference | Denver, CO
    July 17-18, 2019 | Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon | New York, NY
    November 7 - 8, 2019 | Fifteenth General Counsel Institute | New York, NY

    National Association of Women Lawyers Statement on the Nomination of Jessie Liu, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia

    The National Association of Women Lawyers (“NAWL”) has remained silent with respect to President Donald Trump’s consideration to nominate U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu to a senior position in the U.S. Department of Justice following criticism of her prior leadership position on the NAWL board. Now that U.S. Attorney Liu has withdrawn her name from consideration, it is appropriate that NAWL respond.

    Objections were raised to U.S. Attorney Liu’s past involvement with NAWL – a 120-year-old non-profit organization that has fought to ensure equal opportunity and advancement of women lawyers in the legal profession and gender equality under the law. These objections were misplaced, and were improperly used to derail U.S. Attorney Liu’s nomination. Non-profit organizations, such as NAWL, serve critical functions in this country and form a tapestry of community, uniting us in service to higher ideals. Those who seek to serve in government should be encouraged, not shamed, to serve in bar associations and other organizations that promote women in their chosen professions and advocate for equality under the law and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Chilling such service is a disservice to this nation and the freedoms we hold dear.

    NAWL’s members come from all walks of life and represent all points of view, all races, all religions, and all political affiliations. What binds our membership is a commitment to furthering women in the legal profession and gender equality, including protecting those rights reflected in our federal Constitution and in U.S. Supreme Court precedent. Those are the laws of this land and they ensure due process and equal protection to all women. U.S. attorneys at the Department of Justice swear an oath to uphold these same laws.

    The criticism leveled at NAWL based on its support of the laws of this land that protect women’s rights is an affront to the rule of law upon which this nation was founded. Retaliation against public servants for upholding the law is an abdication of the responsibility of the office and the oath our officials are required to take to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    As it has for over a century, NAWL remains committed to furthering the advancement of women in the legal profession and upholding the principles of equality and inclusion that ensure opportunity for all.

    NAWL Amends Statement of Qualification of Supreme Court Nominee Hon. Brett Kavanaugh

    Read the Statement>>

    National Association of Women Lawyers Joins with American Bar Association’s Call for Due Process and Full Investigation Of Allegations Raised Against U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Hon. Brett Kavanaugh

    The National Association of Women Lawyers joins in the American Bar Association’s call for due process and a full investigation into the allegations raised against Judge Kavanaugh before the Senate votes on his nomination. The lawyer members of the ABA and NAWL are colleagues and peers of Judge Kavanaugh and, as such, are uniquely qualified to weigh in on both his nomination and the integrity of the nomination process. Judge Kavanaugh’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday raised new questions on his veracity and whether he has the temperament to serve on our highest court. More importantly, the Committee’s decision to ignore precedent and not refer the allegations made against Judge Kavanaugh to the FBI for a full and objective investigation is a dereliction of its duty and is unfair to the nominee and those who have testified and submitted evidence before the Committee.  

    The credibility and legitimacy of this nomination and, by extension, our highest court is at stake.  Only due process can guarantee a fair outcome for the nominee and the citizens of this country.  We agree with the ABA that “[e]ach appointment to our nation's highest court (as with all others) is simply too important to rush to a vote.”

    NAWL Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Ensure Due Process in Vetting of Supreme Court Nominee Hon. Brett Kavanaugh

    The National Association of Women Lawyers applauds the Senate Judiciary Committee's commitment to due process by continuing its hearings on the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.  We, however, disagree with the Committee’s decision to ignore precedent and proceed with testimony related to events that have not been appropriately and objectively investigated by the FBI, which would benefit all involved and lend credibility to the Committee’s process and result.

    The Supreme Court is the highest court of our land and, since this nation's founding, its justices have served as the guardians of those rights guaranteed under our Constitution.  As citizens and women lawyers, we expect nothing less from each justice than that they bring to the bench an intellectual rigor, an unwavering commitment to the rule of law, and the highest ethical and moral character.  We trust that those who are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that Judge Kavanaugh meets those high ideals will give due consideration to and treat with equal respect all who appear, whether it is the nominee or other witnesses called to provide evidence and testify before the Senate.  The American people deserve nothing less from our elected representatives and from those who would seek to hold a lifetime appointment on our highest court.

    NAWL Submits Statement of Qualification of Supreme Court Nominee Hon. Brett Kavanaugh to Senate Judiciary Committee

    Read the Statement>>
    Learn more about the mission and procedures of the NAWL Committee for the Evaluation of Supreme Court Nominees>>

    NAWL Announces Its 2018-2019 Board of Directors

    Read More>>


    President's Message



    Sarretta C. McDonough
    NAWL President

    A Message From NAWL's 2018-2019 President

    I am honored to serve as NAWL’s President for the coming year.

    In 1899, the hurdles facing equality for women, much less equality for women lawyers in their chosen profession, must have looked insurmountable. Women could not vote; most women did not have access to education; those who had access had very confined and limited options for work—for most, the only real career option was marriage and motherhood. Beyond these practical limitations, society resisted change to traditional gender roles. Amazing then, that even in the face of these realities, a group of women lawyers refused to accept the status quo and had the vision and determination to effect change.

    Read More>>


    NAWL News

    Government warns law firms of consequences for diversity failuresMP McQueen writes in The National Law Journal, "A key federal contracting overseer put law firms on notice Wednesday, warning that the government is paying attention to the diversity gap in the legal industry.Craig Leen, the director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), t
    Is your pregnancy app sharing data with your boss?Drew Harwell writes in the Washington Post, "Tracking health data has gotten intimate. Thanks to the booming femtech industry, there are now dozens of fertility and pregnancy apps like Ovia, which give moms-to-be an easy way to input daily health updates during their pregnancy journeys. The apps, fe
    I'm $10,000 richer thanks to my ‘Whisper Network’Charlotte Cowels writes in Glamour, "The group text did not begin with grand ambitions. It was a mundane back-and-forth about where we, five women who’d once worked at the same magazine together, should meet for drinks. Over time the text chain has become more than just a convenient platform to goss
    Lloyd's of London unveils lifetime bans for sexual harassmentGavin Finch writes in Bloomberg, "Lloyd’s of London outlined a plan to address allegations of sexual harassment by setting up an independent whistleblower hotline and laying out potential lifetime bans for inappropriate behavior.The proposals were agreed upon at an emergency meeting of industry
    New take on 'Mansfield Rule' sets In-House diversity goalsMeghan Tribe writes in The National Law Journal, "The Mansfield Rule isn’t just for law firms anymore.On Thursday the Diversity Lab, an incubator focused on diversity and inclusion issues in the legal industry, launched the newest iteration of its campaign to boost diversity in legal departments a
    Duane Morris grows executive committee, adding west coast partnerLizzy McLellan writes in The National Law Journal, "Duane Morris has added a sixth partner to its executive committee, which usually consists of five members, in an effort to bring greater geographic representation and gender diversity into the firm’s top leadership ranks.Partner Dominica Anderson




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    A NAWL membership offers you the opportunity to join a diverse group of professionals and enjoy a variety of benefits, including:

    - Access to career development and CLE programing
    - Opportunities to build a national network
    - Leadership Development
    - Advocacy
    - Community Outreach
    - Continued Learning

    NAWL welcomes the individual attorneys, including private practice, corporate, academic, government and non-profit attorneys, and groups, including law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations.

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