NAWL INITIATIVES & ADVOCACY
EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT (ERA)
On March 6, 2020 the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) approved a resolution affirming NAWL’s steadfast support for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States Constitution.
The ERA states simply that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” Aiding in the passage of the ERA directly serves NAWL’s mission of providing leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocating for the equality of women under the law. More Information>>>
Over 150 years have passed since our civil war and the end of slavery, yet this country has yet to fulfill the hard-won promise of civil liberties and equality under the law. As a nation we must all come together and demand that those charged with enforcing our Constitution and laws be the standard bearers of that promise. Only when every American feels safe and that they have the same rights to live in dignity and equality will that promise be realized.
Heeding the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that it is “not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around,” NAWL renews our commitment to advocate for justice and equality for all. NAWL stands unified with other organizations supporting the principle of equal justice for all and the uniform application of the rule of law regardless of color, gender, race, religious or political affiliation. We call upon our leaders to ensure that states and localities fulfill the 14th Amendment’s guarantees of due process and equal protection for all. We call upon our members and the legal profession to join us and employ the knowledge, skills, and values we have as lawyers to implement strategies that will eradicate systemic racial injustice.
- NAWL Stands with NNABA and Calls for Inclusion of Native Americans in the Legal Profession
- NAWL's Statement and Call to Action in Response to the Murder of George Floyd
- NAWL Joins NAPABA in Denouncing Racism as We Focus on the Challenges of the Coronavirus
The Amicus Committee reviews requests for participation as amicus curiae in cases of interest to NAWL members. The Committee recommends appropriate cases to the NAWL President for consideration. The Committee reviews amicus briefs drafted by other organizations and considers the appropriateness of NAWL's signing on to the brief. In other cases, NAWL drafts its own amicus brief and sometimes solicits other organizations' joining NAWL in its amicus brief. Issues on which NAWL has provided amicus support includes enforcement of Title IX, employment discrimination, women's health, and domestic violence issues. More information>>
PAY EQUITY TASKFORCE
NAWL convened its Pay Equity Task Force to provide resources on the key issues that entities in the legal profession must consider as they work to identify and close any pay gaps that exist between their male and female attorneys.
NAWL Pay Gap Connection: Sources of the "Pay Gap" - originally published in Women Lawyers Journal VOL 104, NO 1 & 2 (2019).
- NAWL Pay Equity Taskforce Series: In Name Only. Are Some Law Firm Partners Actually Employees - originally published in Women Lawyers Journal VOL 103, NO 2 (2018).
ONE-THIRD BY 2020 CHALLENGE
On March 15, 2016, NAWL announced its One-Third by 2020 Challenge, calling for an increase in the representation of women across five different areas of the law. NAWL challenges the legal profession to meet the following goals by the year 2020:
• Fortune 1000 General Counsels are at least one-third women;
• Each class of new law firm equity partners is at least one-third women;
• Annual law firm lateral hires (both partners and associates) are at least one-third women;
• Law school Deans are at least one-third women; and
• Diverse female attorneys (including women of color and LBTQI attorneys) increase in every segment of the legal profession by at least one-third.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of 2015 the U.S. legal profession is 33% women, yet women are not represented at the top levels of practice in the same percentages.
• Women comprise only 18% of AmLaw 200 law firm equity partners. (NAWL’s Ninth Annual Survey onRetention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, October 2015.)
• Women comprise 24% of Fortune 500 General Counsel and 21.5% of the Fortune 1000. (Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 16th Annual General Counsel Survey, December 2015.)
• Women comprise 30% of deans of ABA accredited law schools. (“Female Deans Taking Charge,” National Law Journal, June 22, 2015.)
For the past 10 years, NAWL has tracked the professional progress of women in law firms and in this past year’s survey found the numbers to be virtually the same as they were a decade ago. This new challenge calls for dramatic change because if the pace is not quickened, women equity partners will not even reach the 2006 goal of 30% until the year 2181. (NAWL’s Ninth Annual Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, October 2015).