In the early 1970's there were few women lawyers in San Diego County. However, San Diego was the focus of the movement in California to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which was facing opposition from the President Pro Tem of the California State Senate. A survey of San Diego's twenty-four practicing women lawyers was conducted and the respondents overwhelmingly voted to form a new bar association to provide a vehicle to address issues of gender discrimination in the law, in the profession, and in the community.
The name Lawyers Club was selected to indicate this was not a club exclusive to women but was open to all who were committed to fair treatment under the law regardless of sex. The name was the brainchild of Hugh Friedman, who later became County Bar President. In July 1972, Judith McConnell, Sharron Voorhees, Christine Pate, Lynn Schenk and Louise De Carl Malugen were elected as Directors of the association.
Over the years, Lawyers Club has become a vital, constructive and respected force within San Diego County. Lawyers Club's strength and credibility comes from the high quality of its members. Our membership includes Federal and State judges, U.S. Attorneys, the City Attorney of San Diego and many managing partners of San Diego's top law firms. Lawyers Club is also proud of its numerous business and student members.
Our membership's accomplishments include the appointment of Justice Judith McConnell, the association's first president, originally to the San Diego Municipal Court in 1978, the Superior Court bench in 1980 and the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District in 2001. In 1985, Melinda Lasater, a long-time member, became the first woman president of the San Diego County Bar Association in its almost 100-year history. Then, in 1992, Lynn Schenk became the first woman to represent San Diego in the United States House of Representatives. She later served as Chief of Staff to California Governor Gray Davis.
Lawyers Club acknowledges that these milestones could not have been achieved without the growing numbers of women and men and businesses who have joined or participated in our activities.
The Lawyers Club of San Diego seeks to advance the status of women in the law and in society. Lawyers Club is a specialty bar association, comprised of female and male attorneys, judges, law students and others in the San Diego community who share our interests and goals.