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Advocacy Section Committees
Advocacy & Reproductive Justice Committee
The Advocacy & Reproductive Justice Committee vets legal issues (including proposed legislation, voter referendums, and appellate cases) through the lens of the Lawyers Club mission to promote the status of women in law and society, and advises the Board on whether or not to take a position on an issue. If the Board approves a position on an issue, the Advocacy Committee is then responsible for carrying out efforts to demonstrate its support, opposition, or constructive criticism thereof.
The A&RJ Committee promotes Lawyers Club's commitment to reproductive justice and gender equality. The Committee seeks to achieve these goals by monitoring legislative developments, liaising with the Coalition for Reproductive Choice, advocating for the advancement of women, and providing information and opportunities to Lawyers Club members for activism and community involvement on issues related to reproductive justice and gender equality.
Amicus Briefs Committee
The Amicus Briefs Committee reviews requests for amicus participation by Lawyers Club as directed by the Board of Directors, and provides recommendations to the board following review. Procedures adhere to the policy, Amicus Curiae Briefs, approved by the Board on March 8, 2016.
Co-chairs: Catherine Asuncion, Shelley Carder
Diverse Women's Committee
The Diverse Women's Committee works to identify, confront, and address particular challenges that women of color, as double minorities, continue to face in the legal profession and society, particularly in San Diego. The committee plans and executes the Spring Women of Color Reception and serves at the liaison to San Diego County Bar Association’s Ethnic Relations and Diversity Committee.
Gender Equity Committee
The Gender Equity Committee addresses issues relating to gender bias and barriers to the advancement of women in the San Diego legal community. The Committee presents the Annual Equal Pay Day event to highlight and address pay equity, and promotes gender equality through programming and supporting similar efforts in the greater San Diego community. In addition, the committee explores the prevalence of sexual harassment in the legal community and seeks to create solutions that prevent women from leaving the practice of law.
Co-chairs: Lauren Bushman, Brenda Lopez
The LGBTQ+ Committee seeks to identify, acknowledge and address the unique challenges faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer members of the community, specifically women in the legal community, by identifying opportunities for Lawyers Club to enhance its relationship with LGBTQ+ and allied legal professionals, provide resources to the LGBTQ+ community, plan and execute LGBTQ+ focused programs, and insert LGBTQ+ perspectives into all aspects of its programs.
Co-chairs: Kaitlin Preston, Melissa Johnson
SDCBA Diversity & Inclusion Liaison
Community Relations Section Committees
Awards & SDCBA Endorsements Committee
The Awards & SDCBA Endorsements Committee facilitates the recognition of Lawyers Club and Lawyers Club members by researching potential awards, awardees, and recommending to the Board nominees that have made important contributions to the community, the legal profession, or who otherwise best fit the specific award criteria. Through these awards, we honor those who support Lawyers Club’s mission to advance the status of women in the law and society. The Awards & SDCBA Endorsements Committee is to consider and select applicants for endorsement by Lawyers Club to the San Diego County Bar Association Board of Directors. The Committee gives great weight to past and present participation and involvement in Lawyers Club and community activities that demonstrate a commitment to diversity and advancing the status of women in the law and society.
Co-chairs: Nicole Heeder, Angela Law, Melissa Owens
Bench Bar Committee
The Bench/Bar Committee plans judicial receptions, the Bench/Bar Luncheon, and other events, and engages members of the judiciary to participate in meetings and events.
Co-chairs: Sherry Thompson-Taylor, Stephanie Chow
Community Services Committee
The Community Services Committee works to improve the lives and status of women and children in San Diego through volunteer and pro bono opportunities. Community Services Committee oversees Lawyers Club's educational partnership with Central Elementary School, including twice a year Read-Ins where volunteers read, interact, promote literacy and serve as role models for Central Elementary students. Community Services Committee coordinates collaboration with on Casa Cornelia immigration assistance training, with the National Conflict Resolution Center, and for opportunities to interact with Fund For Justice recipients.
Co-chairs: Anna Romanskaya, Stacey Kartchner
Communications & Marketing Committee
The Communications & Marketing Team promotes past, present, and upcoming Lawyers Club events and initiatives, profiles members’ achievements, highlights important advances by women in the law and in the community, and raises awareness of current issues related to women’s advancement. It also strives to memorialize Lawyers Club’s accomplishments, track the organization's rich history, and inform members about the work done by other committees and their purposes. The team accomplishes this through publications such as the monthly newsletter, the Lawyers Club blog, through social media, and through press releases and press statements to the media. The team includes: Newsletter editor and Associate Editor, Articles Editor, About Us Coordinator, Member & Committee Profiles Coordinator, Press Liaison, Blog Editor, Social Media Coordinator, and 30 Years Ago Articles Coordinator.
Editor: Suzanne Pollack
Associate Editor: Lauren Bushman
Staff Articles Coordinator: Alina Litoshyk
About Us: Alexandra Valentine
Member Profile Coordinator: Alexandra Valentine
Press Liaison: Jodi Cleesattle
Blog Editor: Kristin Beattie
Social Media: Brigid Campo, Audrey Surridge
30 Years Ago Coordinator: Lizzette Herrera
Human Trafficking Collaborative
The Lawyers Club Human Trafficking Collaborative (HTC) (previously the Human Trafficking Task Force), is a Lawyers Club initiative aimed at raising awareness and addressing the overwhelming and growing problem of human trafficking in our region. HTC's primary areas of focus are: (1) community and legal education; (2) advocacy; and (3) survivor support.
Co-Chairs: Casey French, Colette Mahon
- Education Subcommittee
Co-Chairs: Carolyn Matzger, Monique Myers
- Advocacy Subcommittee
Co-chairs: Katrina Craven
- Community Subcommittee
Judicial Appointments Endorsement Committee
The purpose of the Judicial Appointments Endorsement Committee is to support, assist and endorse for state court judicial positions those judicial applicants who have affirmatively demonstrated the goals and objectives of Lawyers Club of San Diego.
Co-chairs: Jonah Toleno, Tracy Schimelfenig
Judicial Elections Endorsement Committee
The Judicial Elections Endorsement Committee (JEEC) is charged with conducting a confidential evaluation process of candidates seeking election to judicial office in San Diego County who seek Lawyers Club’s support in the election. The JEEC thoroughly evaluates the candidates and makes recommendations to the Lawyers Club Board of Directors, which votes on the final determination as to who receives the organization’s support. Lawyers Club uses the word "support,” rather than "endorse,” because the JEEC may recommend supporting any candidate who meets Lawyers Club’s criteria. Thus, the Committee may recommend and the Board may vote to give Lawyers Club’s support to one candidate, multiple candidates, or no candidates in any given race.
Co-Chairs: Corrie Klekowski, Kate Kowalewski
Workplace Equity & Civility Initiative
The Workplace Equity & Civility Initiative was born out of two separate, yet similar, movements; one from the office of City of San Diego Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry and now spearheaded by Lawyers Club of San Diego, and the other from the joint efforts of the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) and The San Diego Union Tribune. Now a collaborative effort, The Workplace Equity & Civility Initiative seeks to transform workplaces throughout San Diego county and beyond. The Workplace Equity & Civility Initiative asks all San Diego employers to adopt the commitment to partner with us and others as we strive for work environments in San Diego free of sexual harassment and gender discrimination.
Co-chairs: Jennifer Rubin, Danna Cotman
California Legislature Liaison: Kate Lee Carey
Centennial Celebration Coalition Liaison
The coalition meets monthly with meetings increasing as we draw near to August 26, 2020, the 100th Anniversary of a women's right to vote. LC is a member of the coalition so we can participate in any events but not necessarily take lead in coordinating.
Centennial Celebration Coalition Liaison: Megan Walker, Rebecca Zipp
Coalition for Reproductive Rights Liaison: Megan Walker & Rebecca Zipp
California Women Lawyers (CWL) Liaison
Lawyers Club is an “affiliate” of California Women Lawyers (CWL). CWL is the only statewide bar association for women in California. As an affiliate, LC appoints one Board member to serve on CWL’s Board of Directors. The CWL Board has over 30 members from all over the state of California, including regional and affiliate governors. CWL Board members join committees, help with membership recruitment, fundraising efforts, and event coordinating, submit newsletter articles and assist with evaluations of judicial candidates. CWL advocates and opposes certain legislation and participates in lobbying efforts in Sacramento. The CWL Legislative Committee is very active and the Governor has appointed a special liaison from CWL for assistance on legislation. In order to be a voting affiliate, 100 Lawyers Club members must belong to CWL. The CWL Liaison coordinates with WAC and the Amicas Committee to review opportunities to participate in amicus curiae briefs and potential legislation. Participation is predicated on the issues being directly relevant to Lawyers Club’s mission statement.
CWL Liaison: Shannon Finley
National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) Liaison
Lawyers Club is an institutional affiliate of National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) which seeks "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."
NAWL Liaison: Namita Thakker
National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations (NCWBA) Liaison
Lawyers Club is a member organization of NCWBA, which advocates for the equality of women in the legal profession and in society by mobilizing and uniting women’s bar associations to effect change in gender-based process and laws.
NCWBA Liaison: Namita Thakker
Finance & Fundraising Section Committees
Annual Dinner Committee
The Annual Dinner Committee plans and produces the Lawyers Club Annual Dinner, a gala event held annually to celebrate the achievements of Lawyers Club and its members, and honoring individuals and organizations that have made major contributions to Lawyers Club and its mission of advancing the status of women in the law and society.
Co-chairs: Shannon Finley, Audrey Surridge
Fund for Justice Committee
The Lawyers Club Fund for Justice makes charitable gifts in the name of Lawyers Club and its members to address, through education, research, funding and programming, social issues and specific problems in San Diego County, which relate to gender issues. The Fund for Justice Committee carefully vets grant applications, conducts on-site interviews and makes recommendations to the Lawyers Club Board of Directors regarding allocation of grant funding. The Committee also organizes the Annual Fund for Justice Holiday Luncheon and coordinates Lawyers Club's other fundraising activities for the Fund for Justice.
Co-chairs: Jennifer Chang, Rebecca Kanter, Renie Leakakos
Golf Tournament Committee
The Golf Tournament Committee plans and executes the Annual Golf Tournament. Proceeds from the Tournament, in part, benefit the Fund for Justice, the charitable arm of Lawyers Club. The Tournament also provides networking opportunities for participants and is open to golfers and non-golfers alike. The Committee solicits sponsorships and donations, promotes and markets the tournament, and helps host a successful event.
Co-chairs: Alejandra Rodriguez, Elaine Harwell, Jylan Megahed
Red, White & Brew Committee
The Red, White, and Brew Committee plans and produces the annual Red, White and Brew event, which in part benefits the Lawyers Club Fund for Justice, the charitable arm of Lawyers Club. The Committee solicits sponsorships and donations, promotes and markets the event, and helps host a successful event.
Co-chairs: Danica Brustkern, Meredith Montrose
The Sponsorship Committee is responsible for developing the Lawyers Club Sponsorship Program, liaising with current and potential sponsors, and ensuring sponsorship engagement and support. The Sponsorship Committee is comprised of the Lawyers Club President, Executive Director, Vice President of Finance and Fundraising, Vice President of Programming, Treasurer, and other Lawyers Club Board members.
Chair: Amanda Singer
50th Anniversary Committee
The 50th Anniversary Committee will plan and execute events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lawyers Club. The Committee will work with History & Archives Committee on research and development of archival and other materials to commemorate.
Co-Chairs: Hon. Olga Álvarez, Elvira Cortez, George Brewster
The Bradley Bunch is an informal support group of Lawyers Club of San Diego (LC). Its objective is to support social connections between active, long-term LC members who are no longer engaged primarily in the practice of law or administration of justice. Members are committed to providing mutual support, mentoring new as well as transitioning members of LC and advancing the mission of LC.
Chair: Tina Dyer
History, Bylaws & Policy Committee
The History, Bylaws & Policy Advisory Committee is tasked with creating, maintaining, and updating the Lawyers Club policy manual. Additionally, the Committee provides research and advice to the Lawyers Club Board of Directors and other Lawyers Club committees on issues regarding bylaws and policies, including proposed amendments and revisions of existing bylaws and policies. The History, Bylaws & Policy Committee seeks to locate and preserve historical documents relevant to the founding and mission of Lawyers Club, capture reflections and biographies of people who have been participants in the organization, and provide historical as well as current context to women’s struggles in the legal community and in the workplace. The Committee also provides articles of interest for Lawyers Club publications and participates in various Lawyers Club events.
Co-chairs: Sara Waller, Annie Smiddy
Law Student Outreach Committee
The Law Student Outreach Committee fosters relationships among students, lawyers, and judges to facilitate law student transition into the San Diego legal community. The Committee coordinates and oversees Lawyers Club’s outreach efforts to all San Diego’s law schools and encourages student involvement in Lawyers Club. This Committee meets regularly and all law students are encouraged to participate. In addition, the Law Student Outreach Committee reviews student applications for scholarships designated by the law schools, and recommends scholarship candidates to the Lawyers Club Board of Directors for approval, employing Lawyers Club’s mission as criteria.
Co-chairs: Julie Wolff, Christine Fitzgerald, Jaclyn Reinhart
Legal Community Outreach Committee
In coordination with the Sponsorship Committee and the Membership Development Committee, the Legal Community Outreach Committee builds membership and sponsorship by conducting informational sessions at law firms, and developing and institutionalizing the legal community outreach program.
Co-chairs: Kara Siegel, Teodora Purcell
Membership Development Committee
The purpose of the Membership Development Committee is to attract new members, as well as to retain and serve current membership. The Committee seeks to increase members’ involvement in Lawyers Club activities and to provide members with leadership and networking opportunities.
Co-chairs: Jonah Toleno, Mikhak Ghorban, Tristan Higgins
The North County Committee promotes and expands Lawyers Club's mission of advancing women in the law and society in North County. The Committee hosts networking and continuing legal education events such as the Annual Taste of North County, monthly committee meetings and quarterly brown/bag/mentorship lunches. The Committee also promotes Lawyers Club and its mission to the North County Bar Association and its members.
Co-chairs: Jennifer Oliver, Lori Westin
Professional Development Section Committees
Life & Law Committee
The Life & Law Committee hosts regular discussions and programs regarding the unique work/life management challenges faced by women in the legal profession and society. The Committee also encourages employers to hire and retain talented women in the legal profession by promoting progressive work/life management policies and practices.
Co-chairs: Chandra Moore, Ruth Hauswirth, Kimberly Miller
The Parenting Committee welcomes people of all genders and identities to join and address common challenges for working caretakers of children. The committee offers a supportive environment for parents, co-parents, guardians, and other caretakers to learn tools to remain on the professional track amidst the demands of parenthood and care taking. The committee is an ally to members feeling overwhelmed due to the friction caused by conflicting interests and responsibilities at home and at work. The committee will be an accessible forum for members seeking compassionate understanding and a community of other professionals raising children and will also provide educational programming to help parents address the challenge of raising children.
Co-chairs: Ana A. De Santiago, Daphne Delvaux
Professional Advancement Committee
The Professional Advancement Committee inspires and equips female lawyers to succeed at the highest levels of the legal profession through innovative training, networking, and professional growth opportunities. The Professional Advancement Committee cultivates Lawyers Club members as civic leaders, helps develop leadership skills and assists efforts to obtain leadership positions in the community. The Committee also organizes events with community leaders to share information about how to get appointed and elected to various leadership positions. The Committee publishes regular articles in the Lawyers Club newsletter highlighting open positions on local boards and commissions and on other topics related to leadership development.
Co-chairs: Kate Lee Carey, Jessica T. Sizemore, Winnie Weil
Trial Advocacy Task Force
Trial Advocacy Task Force will develop programs that serve to build trial skills for women to act as lead counsel and to provide courtroom skills and experience to enhance judicial applications by women.
Co-chairs: Deborah Cumba, Vivian Adame
MCLE Liaison with Director of Programming: Maggie Schroedter
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