WLG mourns RBG

Although she stood only 5’1″, we lost a giant. Strategic and skilled in advocacy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a stalwart advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, for instance in her work founding the Women’s Right Project at the ACLU and as only the second woman appointed to the Supreme Court (in 1993). She had an outsized impact on the law, on society and on women’s lives.

Through our tears for her passing, we rejoice in the knowledge that a new generation has taken up her banner, and that she reveled in the moniker they gave her, “The Notorious RBG”.

She famously once said “When will there be enough women on the court. My answer is: ‘When there are nine’ People are shocked. But there’s been nine men and nobody’s ever raised a question about that.” Not likely that we will see nine women on the Supreme Court soon, but we can still work toward it as she would have. And we should never take for granted the rights that she won for us.

Notorious RBG, rest in peace.

Women Partners Make 53% Less Than Men

Women Lawyers on Guard Action Network,

Did you know that women law firm partners in the Am Law 200 make 53% less than male partners?  Major Lindsey & Africa (MLA) surveys Am Law partners every other year (63,000+ partners were surveyed in 2018). In 2018 they began to look at the differences between male and female compensation in their study and found this significant gender gap.

MLA’s 2020 survey has been sent out.  If you are an equity or non-equity partner in an Am Law 200 law firm you should have received a link to the survey. It is extremely important that you compete this survey so that the facts on the gender pay gap can be revealed -hopefully leading to more transparency and action.

WLGAN is working on the issue of gender pay equity. For example, in an effort led by the National Women’s Law Center, we successfully lobbied the State of Maryland to pass a bill prohibiting employers from asking prospective employees about their prior salary.  (Asking prior salary perpetuates the gender pay gap when employers hire men and women of equivalent status and experience but whose prior compensation were not equivalent, and pay them the same or incrementally more than their respective previous salaries.)  Much more work needs to be done on this issue.

Thank you for you attention to this important survey by MLA.

 

Kamala Harris: WE HAVE HER BACK!

 

Women Lawyers on Guard Action Network (WLGAN) is galvanized at the historic selection of Senator Kamala Harris for Vice President!  Her selection is inspiring and a profoundly important milestone for all women, and especially women of color.  Senator Harris  will help unite and lead our country through these unprecedented times.

Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate from California in 2017.  She is the second African American women and first South Asian American to serve in the U.S. Senate.  She is a graduate of Howard University and the University of California Hastings College of Law and began her legal career as a district attorney and later the City Attorney of San Francisco. She was elected the Attorney General of California in 2010.  [See a summary of her impressive life and career HERE]

WLGAN joins with sister national organizations – National Women’s Law Center, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List, National Partnership for Women and Families, Supermajority, and TimesUp – in support of  Senator Harris, and particularly to challenge the media (and all of us) to avoid the destructive stereotypes about women and people of color as they (and we) talk about her candidacy.  HERE is a Washington Post article warning us to be ready for online misogyny.  And HERE is a powerful letter from these six women’s organizations addressed to the media, calling on them to be mindful of these stereotypes and expecting to see better from the press.

As you talk about Senator Kamala Harris with your family, friends and colleagues, remember that WE HAVE HER BACK!  And we hope you will as well.

 

 

What To Do With Your Outrage

WLG/WLGAN is all about turning outrage and anger into action.  In the wake of another outrageous killing of a Black man, George Floyd, and the violation of the constitutional rights of peaceful protestors, we urge you to “Do Something.”  Here are two resources:

First, HERE is a link to an Anti-Racist Resource Guide prepared by Victoria Alexander (her LinkedIn Page HERE). The guide is filled with ideas about broadening your understanding of, and ways to combat, racism.  We share this with the obvious caveats that many other worthwhile organizations, projects and resources exist, and we encourage you to find them; also that you should check out any organization you are unfamiliar with, if you are interested in donating.

Second, the American Constitution Society is connecting volunteer lawyers with organizations and chapters on the ground for efforts across the country. If you would like to volunteer, Ashley Erickson has asked that you please contact her directly at aerickson@acslaw.org and include “WLG/WLGAN Sent Us” in the subject line.

WLG signs onto critical abortion Supreme Court brief

WLG signed onto an amicus brief that has just been filed in the Supreme Court in the case of June Medical Services LLC v. Gee.  This is an exceedingly important reproductive rights case about a restrictive Louisiana anti-abortion law. It follows just three years on the heels of an identical Texas law already considered by the Supreme Court, and struck down as unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.  The only difference?  The composition of the Court, an extremely dangerous precedent (or should we say un-precedent) to set.

You can read the amicus brief, filed by the National Women’s Law Center, HERE<https://womenlawyersonguard.us15.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c2312611909237616b06efbcf&id=5fb6f7b4f1&e=99020be48c>.

You should also take a look at the “story” brief filed by 368 “legal professionals who have exercised their constitutional right to an abortion.”  It is exceptionally powerful, turning what is usually dry, legal arguments into vivid and compelling narratives. This brief is HERE <https://womenlawyersonguard.us15.list-manage.com/track/click?u=c2312611909237616b06efbcf&id=f5b78e9bfd&e=99020be48c>.