Welcome to the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM)
We were founded in 1919 by five self-proclaimed “ardent Portias of Detroit.” Today, our organization has grown extensively in size and purpose. Our membership includes attorneys, judges and law students. We have become a statewide organization with seven regional chapters, providing wide-ranging networking and professional development opportunities for women lawyers. Our mission is to advance the interest of women members of the legal profession, promote improvements in the administration of justice, and promote equality and social justice for all people. Please take a look at our site, including our services, events, and member listings. We hope you like what you see and will join us. We look forward to meeting you!
Message from the President
This year is an exciting one for Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM) and I’m honored to be a part of it! We will be celebrating our 100th annual conference with a gala on April 27, 2018. Our theme is: Looking back. Moving forward. In recognition of our centennial celebration, the Michigan Bar Journal will be featuring WLAM in its March 2018 edition.
I had the privilege of helping organize our 99th annual meeting which took place on April 28, 2017. Our theme was: Going the Distance. Women lawyers have gone the distance since we were founded in 1919. It’s hard to believe that women still did not have the right to vote when our founders established WLAM. It was not until August 18, 1920 that the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution granted American women the right to vote. I remember that date because my daughter, who is now 10 years old, was born on August 18. For her there’s no question that women should have the right to vote, be a CEO, or run for President. Our organization has contributed to making those things possible. read more
Although we can see the finish line to equality, we are still not there yet. Our mission is to advance the interest of women members of the legal profession, promote improvements in the administration of justice, and promote equality and social justice for all people. In Michigan, women still earn only 74 cents for every dollar that a man earns. There are twice as many men in Michigan making over $100,000 than woman. In order to bring light to these pay discrepancies, Equal Pay Day is recognized annually. This year it was April 4th. The date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Over the past several years, WLAM has been one of several sponsors for Michigan Equal Pay Legislative Day which takes place in Lansing on or near Equal Pay Day to promote legislation to equal the playing field for all people in the workforce.
In 2014, our organization established a 5-year strategic plan. We are in the final stretch of reaching many of those goals set which include increasing membership, expanding diversity of members, working with other specialty bar associations, and creating partnerships. In order to reach our goals, WLAM will need to be inclusive. First, we need to build alliances with other organizations that have like missions, like we do with Equal Pay Day. There are numerous non-profit organizations, such as Zonta International, which empowers women through service and advocacy, that we can build alliances with to meet our mission of social justice for all. Second, we need to be more diverse in our organization as to age, race, national origin, experience, religion, and other factors. Finally, we need to include men to be part of the solution for equality.
If you are not already a member of Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, I hope you will consider joining us. Our membership consists of lawyers, judges, and law students both women and men. There are numerous benefits to being part of WLAM. When you first join, you will be paired with another WLAM member. We have regional chapters to better serve you locally with networking and professional, development, and leadership opportunities. Please contact us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to you joining us!
WLAM is dedicated to securing the rights of women in society, advancing the interests of women members of the legal profession, promoting improvements in the administration of justice, and promoting equality and social justice for all people. As advocates, we recognize that there is strength in numbers. Whether we are in a court room or on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol, WLAM’s voice is louder when we join together. Click here for details on WLAM’s advocacy efforts.