WLAM Supports Amicus Curiae Brief
The Women Lawyers Association of Michigan is an organization comprising members of the legal profession in the state of Michigan. As an organization dedicated to promoting improvements in the administration of justice and to promoting equality and social justice for all people, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan believes that excluding prisoners from the protections of our state civil rights law fails to promote equality and social justice for all people.
Date: February 12, 2016
Amicus Curiae Brief
WLAM Supports Diversity in the Michigan Judiciary
Date: April 21, 2015
Letter to Governor Snyder re: Diversity in the Michigan Judiciary
WLAM Supports Equal Pay Day
Date: April 14, 2015
For several years now, women’s organizations in Michigan, like ours, have been working toward legislation to accomplish the following:
• Strengthen the Elliot Larson Act to include equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender;
• Increase penalties for wage discrimination based on gender;
• Establish pay equity committee;
• Allow women, and other employees, to compare their wages to know if they are being equally paid.
WLAM Supports Marriage Equality
The National Women’s Law Center asked for and received WLAM’s support for their amicus briefs advocating for marriage equality. From the NWLC: “Our brief explores the close relationship between sex discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination, and in particular the key role played by gender stereotypes in both types of discrimination.” WLAM has supported the NWLC’s Amicus Briefs in 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit, 6th Circuit, and 9th Circuit Courts. View Brief (6th Circuit, includes Michigan.)
Update: On October 6th, the US Supreme Court refused, without explanation, to address the marriage equality question for the cases that were on appeal from the 4th, 7th and 10th Circuits (MI is part of the 6th circuit). Within hours after the Supreme Court denied review in these cases the 4th Circuit (Virginia) put its ruling into immediate effect and so did the 10th Circuit (Oklahoma and Utah). The 7th Circuit (Indiana and Wisconsin) has yet to act. This clears the way for same sex couples to wed in five more states and probably an additional six states in the coming weeks. If that happens, it will mean same-sex marriages would then be legal in 30 states and Washington D.C. Many observers are stating that the decision to let the appeals court rulings stand, without an explanation, will have an enormous practical effect on marriage equality.
WLAM Opposes Optional Membership in the State Bar of Michigan
Date: March 14, 2014
The Women Lawyers Association of Michigan (WLAM) opposes the proposed Senate Bill 743 that would make participation in the State Bar of Michigan – and the fees associated with membership – voluntary.
A mention of just a few of the State Bar’s projects and accomplishments evidence the profound effect the compulsory Bar program has on women and securing the legal rights of women throughout the State, both in and out of the legal community:
• The Access to Justice Campaign and the Pro Bono and Equal Access Initiatives offer civil legal aid to the poor through projects, programs and training to benefit underserved populations, focusing on issues such as race and ethnicity, gender, and disability.
• The State Bar increased signatories to the Michigan State Bar Pledge to Achieve Diversity and Inclusion in 2013 to 622 individuals, 258 law firms, 39 voluntary bar associations, 34 state bar sections and committees, 16 governmental and law-related entities, seven corporations, nine legal aid providers, and five law schools.
• The State Bar participated in a commission and workgroup to support the introduction and eventual passing of an overwhelmingly supported bill to create a permanent Michigan Indigent Defense Commission in 2013.
• The Standing Committee on Domestic Violence offered free training on the Introduction to Domestic Violence Family Law, and formed a workgroup to examine and address issues with conciliation, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution methods occurring in the Friend of the Court in cases involving domestic violence.
• The Public Policy Program reviewed a combined 81 bills and court rules in 2013 and led the advocacy on approximately 69 formal legislative and court rule positions; these included but were not limited to: the Social Welfare Act, Court procedures on Evictions, the Eligible Domestic Relations Order Act, Joint Custody and Grandparenting Time under the Child Custody Act of 1970, the Support and Parenting Time Enforcement Act, the Adult Foster Care Facility Licensing Act, and Adoption, Supervisory Periods, Responsible Father Registry, and Human Trafficking under the Probate Code of 1939.
It is our belief that the needs and legal rights of women throughout Michigan will be compromised without a compulsory Bar and the resulting infrastructure and resources the State Bar provides to promote the legal needs of all. Therefore, WLAM respectfully requests that you oppose SB 743.