It is a rewarding and exciting time to be a member of the Westchester Women's Bar Association ("WWBA") as we continue to attract, educate and inspire attorneys interested in advancing legal issues involving women and all those who are protected, fostered and nourished by women. Founded in 1974, the WWBA is one of the largest chapters of the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York ("WBASNY") and has more than 550 male and female members, working together through over 20 standing and 37 ad hoc committees to meet the never-ending challenges of our mission. The mission of the WWBA is to promote justice for all, regardless of sex; to advance the social, economic and legal status for women through the law; to expand opportunities for women and to raise the level of competence and integrity in the legal profession.
For our members who live and/or work in or around Westchester County, we provide excellent networking opportunities and support services, including a continuing series of seminars, lectures and educational events concerning vital and timely legal issues, many for CLE credit. We also make numerous contributions to our legal community in Westchester County, through our positive relationships with the bar, the judiciary and leaders in the Westchester County community, government and educational institutions.
The WWBA also provides our members with an influential statewide voice on legislative, judicial and public policy issues, through our parent organization, WBASNY, which is comprised of 18 additional local chapters located throughout New York State, with more than 4,000 members, including The Chief Judge of the State of New York, appellate and trial court judges on both the state and federal benches, prominent practitioners from all fields, educators and government leaders. All members of the WWBA automatically become members of WBASNY, giving WWBA members the added advantage of influencing issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and to women attorneys in particular.
Membership in the WWBA provides an invaluable opportunity for professional and social networking, as well as an invaluable resource for information and professional opportunities. Our members include partners and associates of firms of all sizes, sole practitioners, judges, in-house counsel, law professors, elected and appointed officials, public employees and law students, all of whom provide a support system to address the unique issues affecting women attorneys, as well as a highly-regarded base for legal advocacy. In addition to our website, our monthly Newsletter provides information about our organization, its activities and current legal news. Our Directory of WWBA members offers convenient methods to contact our members and is cross-referenced by areas of practice for easy access.
The WWBA is particularly active in the areas of family law and domestic violence. The US Department of Justice awarded a two-year grant for the WWBA to collaborate with the Northern Westchester Shelter (“NWS”) and Victims Assistance Services (“VAS”) to provide civil legal services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, called Survivors Law Project (“SLP”). Members of the WWBA provide varied services under SLP, including acting as mentors to the attorneys who work at NWS and VAS, and augmenting the work of staff attorneys by providing legal representation in difficult and/or special needs cases.
The New York State Conference of Bar Leaders (“NYSCBL”) selected the WWBA as the recipient of the 2003 Award of Merit for Local Bar Associations with between 500 members and 1,999 members for the significant contribution the WWBA has made to the legal profession and community through its involvement in the Moderate Means Panel of the Pace Law School Justice Center. The Moderate Means Panel provides much needed legal services on a sliding scale basis to people of moderate means in divorce actions and other family law matters.
Our Community Outreach projects include mentoring programs at Pace Law School, as well as working in local schools on many educational events, including Law Day and "Take Your Children To Work Day" programs. The WWBA is also active in judicial screening procedures and in the Westchester County judicial process. Our committees also work to assist new lawyers and parenting lawyers who are seeking to balance professional growth with raising families. Each year the WWBA proudly gives an annual "Family Friendly Employment Policy Award" to a firm or company in recogniton for providing a “family friendly” policy or opportunity to its employees.
The WWBA Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized by the members of the WWBA to foster a better understanding of the law, the legal profession and the role of women in society and the legal profession. Donations to the WWBA Foundation are tax-deductible and are used to fund scholarships to a variety of organizations, including New Rochelle High School and Pace Law School. A copy of the latest annual report may be obtained, upon request, from the WWBA Foundation or from the N.Y.S. Attorney General's Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, New York 10271.
If you are a member of the legal profession or a law student who works or lives in or around Westchester County, we strongly encourage you to join us! If you are seeking legal representation, please use our website to learn more about our members and our services.