I just returned from the Midwinter Meeting for the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL) where I am a member of the Board of Directors. During the meeting I felt so much excitement about the steps that were being taken to build a strong community for women criminal lawyers. It was thrilling, and there was a collective sense that real change was taking place. So I want to share some of that exciting energy with you and tell you what this important organization is doing to support women.
NACDL is partnering with women from all across the county to hold events for women in criminal defense. There were events in November 2012 in Miami sponsored by my firm Marrero Bozorgi, and in Boston sponsored by Tracy Miner’s firm Mintz Levin. In January 2013 there was an event in Philadelphia sponsored by Ellen Brotman’s firm, Montgomery McCracken. Finally there is a New York City event being organized for May 2013 in connection with the Spring Meeting for both local and national women. Each of these events had anywhere from 35 to 45 women who attended. When the New York event is finalized I will post the details. Spread the word because this is going to be an important event that you shouldn’t miss.
Additionally, in June 2013, NACDL will be publishing a women’s edition of The Champion Magazine that I am helping organize, focused on women criminal defense lawyers, which will contain columns and features exclusively authored by women. I have been talking to women all over the country about participating in this focused issue and the enthusiasm is overwhelming. Women are so eager to share their knowledge, successes, and love for our field. I can’t tell you how many women expressed that it’s about time, it’s long overdue, and how much things have changed.
I am working with NACDL and other women’s groups to help build a stronger community for women. The overwhelming sense from the women that I talk to is that momentum is building. The energy and excitement is infectious. And the reason that women are so excited is because the women’s Champion edition, as I hope this blog does as well, gives a strong voice to our success and contribution, where before there was silence. That is not to say that steps have never been taken before to promote or acknowledge women in this field, but they have been more restrained. What is changing is that collectively our voice is much louder than it has ever been.