President’s Message

Dear Members, supporters, colleagues, and friends,

I am honored to serve as the President of the Women’s Bar Association of Illinois for the 2020-2021 Bar Year. It is humbling to join the list of impressive women who have led this organization over its 106-year history. The WBAI is one of the oldest and largest bar associations in the State of Illinois, and it is the only bar association specifically dedicated to promoting, fostering, protecting, and advancing the interests and welfare of women and women lawyers.

The theme for this Bar Year is “Equality Through Opportunity.” Opportunity is essential to achieving equality for women in the law because we are here, we are ready and able to do the work, try the cases, counsel clients, negotiate with the other side, but first we need the opportunity to do so. I along with the WBAI Board of Directors look forward to creating opportunities through legislative action, educational programming, networking events, community service initiatives, and collaboration with other bar associations in furtherance of the WBAI’s important mission.

In particular, through our legislative committee, we will work to support legislation that ensures equality in compensation, support for families and working mothers. Through our membership committee, we aim to provide opportunities for members to make connections, find jobs, secure clients, and expand their networks. In addition, we strive to educate our members through women-focused CLE programming. We plan to develop and expand our mentorship program to provide guidance to young lawyers who are just starting out in their careers and to our seasoned members who are contemplating a move within the profession. We aim to give back to our community through women-focused service events and fundraising efforts. And, we intend to provide leadership opportunities to members of our legal community through service on one of our various committees.

For those new to the Association and looking to get involved, I encourage you to attend one of our events and to join one of our committees. Reach out to me or to one of our committee chairs and we will be sure to find one that best fits your interests. You can find our events calendar here and our list of committees and committee leaders here.

An association is only as strong as the members it serves and we look forward to working for and with all of you on a great year ahead.

With gratitude,

Kathryn Conway
President ’20-‘21, Women’s Bar Association of Illinois

“An association is only as strong as the members it serves and we look forward to working for and with all of you on a great year ahead.”