The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois (“WBAI”) is exceptionally strong in Chicago’s legal community and diverse. It is full of influential female leaders whose mission is to better the legal profession and their communities. It is a commonly misconstrued perception that you must be a licensed attorney to join the Women’s Bar Association. In fact, its members consist of not only attorneys, judges, but law students, and professionals from other legal fields.
The Association’s adheres strongly its mission and ideals:
- to strive to promote and foster, advance and protect the interests and welfare of women lawyers;
- to encourage a spirit of friendship and mutual helpfulness among its members;
- to aid in the enactment of legislation for the common good, and in the administration of justice; and
- to promote and protect the interests and rights of women.
Table of Contents
- Chicago Events with the Women’s Bar Association
- Wine, Appetizers and Networking at the Mojo Spa
- Membership with the Women’s Bar Association
- Continuing Legal Education Opportunities with WBAI
- Leadership Development and Career Growth
- Mentorship and Bridging the Gap
- The Women’s Bar Association – An Esteemed History
- WBAI – Giving Back and Serving the Chicago Community
- Get Involved with the Women’s Bar Association
Chicago Events with the Women’s Bar Association
WBAI has many successful events all year long. Many events are focused on networking opportunities or gaining knowledge in a specific area of law. I am chairing the next WBAI event which is at Mojo Spa in Wicker Park located at 1468 N. Milwaukee Avenue. All are welcome to enjoy a relaxing fun fall evening at the spa. Members are $25 per person and non-members are $35 per person. You can register online at www.wbai.org under their calendar page.
Wine, Appetizers and Networking at the Mojo Spa
Mojo Spa makes all natural homemade body care products. Some of Mojo’s most popular products are body scrubs, perfume oils, and yummy cupcake bath bombs. This networking event will be complete with wine & appetizers. Attendees can receive a mini manicure, sample Mojo’s products, and will leave with a special spa gift. This is the second annual event due to last year’s successful. This year we are adding to the event and making it extra festive since it is around Halloween time with a psychic / fortune teller who will be conducting palm readings for attendees.
Membership with the Women’s Bar Association
The WBAI offers many different types of memberships for those intersted in joining. Membership is available for:
- new bar admitees,
- law students,
- lifetime members,
- government attorneys, and
- non-profit attorneys.
General membership dues are $175.00 per year but law students and recent law school graduates are free. Membership allows you access to many free and substantially discounted events. There are several largely attended annual events that members look forward to every year, such as the annual Golf Outing, Judicial Reception, and Annual Dinner where new officers are sworn into their new respective positions. Numerous other events are held throughout the year around Chicago’s Loop, River North, and Chicago’s suburb areas. You can find details and register for the events on the WBAI’s online calendar.
Continuing Legal Education Opportunities with WBAI
If you are an attorney and in need of continuing legal education, you will also find many wonderful opportunities in different fields. If you decide to join, sign up to receive the WBAI’s newsletter quarterly and to participate on committees. It is the best way to begin making good use of your membership.
Leadership Development and Career Growth
Members gain so much within the WBAI. One of my favorite aspects is leadership. The more members put in, the more they get out of the organization. There is much room for career growth and endless opportunities for networking. Serving on a committee is the best way to begin your involvement. Attending meetings, leads to joining committees, which leads to getting to know the chairs of those committees or the top dogs as I like to say. Joining the board and/or becoming an officer allows for you to become a strong role model in Chicago’s legal community. Your continued commitment to serving the organization pays off in friendship and career opportunities. Many strong women have developed great skills within the organization and went on to become partners in their law firm or Judges.
Mentorship and Bridging the Gap
The WBAI continually strive to foster positive relationships between all of its members between students, attorneys, judges, etc. It focuses on bridging the gap and bringing people of different groups together. One of its main goals is providing resources for members such as informal or formal mentorship, helping attorneys practice law in new states, growing as a recent graduate of law school, and obtaining new employment opportunities.
The Women’s Bar Association – An Esteemed History
The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois is one of the oldest and largest bar associations in the state of Illinois. Established in 1914 by nine Chicago female attorney, the organization set itself as a model for other minority groups. Mentorship, friendship, and improving the legal profession were, and still are, main focuses of this 104-year-old organization. The WBAI was founded with the intent to promote the interests and welfare of female attorneys and to pass legislation of great value to better its community. These main focuses are still carried out today.
The WBAI even has it’s very own designated day! Mayor Daley officially announced that Friday March 5, 2004 would be “WBAI Day” in Chicago. This gathered approximately 400 members at the Chicago Historical Society to celebrate this great honor. This event commemorated past prestigious members, highlights its history, and aided in raising approximately $12,000.00.
The Women’s Bar Association of Illinois’ original charter was applied for by the following women: Alice C. Edgerton, Martha Elvert, Mary M. Epperson, Elizabeth L. Hoffman (Buchhalter), Eunice D. Martin, Ella Zoelzer, Mae L. Minock, Nettie Rothblum and Charlotte D. White. Its purpose was “to promulgate, promote, advance and protect the interests of women lawyers in the State of Illinois.” The plans for the organization were formulated at a meeting in Lincoln Park, and in the early days, its most active work was connected with an auxiliary organization called the Public Defenders League for Girls. The organization continually strives to honor these strong and admired women.
WBAI – Giving Back and Serving the Chicago Community
The WBAI is all about giving back its community. The organization is pride to offer many different service opportunities year round and strongly encourages its member to participate and give back.
Get Involved with the Women’s Bar Association
For more information be sure to check out the Women’s Bar Association website at http://wbaillinois.org/
Chicago Office located at Women’s Bar Association of Illinois, 321 S. Plymouth Court Chicago, IL 60604 or call at 312.341.8530.