By JESSICA A. MOORE
Your Voice Contributor
Women lawyers continue to face “battles” every day from work/life balance, arguing cases in court, addressing promotion and pay inequity that remains in the workplace, legal issues including reproductive rights, education reform, Title IX and much more. With all of these challenges, we are well-equipped for battle with organizations like the Women Lawyers Association of Jefferson County, one of many wonderful organizations for professional women in our community. The mission of the organization is “to provide a forum for women attorneys, to promote the legal profession in Jefferson County, and to offer information about the profession and public services to the community at large.”
This organization was founded in 1961 by 15 women attorneys, and we have a current membership of about 250 judges, attorneys and law students. Luncheon meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month, featuring speakers on current issues, legal topics, spotlight charities and promotion of WLA’s activities and community causes. Guests (men and women) are always welcome. WLA also sponsors an annual accredited Ethics CLE program, provides a major forum for judicial candidates and contributes donations to local causes and charities. WLA members represent the broad spectrum of legal practice from government and corporate attorneys to those in private practice and public interest work. We encourage men and women to join!
Women continue to advance in the legal profession, and we must remain cognizant of the women who worked so tirelessly to protect our rights and freedoms. Can you even imagine being denied the right to practice law? This was a reality faced by those women that paved the way for us. We need to take time to remember those that “went to battle” for us. Names that come to mind include Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Belva A. Lockwood – a trained attorney who was the first woman admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court – Sandra Day O’Connor, Anita Hill, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Lisabeth Hughes Abramson, Mary C. Noble and countless others. Notable for the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law, it is the only law school to have had three women serve as dean as an AALS Member law school. Barbara Lewis became the first female dean of the UofL law school (becoming dean when there were only five other law schools in the country with women deans), and she paved the way for two other female deans, Laura Rothstein (2000-2005) and Susan Duncan (L’91, present interim dean).
We currently have women serving on the judiciary at every level of the court system both locally and nationally. Three of the nine United States Supreme Court Justices are women, two of seven justices are women on the Supreme Court of Kentucky, six of 14 judges on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, five of 13 in Jefferson Circuit Court and 12 of the 17 district court judges.
“Young women today often have very little appreciation for the real battles that took place to get women where they are today in this country. I don’t know how much history young women today know about those battles.”
– Sandra Day O’Connor
The Women Lawyers Association provides an outlet for meaningful academic discourse on relevant topics both legal and otherwise. We discuss issues that women are uniquely situated to address. What are our present battles ladies? The Women Lawyers Association can provide a powerful network for discourse and support. We hope you will join us in 2013.
We invite everyone to join the Women Lawyers Association of Jefferson County for lunch on Thursday, April 11, with our featured speaker Mayor Greg Fischer. The Women Lawyers Association of Jefferson County meets at the Bristol Bar & Grille Downtown, 614 W. Main St. The buffet style luncheon begins at 11:45 a.m. and costs $16. Guests are always welcome. To make your reservation, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lea Hardwick at 502.614.3112 and leave a message with your name and telephone number, by noon, on Monday, April 8. Visit our website at www.wlajeffco.com or LIKE us on Facebook at “Women Lawyers Association of Jefferson County.”
Jessica A. Moore is an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney and secretary of the 2013 Women Lawyers Association. Moore graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a B.A. in journalism and English Literature. She successfully earned her J.D. from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 2006, and she was licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky that same year. She joined the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office in 2008. In the past, Moore has served as a staff attorney for Jefferson Family Court Judge Dolly Wisman Berry; as a law clerk for Judge Thomas B. Wine of the Kentucky Court of Appeals; as a law clerk for Justice William E. McAnulty of the Kentucky Supreme Court; and as a law clerk for Franklin and Hance, PSC. Among her awards, she has been named a Kentucky Colonel and a Distinguished Citizen.
Moore is a professional member of the Jefferson County Women Lawyers Association, the Louisville Bar Association, the Kentucky Bar Association and a 2009 graduate of the LBA Leadership Academy. In addition, Moore is a graduate of Leadership Louisville’s “Focus Louisville” 2011 class. Moore will be the CAO Liaison to the new Felony Mental Health Court that is being established in Judge Gibson’s division of Circuit Court. She is currently assigned to General Trial Division C.