Every woman lawyer faces obstacles in her career. Sometimes because we are unlucky. Sometimes because we are women. Sometimes just because the career path we’ve chosen is not easy. We women lawyers know this because we live this. But knowing a problem exists is not the same thing as solving a problem.
These obstacles have been on my mind quite a bit these last few months since a certain woman lawyer was not able to overcome all the obstacles in her path to win a certain election. What do we do—what can we do—after a profound professional setback? How do we regroup? And how do we help other women avoid the same result?
A big part of my answer to those questions is the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. As the past-president of the Coalition, I can attest to the enormous power of women lawyers working together for the advancement of all women seeking a real chance to succeed and lead in our profession.
As the Coalition continues to grow, our goal is to be a springboard for even more women attorneys to use so that success is more attainable for all of us. We want to offer a community where women attorneys can speak candidly and confidently without being second guessed or sidelined. If you miss out on an opportunity, if you lose something you know you should have won, the Coalition helps you find the next step forward. If you are missing a critical piece in your network, the Coalition helps you make that final connection. If you are being overlooked, the Coalition helps you get that extra skill or credential that will make the difference the next time. And if you just need someone else to agree with you that, yes, this is all really hard, well, yes, the Coalition definitely agrees. That’s why the Coalition exists.
The Coalition is where I’ve found many of my favorite people in our profession—some of the very best women, who lift me up, cheer me on, and have my back. As part of the Coalition, surrounded by these women, I’ve seen some of those big obstacles we all face start to shrink as we tackle them together.