A Message From the President

This power of motivation is quite real, not to mention unwavering.

When we were founded in 1981, the legal profession in San Luis Obispo, statewide and throughout the United States presented a very different landscape for women.  Much of our extraordinary progress during the past 35 years is due to organizations like the WLA which are dedicated and steadfastly motivated to the advancement of women in our industry and the community at large...

As your 2016 President, my overall goal is to not only sustain this progress and these achievements, but build upon our collective motivation to create new programs and services that support your professional needs and our community.

This power of motivation is quite real, not to mention unwavering.  I know I personally experienced it following my relocation to San Luis Obispo in 2013 when I felt so welcomed and motivated by the WLA, particularly recipients of our annual Outstanding Women Lawyer award and many founding members.  This motivation inspired me to broaden the WLA’s contribution to our community by creating a program that encourages members to participate in a charitable project selected annually by the WLA.  In addition to raising money for student scholarships and local mock trial programs, we will endeavor this year to collect new and slightly used professional clothing to help women reentering the workplace.  There is absolutely no reason why clothing should be a barrier to the fulfillment and satisfaction of supporting yourself and your family.  As you look through your closets, please consider selecting a few clothing items that could help this cause and bring them to our monthly meetings.

I am also excited to announce that the WLA Mentorship program is officially under way!  After much planning by dedicated members, we now offer a program that pairs interested attorneys with a mentor or mentee depending upon your area of legal practice or other needs.  To participate in either capacity, please click on the link for "Mentorship Program" on the left margin of the screen and complete this questionnaire. We will make every effort to establish an appropriate match.

Based on member suggestions, we are also planning to launch a new program in 2016 that softens the hard edges of networking.  The WLA will coordinate gatherings of a more social, less formal nature, where members can connect on professional and personal levels.  Details to come!

Finally, the WLA often receives requests for referrals.  Unfortunately, while we are not equipped to provide lawyer referrals, the WLA plans to create a membership directory in 2016.  As another membership benefit, if you choose, your name, contact information and practice area information will be featured on our website and available for discovery by potential clients.  Your association with the WLA will speak volumes to potential clients.

With all the new ideas and directions coming from the 2016 Board of Directors, we expect great things for the WLA this year and hope to make you as motivated about them as we are.  I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming meetings and events.

 Nicole M. Norris
2016 Women Lawyers Association President