Committee on Women in the Law Home

  • Women on the Move-Talking While Female
    Scenes from Women on the Move Click on the photo to view the gallery.
  • CWIl Display
    Honoring the 100th Anniversary of Women's Suffrage Click on the photo to view the slides.
  • Journal 2
    Committee on Women in the 30th Anniversary Cocktail Celebration and Journal Launch Check out the recap and pics here.
  • Recent Events
    • January 23, 2018 - Committee on Women in the Law Luncheon


      Tuesday, January 23, 2018 1:15 PM
      1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

      Register Here or Download The Registration Form Here.


    • January 23, 2018 - Committee on Women in the Law Meeting


      Tuesday, January 23, 2018 9:00 AM
      9:00 AM - 4:15 PM
      MCLE Credits TBA

      Register Here or Download The Registration Form Here.

      Program Topic:
      Perfecting “The Ask”: How To Ask For What You Want and Get It - for Your Client and for Yourself
      Asking for new business, more money, or to be the lead attorney on a deal or in a case can be a challenge.  But the only way to get what you want (and what you deserve) is to ask for it.  Whether you’re a litigator, a transactional attorney, in-house counsel, or in the public sector, we all share the same struggle – knowing the right way to ask for something so that we’re set up for success.  This Annual Meeting Program brings together the best and the brightest lawyers and judges who have succeeded in their fields because they had the courage and the skill to ask for the things that got them ahead.  This program will examine and address the unique obstacles women attorneys face impacting the practice of law and their career advancement, and will address successful strategies to overcome them.  Using the recent report by the NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section (which addresses gender disparity in the courtroom) as a springboard, the program will examine how navigating “The Ask” has manifested in a lack of participation by women at various levels of the legal profession - not only in law firms but in the corporate and public sectors as well.  The program will also examine potential ethical pitfalls involved, to make sure what you’re asking for from prospective clients, current clients, or other lawyers is ethical.  Finally, the program will provide the practical skills you need to prepare yourself to make “The Ask” to benefit your clients’ interests and your professional success and to go out there and get it!

    • January 23, 2018 - Committee on Women in the Law Reception


      Tuesday, January 23, 2018 4:15 PM
      4:15 PM - 5:30 PM

      Register Here or Download The Registration Form Here.


  • About the Committee

    CWIL Group
    About the Committee on Women in the Law

    MISSION: Established in 1986, the Committee on Women in the Law is charged with the responsibility of identifying, studying and making recommendations to address gender bias and law-related issues affecting women. The Committee proposes legislation; the adoption and implementation of policy by the Executive Committee and House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association; and other actions to ensure the fair treatment of women under law and the full participation of women in the administration of justice and as equal members of the legal community. The Committee is a standing committee of the Association as designated by the House of Delegates in 1989. The CWIL 2016-2017 programming year has come to a close. Read the 2016-2017 Year-End Summary here.

    The Committee has presented educational forums on gender concerns; sexual harassment in the profession; balancing professional and family responsibilities; career development beyond partnerships; women in politics; seeking service on the bench; and breast cancer. Additionally, the Committee presents forums for women law students on career issues and opportunities.  

    To provide recognition for exemplary achievement by a male or female member of the Association in addressing the concerns of women, an Association award was established in honor of the Committee's first Chair, Ruth G. Schapiro. The annual award was proposed and is administered by the Committee. The first recipient of this award in 1992 was The Honorable Judith S. Kaye. For more information about the Ruth G. Schapiro Memorial Award, click here.

    To honor women in the profession who recognize the value of diversity in the legal profession and have dedicated their time to advancing the professional development of women attorneys, the Committee has established the Kay Crawford Murray Award. Future recipients will posses the following characteristics: A distinguished legal career or a rising star in the profession; An active member of bar associations for the purpose of advancing the professional and personal development of women attorneys; An active mentor to women attorneys. For more information about the Kay Crawford Murray Award, click here.

    Please contact Kathleen Baxter, Committee on Women in the Law, NYSBA, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207; 518-463-3200.

  • Suffrage Centennial

    bernicecomfedNYSBA House of Delegates Adopts Report of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section 11/4/17
    The House of Delegates approved the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section's report, "If Not Now, When? Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR" on November 4, 2017.
    •Read the press release here.
    • Watch the video here.

    Judge Kaye PortraitJudge Judith Kaye Portrait Unveiled
    On November 3, 2017, the New York State Bar Association unveiled a new painting of Hon. Judith S. Kaye, former chief of the state of New York, to be displayed in our Great Hall.

    Suffragette Commemoration on Display at the Bar Center
    Also, on display at the Bar Center is our "A Centennial Commemoration of Women's Suffrage and the Achievement of Legal Rights." View the slides here.

  • Trailblazers

    Women Attorney Trailblazers in New York State

    New York State has a rich history of amazing trailblazing women attorneys who broke through many barriers and blatant discrimination to make major contributions in the legal profession.  Their stories are ones of fierce determination, passion for the law, keen intelligence, and inspiring achievement.  

    From the late 19th Century, when the first women gained admission to state bars, through the 1960s, women attorneys faced closed doors and discrimination.  Women have made tremendous strides in the past 40 years - in large part due to the efforts of women attorneys who overcame obstacles and blazed a path for other women attorneys to follow.  

    The Committee on Women in the Law - whose first chair, Ruth Schapiro, was one of the women trailblazers at New York State Bar Association - is delighted to spotlight the lives and careers of 10 women lawyers who fought discrimination and gained a foothold in a range of legal careers. These women have paved the way for other women attorneys, serving as role models and, often, as mentors.

    We hope that you will draw inspiration from the stories of these 10 remarkable New York attorneys.   


    Maureen Bezuhly
    Co-chair, Committee on Women in the Law Best Practices Subcommittee
    New York City

    Monica P. Ruela
    Co-chair, Committee on Women in the Law Best Practices Subcommittee
    New York City

    Susan Harper
    Co-chair, Committee on Women in the Law

    Ferve E. Ozturk
    Co-chair, Committee on Women in the Law
    New York City

    Read the brochure here.