At its Nov. 7 meeting in Albany, NY, the NYSBA House of Delegates voted to approve the Committee on Women in Law's report advocating for passage of The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, introduced this year by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY. The report was prepared by the CWIL Legislative Subcommittee in a team effort led by Legislative Subcommittee Co-chair Susan Harper, who made presentations on the Committee's research and findings to the NYSBA Executive Committee and House of Delegates. The Executive Committee approved the CWIL report with a unanimous vote with one abstention. With the House of Delegates approval, the report's findings are now Association policy. Further, the Executive Committee has approved advocating for national paid family and medical leave as one of the Association's federal Legislative Priorities for 2016. This spring, the NYSBA Government Relations team will travel to Washington, D.C. as part of its work advocating for the Association Legislative Priorities. 

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 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. For a copy of President-elect Claire Gutekunst's remarks from Women on the Move 2015, click here

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 Robyn Ryan, Committee on Women in the Law, NYSBA, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207; 518-463-3200.