Over the past 44 years, Orange County Women Lawyers Association (OCWLA) has been dedicated to advancing women in the legal profession. OCWLA’s mission is to provide a professional network to its members, raise awareness of discrimination and bias, and support charitable organizations. This year’s theme, EmpowHer™, aims to encompass all three prongs of this mission statement.
OCWLA hosts four events annually. The year opens with a Mardi Gras-themed Wine Tasting & Membership Mixer. The Women Judges Reception honors the many women judges of Orange County’s federal and state bench. The Annual Gala at Pelican Hill honors OCWLA’s Attorney of the Year, Judge of the Year, and recognizes a firm or organization with the Advancement of Women Award. In addition, two of OCWLA’s philanthropy recipients will be recognized at the Gala. The Holiday & Installation Dinner recognizes the outgoing board members and installs the incoming board as well as presents the Community Service Partner Award and President’s Award.
In addition to its signature events, OCWLA hosts several CLE luncheons featuring members of the bench and bar incorporating International Women’s Day and Equal Pay Day, often partnering with OCBA’s Mommy Esquire and Young Lawyers Division for the luncheon. OCWLA has also responded to membership desires in providing low or no-cost networking opportunities, such as the monthly book club, quarterly philanthropy activities, coffee meet-ups, and additional opportunities as they arise, such as movie outings and the Women’s March.
OCWLA’s charitable giving aims to aid local programs helping women and children who are subject to domestic violence and human trafficking, as well as programs that assist with the unmet legal needs of women and children. Last year, OCWLA’s primary fundraising vehicle, the 43rd Annual Gala, raised enough to provide over $25,000 in donations this year. Organizations that will benefit from this year’s giving include Family Legal Assistance at CHOC Children’s, CASA of Orange County, Orange County Justice Fund, Code Open Sesame, Human Options, Laura’s House, Thatiana’s Home, Project Youth OCBF, Girls, Inc., and Public Law Center. OCWLA also works alongside the OCWLA Foundation which uses money raised through the silent auction at the Annual Gala to fund bar stipends and diversity bar stipends twice annually to outstanding law school graduates who are studying for the California Bar Examination.
OCWLA offers free membership to first-year admittees and law students, and offers discounted membership to young lawyers and government lawyers. OCWLA is an affiliate of California Women Lawyers and National Association of Women Lawyers, offering OCWLA members steeply discounted memberships in both organizations.
OCWLA welcomes members of any gender to the organization and looks forward to continuing to EmpowHer women in the Orange County community.
For more information about OCWLA, view www.ocwla.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about upcoming events, visit www.ocwla.org.