The Chair oversees all YLW programs and serves as YLW’s primary advocate and representative in collaborations with law school faculty, administrators, and other stakeholders. The Chair provides support and guidance to all YLW Board members as they fulfill the responsibilities of their portfolios so that the entire board can work together effectively and efficiently in pursuit of YLW’s mission.
The Advocacy Chair promotes the rights and interests of women at the law school and within the legal profession at large. This involves identifying gender disparities in legal education and the legal profession, educating key stakeholders, and lobbying for structural changes. The Advocacy Chair spearheads a significant portion of the behind-the-scenes work of YLW, including meetings with faculty, administrators, and student leaders. The Advocacy Chair may also draft educational materials and plan community education events. Currently, a major aspect of the Advocacy Chair’s work is leading efforts related to the 2012 Speak Up report on gender dynamics at the law school. This work includes educating faculty and students at YLS about the report’s findings and lobbying for the implementation of its recommendations.
Alumnae Relations Chair
The Alumnae Relations Chair works to connect past and present YLW members to create mentorship opportunities, facilitate career advice, and to foster community across the generations of Yale Law Women. The Alumnae Relations Chair coordinates the annual Yale Law Women summer mentorship program, which pairs current YLW members with alumnae who share their interests. This program includes “summer reunions” for mentor-mentee pairs in select cities. During the school year, the Alumnae Relations Chair also runs YLW’s “Day in the Life” series, which brings women from the legal profession to campus to give current students an informal opportunity to learn about engage with these visiting lawyers about everything from career trajectory to work-life balance.
YLW also seeks to foster an active alumnae community. In 2013, we hosted our first Alumnae Board Reunion, as part of our growing efforts to engage alumnae with each other as well as YLW. The Alumnae Relations chair also communicates periodically with YLW alumnae through email newsletters, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Special Projects Chair
The Special Projects Chair oversees a collection of distinct YLW initiatives. They include the Top Ten Family Friendly Firms Initiative, the Equality, Gender, and the Legal Profession reading group, the YLW Outline Bank, and the YLW Bar Exam Bank. This portfolio also sponsors community-building and professional development events that range from golf lessons to eating etiquette workshops. In the fall of 2012, we also initiated the YLW Oral History Project to examine the origins and development of YLW through the years. Through this project, we hope to learn more about our own history, strengthen connections with alumnae, and better understand how our current organization is situated within the larger historical landscape of Yale Law Women and of women at Yale Law School.
The Support Chair is responsible for creating a supportive and empowering environment for women students at YLS. While we focus particularly on students who are new to YLS, YLW also provides programming to help all women students take full advantage of the many resources YLS has to offer. Our support events range from small intimate gatherings to large panel discussions to help students both adjust to and thrive at YLS. Some of our past panels have focused on taking exams, developing faculty mentors, and clerking. The Support chair also organizes summer job chats and student-hosted faculty dinners. The Big Sib/Little Sib mentoring program also pairs incoming 1Ls women with 2L/3L women mentors who share their personal and professional interests.
The Scholarship Chair is responsible for helping women at YLS develop their academic legal writing from idea until publication and hone their skills in scholarly critique. From writing groups to workshops, YLW creates spaces for women to turn classwork into publications. The Scholarship Chair also helps YLW members develop connections with women faculty members at Yale and beyond. The Developing Scholarship series brings young alumnae to Yale to workshop papers with YLW members. This series exposes law students to new scholarship and gives them a chance to get off-the-record insights and advice about life as a legal scholar and teacher. YLW also coordinates the Women in Legal Academia dinner, where YLS faculty provide targeted mentoring to women students interested in becoming professors or publishing more generally.
Publications & Outreach Chair
The Publications & Outreach Chair is responsible for developing and maintaining resources that provide useful information and that help level the playing field. She conceptualizes new projects, directs and participates in the writing and production process, maintains the technical aspects of posting and publishing content in print and online, and curates the YLW Website.
The Publications & Outreach Chair also provides opportunities for active participation in the work of YLW. She leads a Publications Committee that works to create community resources. The Publications & Outreach Chair also organizes community events, including Welcome Dinners for 1L, 2L, and 3L women.
Professional Development Chair
The Professional Development Chair aims to help women law students achieve both professional success after they graduate and personal success in fulfilling their goals. She organizes workshops on hard and soft skills, including resume-writing, interviewing, job-searching, negotiating, relationship-building, and self-advocacy. The Professional Development Chair also collaborates with legal and professional organizations to connect students with mentors and alumnae. These collaborative efforts introduce students to the wide array of available opportunities and career paths. The Professional Development Chair strives to enable students to make the best choices for themselves, so that they can lead successful personal and professional lives after they leave Yale Law School.