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. 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. The Advocacy Chair also organizes the annual YLW Faculty and Staff Awards, and coordinates informal faculty dinners with students.
Alumnae Relations Chair
The Alumnae Relations Chair works to connect past and present YLW members to create mentorship opportunities, highlight the achievements of our alumnae, 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, and “summer reunions” for mentor pairs in select cities. During the school year, the Alumnae Relations Chair also runs YLW’s “Day in the Life” series. These events bring women from the diverse sectors of the legal profession back to Yale to give current students an informal opportunity to discuss everything from career trajectories 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.
Community Engagement Chair
The Community Engagement Chair strengthens the community of women at YLS. We provide programming such as the Big Sib Mentoring Program, which pairs incoming women with upper level women mentors who share their personal, academic, and professional interests. This programming includes initiatives to facilitate inter-class relationships, allow students to expand their networks, and fosters students’ sense of connection to their peers. We encourage information sharing and the transfer of institutional knowledge by organizing programming for upper level students to impart their wisdom to incoming students. YLW’s support events range from small, intimate gatherings to large panel discussions to help students both adjust to and thrive at YLS. The Community Engagement Chair also collaborates with other affinity groups at the law school to build connections within the broader YLS community.
The Outreach Chair engages the YLS community in YLW initiatives supporting women and enhancing gender equality. As part of this mission, the outreach chair engages with students in the law school for feedback on YLW’s work and in order to complete projects that further learning about or substantively enhancing gender equality at the law school. The outreach chair hosts a reading group and committee that provide opportunities for men and women of all classes at YLW to work with YLW and advocate for gender, racial, socieconomic, and other forms of diversity and success at the law school. The committee and reading group engage with themes ranging from faculty to diversity, to “speak up” next steps, and op-eds on gender and the law. Through the outreach chair, YLW hosts several evening book-chats which brings in authors of popular books on women, work-life balance, or success and failure broadly defined for the entire law school community.
Research and Writing Chair
The Research and Writing 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 Research and Writing 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.
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.
Special Projects Chair
The Special Projects Chair oversees a collection of distinct YLW initiatives. They include the Top Ten Family Friendly Firms Initiative, a yearly survey and report that analyzes and promotes family friendly policies at the Vault 100 Firms; YLW Publications and the YLW Outline Bank, which promote informational transparency and serve as resources for students throughout their time at Yale; and the YLW Bar Exam Bank, which supports departing 3Ls moving on to the next phase. This year, the Special Projects Chair will further promote informational transparency at YLS by hosting panel discussions to help students adjust to life in law school, and will also organize the 1L Welcome Dinner, a community event for new students.