Founded in 1987, the Black Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater Chicago, Inc. (“BWLA”) is one of the fastest growing bar associations in Illinois. BWLA is representative of African-American female attorneys, judges, law professors and law students in the Chicago metropolitan area and across the Midwest. BWLA is committed to serving our membership, the greater legal community and the general public through educational programs, mentoring/networking opportunities, community outreach, scholarship awards to law students and various educational pipeline programs and initiatives. BWLA has recognized and rewarded notable African-American women attorneys and other civic leaders for their achievements and contributions to the legal community and society.
Despite the hard won achievements of some, barriers still exist for African-American women lawyers. African-American female lawyers still face the challenges brought on by the intersection of race and gender, including professional isolation, pay inequities, sexual harassment, and the glass ceiling. BWLA has been diligent and uncompromising in its commitment to addressing important issues that affect the lives of minority practitioners in the profession. BWLA is committed to promoting excellence in the profession and encouraging the inclusion of African-American attorneys in law firms, the judiciary, governmental agencies and corporations. BWLA recognizes that we live in an America that does not always embrace our differences. It is with this recognition that BWLA has committed its time and resources to encourage programming that supports diversity
Drawing upon the expertise and backgrounds of its membership, BWLA has developed programs and workshops to advance and assist African-American female lawyers in public and private practice, the judiciary and academia. Through building coalitions with other organizations, BWLA not only aims to address and combat the challenges that African-American female lawyers face in the profession, but through its programming and diversity initiatives, BWLA also brings about positive change in the legal workplace.