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BWL mourns the loss of its 8th President, Joan Whiteside Green

BWL is saddened by the news that Past President Joan Whiteside Green passed away last month. Joan, a criminal defense and family law attorney, has been described by her peers as a “dynamic, no-nonsense, powerful presence” in Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. Not only was she an excellent trial attorney, she had stellar organizational skills and was masterful at planning events. Joan also had a wonderful sense of humor and was a dedicated mentor. Joan's community involvement spans many years and organizations. Joan was active in several organizations including the California Association of Black Lawyers, where she...

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BWL Statement on Hurricane Harvey

Dear BWL Members and Friends, As we have watched the images of the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana, many of us have been moved to find some way to help those in need. BWL, as an affiliate of the National Bar Association, would like to inform you of an opportunity to use your legal training to assist: The Supreme Court of Texas entered an order to allow any attorney not licensed to practice in Texas, but licensed and in good standing in any other jurisdiction of the United States, to provide legal assistance to individuals and entities affected by Hurricane Harvey....

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BWL Statement on the Events in Charlottesville

Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. applauds fellow African American attorney and CEO of Merck, Kenneth C. Frazier, in the aftermath of the tragic events in Charlottesville, VA over the weekend. His statement resounds with us: We “must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy, which run counter to the American ideal that all people are created equal.” BWL stands with Mr. Frazier and all courageous individuals who reject divisive ideology that incites criminal violence and undermines the basic rights and freedoms of all Americans. Our...

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2017 Los Angeles Business Journal Most Influential Women Lawyers

Four BWL members have been named to Los Angeles Business Journal's 2017 list of the Most Influential Women Lawyers in Los Angeles! Please join me in congratulating: BWL President, Amber Finch, Partner, Reed Smith BWL Past President and Lifetime Member, Katessa Davis, Partner, Ogletree Deakins BWL Lifetime Member Michelle Cooke, Partner, Manatt Phelps BWL Member Alexis Crump, Partner, Lewis Brisbois The article and full list of awardees can be accessed HERE. Congratulations, ladies! BWL is proud to have you as members. Thank you for continuing to blaze the trail. ...

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BWL Responds to Orange County Bar Association President Baroni’s Inaugural President’s Column on Immigrants

Executive Board of the Orange County Bar Association P.O. Box 6130, Newport Beach, CA 92658   Dear President Baroni, Officers, and Board of Directors: We write to you as fellow members of the Bar to express our views concerning the recent statements made by Michael Baroni, 2017 President of the Orange County Bar Association, in the President’s January column of Orange County Lawyer magazine. As we, the Black Women Lawyers of Association of Los Angeles, reflect during this time of celebration of progress and change via Black History and Women’s History Months, we find it both timely and relevant for our organization to bring attention...

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BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES, INC. HOSTS LOVING MEMORIAL TRIBUTE IN HONOR OF JUSTICE VAINO H. SPENCER AT SOUTHWESTERN LAW SCHOOL ON SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, Inc. Media Contact: Amber Finch (213) 457-8046 afinch@reedsmith.com LOS ANGELES, Calif., December 5, 2016. On Saturday, December 3, 2016, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (“BWL”) held a loving Memorial Tribute service to honor the legacy and leadership of BWL Co-Founder Justice Vaino Hassan Spencer, who passed away on October 25, 2016, at the age of 96. Justice Spencer was a legal giant. She was the first African American woman judge in California when she was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1961, and only the third Black woman judge in the nation....

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BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES, INC. TO HOST MEMORIAL TRIBUTE IN HONOR OF JUSTICE VAINO H. SPENCER, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, Inc. Media Contact: Amber Finch (213) 457-8046 afinch@reedsmith.com BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES, INC. TO HOST MEMORIAL TRIBUTE IN HONOR OF JUSTICE VAINO H. SPENCER, SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2016 LOS ANGELES, Calif., November 22, 2016. On Saturday, December 3, 2016, Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (“BWL”) will be holding a Memorial Tribute Service to honor the legacy and leadership of BWL Co-Founder Justice Vaino H. Spencer, who passed away on October 25, 2016. The event will be held at Southwestern Law School, 3050 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90010, Justice Spencer’s alma...

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COURT AGREES WITH STATE BAR AND MINORITY BAR ORGANIZATIONS AND BLOCKS DISCLOSURE OF BAR EXAM APPLICANTS’ RACE, PASSAGE RATE, AND OTHER IDENTIFYING INFORMATION

In a California Superior Court ruling filed on Monday, November 7, 2016, the State Bar of California achieved a major victory in the Sander et al. v. State Bar of California et al. case. The Court denied the Petitioners' (Richard Sander et al.) petition for a writ of mandate ordering the State Bar to provide records requested in May 2008. Specifically, Petitioners requested California State Bar exam applicant data for those that applied between 1072 and 2008. Petitioners seek information about applicants’ race, law school, transfer status, year of law school graduation, law school GPA, undergraduate GPA, LSAT score, whether...

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BLACK WOMEN LAWYERS ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES CELEBRATES THE LIFE OF FOUNDING CONVENOR, JUSTICE VAINO H. SPENCER

Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (BWL) proudly celebrates the life of our own shining star and a co-founder of this organization, Justice Vaino Hassan Spencer, who passed on October 25, 2016. Justice Spencer's 96-year legacy boasts a long list of professional accomplishments, including many "firsts", an extraordinary legal reputation, and a host of women lawyers and judges that she actively mentored ensuring a solid footprint in the legal community.   Legend A true Los Angeles native, Justice Spencer started her reign in the city of Los Angeles where she attended Los Angeles Polytechnic High School, Los Angeles City College, and...

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BWL vs. Police Brutality

Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. (“BWL”) is extremely concerned about the recent deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the police officers in Dallas. BWL is distressed by the repeated acts of police brutality and use of excessive force, especially in heightened numbers against the African-American population, and African-American men, in particular. We join in the chorus of voices throughout our nation and beyond in saying that we demand an end to the senseless death and injury of people of color at the hands of police officers who are sworn to protect and serve. We agree with our...

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