The Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia released a statement Thursday urging President Barack Obama to nominate a woman to fill the upcoming Supreme Court vacancy. Justice David Souter’s retirement, announced three weeks ago, presents an opportunity for President Obama to make an appointment to the Court “which better reflects the diversity of our society and our profession,” the WBA said in the release.
Because women are “grossly under-represented” on the Court, which has had only two women justices in history, the WBA would like to see the number of women on the court mirror inroads women have made elsewhere in the legal profession. Women comprise 40 percent of associates and 17 percent of partners in major law firms, according to the WBA.
The WBA also announced this week that it has elected Weil, Gotshal & Manges partner Holly Loiseau as president-elect. Loiseau has been a member of the group since 2003 and served on its board since 2007.
Starting in March 2008, Loiseau chaired the WBA program “Creating Pathways to Success for All: Advancing and Retaining Women of Color in Today's Law Firms.” The goal was to identify the problems facing minority women attorneys and to build strategies and tools to deal with those issues, she says.
Calling the program “incredibly successful,” Loiseau says the program will now turn its attention to the issues that women attorneys in corporate legal departments face.
Her one-year term as president of the WBA will begin in May 2010.
Consuela Pinto, senior counsel at the Center for WorkLife Law, will serve as WBA’s president from May of this year until May 2010.
The WBA touts itself as one of the oldest and largest voluntary bar associations in Washington, D.C.