40th Anniversary

An appreciation for diversity is the essence of the Women Lawyers’ Association of Greater St. Louis (“WLA”) and has been for forty years.

Forty years ago the answer to “Why a women’s bar association?” was simple:  women were not represented among the judges in our Missouri courts.  That is why in 1976, Anna Forder took on the task of Charter President of a brave group of women who came together with a combined voice to bring attention to this lack of diversity in our judiciary.    

Among others appointed in the interim, only three years after WLA held its first meeting in 1976, Anna Forder herself was appointed to the St. Louis City Circuit Court.  Many more stellar female jurists have since been appointed to all levels of the Missouri judiciary, and those appointments were perhaps made possible, at least in part, by the efforts of the WLA to bring attention to the need for diversity on the bench. 

So, forty years later the question of “Why a women’s bar association” might be asked again.  The answer is still simple:  diversity in our legal system makes it stronger. 

Now, the issues might be defined as a lack of gender diversity in our legislature, in the management ranks of our law firms, as lead trial counsel, as general counsel to the corporate world, and as deans of our law schools.  The National Association of Women Lawyers has challenged the profession to attain 30% gender diversity in these areas by 2020.  See http://www.nawl.org/p/cm/ld/fid=593.  And as it has for forty years, WLA today provides a place where women law students and young lawyers can see what a successful woman legislator, partner, in-house attorney, and professor looks like, acts like, and is.  That example of success just might inspire young women to be the next legislator, partner, in-house attorney, or professor, at maybe even a higher level and help meet that challenge.

WLA’s Board of Directors for its fortieth bar year (2015-2016) exemplified the diversity that underpins its mission, consisting of a plaintiff’s attorney at a mid-size firm, a criminal solo practitioner, an in-house health care attorney, a government attorney, and civil defense partners and associates at both big and small firms.  These women spanned the generations represented multiple ethnicities and backgrounds. 

Going into the next decade, WLA carries a heavy plate of goals to increase its influence in the community by further supporting women in their legal aspirations and providing a safe and encouraging network in which women can find their confidence to succeed.  Those goals will be carried out in the 2016-2017 bar year by the most diverse board yet!

Got a Galentine?

Miss connecting with your lawyer gal pals?  Want a sweet way to tell your friend that you think "she's da bomb" this Galentine's day? 

Introducing WLA's "Happy Galentine's Day" event.  Surprise your favorite Galentine or Galentines with either a surprise delivery of a Hot Cocoa Bomb gift box or a surprise electronic Galentine's Day greeting.  Proceeds from all sales will benefit the WLA Foundation's projects and scholarships.   

Each Hot Cocoa Bomb gift box contains a Galentine's Day greeting along with three individually wrapped hot cocoa bombs crafted by local St. Louis baker, STL Cake Pops.  Gift boxes will be hand delivered on Friday, February 12th.   Hence, this offer is limited to addresses within the St. Louis area.   Boxes are $25 ($20 each if buying more than one box).  Send as many boxes as you'd like and don't forget to treat yourself.  Gift box orders are due February 1, 2021.  

Each electronic Galentine's Day greeting will be sent by the WLA Foundation to the email address provided by you.  Each message is $10.  Electronic message orders are due February 11, 2021.

Recipients of gift boxes and electronic messages will be listed on WLA's web site and mentioned in a special member email. 

Click here to order your gifts.


WLA Zoom Happy Hour and Yoga Coming in February

Start of the new year by enjoying the benefits of yoga and sharing your resolutions with a group of your peers.  WLA will host a 45-minute yoga session suitable for all levels - from curious beginner to seasoned yogi.  Check back here and in future member emails for more details and registration instructions.  


Monthly Board Meeting:

Third Wednesday of every month

Noon - 1:30 PM

Contact admin@wlastl.org for location


View our Announcements page for information on other area events.

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The Women Lawyers' Association of Greater St. Louis

PO Box 50056 |St. Louis, MO | 63105

wla@wlastl.org