Welcome to the New York State Bar Association’s Women in Law Section (also “WILS” or “Section”). The Women in Law Section is a dynamic group of attorneys – both women and men – and serves as a critical voice for professional women.  Our mission is to advance women in the legal profession and all women under the law. Membership in our Section offers many opportunities to address the professional, legal, policy and legislative issues impacting women.  You can also take advantage of educational programs (such as the annual Edith I. Spivack Symposium — WILS’ Annual Meeting CLE – and Women on the Move) and meet and network with other attorneys.

We invite you to join one of our committees, which will give you an opportunity to be part of a engaging group, use your voice, talent and passion to benefit women; interact with members and leaders of our Section and the legal profession; expand your individual network and develop your career; and advance critical change in the legal profession and for all women under the law. For example, our new Partners Committee focuses on the unique challenges that affect women who are partners in law firms; the Equity in the Legal Profession Committee works to advance women in the legal profession and includes activities such as advocacy, programming, scholarship, and reports; the Champions Committee engages men as partners to support women in the profession, in NYSBA and society-at-large – its activities include Events, Drinks & Dialogues, networking and business development, reports and publications, and commenting on news issues; and the Gender Issues Committee works to address specific issues ad rights that may impact women, children and families, such as domestic violence, human trafficking and gender parity. The WILS Legislative Affairs Committee is responsible for identifying and recommending the WILS legislative agenda to the Section’s Executive Committee for adoption and also identifies new or existing New York State legislation relating to issues of interest to women, among other activities. Our Committees are as follows:

  • Annual Meeting, Program & CLE Committee, which includes the following subcommittees, Annual Meeting, Women on the Move, Awards and Programming
  • Champions Committee
  • Communications Committee
  • Development & Sponsorship Committee
  • Emerging Lawyers Committee
  • Equity in the Legal Profession Committee
  • Gender Issues Committee
  • General Counsels Committee
  • Legislative Affairs Committee
  • Membership & Engagement Committee
  • Partners Committee
  • Reports, Surveys & Publications Committee
  • Women in the Association Committee

Regardless of your membership in the Women in Law Section, however, you are always welcome to attend our committee programs.  We also encourage members to participate as organizers, speakers or attendees at our educational programs and networking events, and to contribute their views to the various issues we address.

The Women in Law Section has an engaging and dynamic membership and we hope to welcome you as a member or have your participation in our activities and events.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS: The section has presented educational forums on gender concerns; sexual harassment in the profession; balancing professional and family responsibilities; career development beyond partnerships; women in politics; seeking service on the bench; and breast cancer. Additionally, the section presents forums for women law students on career issues and opportunities.

Contact the Women In Law Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Tiffany Bardwell
(518) 487-5675

Online Community

WILS Connect

“In less than a year-and-a-half, WILS has grown from a small committee limited to 50 members to nearly 1,000 members and includes women and men from upstate and downstate, states across the U.S. and from countries around the world. WILS is the fastest growing Section in NYSBA history. We are excited to launch the WILS Connect e-newsletter—one of our many initiatives—which will discuss current issues facing women lawyers, the work of our committees, legislative and policy matters WILS is focusing on, spotlight members of WILS and the programs held (and to be held) by the Section.” – Terri A. Mazur

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Legislative Matters

Opinions expressed are those of the Section/Committee preparing this memorandum/report and do not represent those of the New York State Bar Association unless and until they have been adopted by its House of Delegates or Executive Committee.

Salary Memo 
Check out our memorandum in support to amend the Executive Law in relation to prohibiting employers from seeking salary history from prospective employees.

Domestic Violence Final Report
Read our memorandum in support of the New York State Bar Association and Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York Domestic Violence Initiative’s Final Report to provide greater access to legal services to victims of domestic violence in New York State.


To provide recognition for exemplary achievement by a male or female member of the Association in addressing the concerns of women, an Association award was established in honor of the Committee on Women in the Law’s first Chair, Ruth G. Schapiro. The annual award was proposed and is administered by the Women in Law Section. The first recipient of this award in 1992 was The Honorable Judith S. Kaye.

To honor women in the profession who recognize the value of diversity in the legal profession and have dedicated their time to advancing the professional development of women attorneys, the section has established the Kay Crawford Murray Award. Future recipients will posses the following characteristics: A distinguished legal career or a rising star in the profession; An active member of bar associations for the purpose of advancing the professional and personal development of women attorneys; An active mentor to women attorneys.


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