Griselda Vega is chair of the YLD’s Women in the Profession Committee and member of the WILL Academy Planning Committee. She can be reached at Griselda_vega25@hotmail.com.
ABA Young Lawyers Division members are making their voices heard. In January 2007, the YLD constituents of the Women in Law Leadership (WILL) Academy planning committee circulated a survey to the 33,000 self-identified female members of the Division accepting email communications. The purpose of the survey was twofold: (1) to find out what focus and format women YLD members prefer for the WILL Academy Conference being held in Chicago November 8–9, 2007, and (2) to assess the issues that are significant to women lawyers and how women want to receive information on those issues.
Over 1,300 responses made it the largest survey in YLD history. The WILL Academy committee was excited and surprised at both the number and content of the responses. Below are some of the top things women lawyers want.
Issues most significant to you (in order):
1. work-life balance
3. concerns with managing part-time/flex-time
Preferred format for the WILL Academy Conference:
1. panel discussion session 36.6%
2. combined panel and small-group discussion sessions 36.1%
One thing you want to take away after the session:
1. practical advice 66.5%
2. solutions 9.8%
Over 71% of the respondents said they would participate in sessions such as these even if there were no CLE credit given.
These responses made clear that maintaining a successful professional and personal life is critical to YLD members and that they want to get involved and see their input realized. ABA sections and forums are taking notice of the survey results, and the WILL Academy planning committee and other leadership will take this powerful feedback into account when planning the WILL Academy Conference and future programming.