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About Us

The Commission was created in August 1987 to assess the status of women in the legal profession, identify barriers to advancement, and recommend to the ABA actions to address problems identified. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first chair of the Commission, set the pace for the Commission to change the face of the legal profession by issuing a groundbreaking report in 1988 showing that women lawyers were not advancing at a satisfactory rate. From this report, the Commission found that a variety of discriminatory barriers remained a part of the professional culture, the significant increase in the number of women attorneys would not eliminate these barriers and a thorough reexamination of the attitudes and structures in the legal profession was needed.

Brent Circle of Giving

The Commission converted its Brent Circle of Giving to an Annual Giving program where individuals can be recognized for their annual support. Donors who give annually will "climb the ladder" and be honored for their cumulative generosity over time.  >> Learn More

Commissioners

 

Board of Governors Liaison

  • Aurora Austriaco

 

Special Advisors

 

Past Chairs

  • Karol Corbin Walker, 2023-
  • Hon. Maureen Mulligan*, 2020-2023
  • Stephanie Scharf, 2017-2020
  • Michele Coleman Mayes, 2014-2017
  • Roberta D. Liebenberg, 2013-2014
  • Mary B. Cranston, 2011-2013
  • Roberta D. Liebenberg, 2008-2011 (2013-2014)
  • Pamela J. Roberts, 2005-2008
  • Diane C. Yu, 2002-2005
  • Deborah L Rhode*, 2000-2002
  • Karen J. Mathis, 1997-2000
  • Laurel G. Bellows, 1994-1997
  • Cory M. Amron, 1991-1994
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1987 - 1991

* Deceased

Staff

Director
Melissa Wood - [email protected]

Oversight of all Commission staff and its programs and projects. Provides guidance and support to the Commission on ABA policy.  Manages the budget and Commission finances. Supports ABA House of Delegates activities.  Responsible for planning of CWP business meetings and agendas.

Marketing Specialist
Rhonda Davis - [email protected]

Rhonda creates and manages digital and print marketing communication, including messaging, design, website content, analytics, email and social media marketing, publishing, and vendor relationship management. She strategizes with the CWP team to develop content marketing campaigns while spearheading the Web Committee and Sponsorship Committee to increase revenue and engagement.

Program Specialist
Madeline Amonick - [email protected]

Madeline builds capacity and provides programmatic support for many initiatives including, but not limited to, Guided Conversations, Men in the Mix, and the Women’s Caucus. 

Program Associate
Chanelle Torres - [email protected]

Chanelle manages the Annual Margaret Brent Awards Ceremony, including the event planning, fundraising, nominations, selection process, and announcements. She also supports the Commission's programming for ongoing projects and initiatives.

Commission Liaison Newsletter

Learn more about Commission highlights and upcoming projects in the Liaison Newsletter. View the latest version - December 2023