Women lawyers’ schedules are stretched thin between work and—frequently—family. It is often hard to find time in the day for philanthropy or even getting together with friends. But the North Texas-based organization Attorneys Serving the Community creates the perfect opportunity for multi-tasking. ASC allows members to make a real difference for local nonprofits, obtain leadership experience, and form personal and business relationships with women attorneys from varying backgrounds, areas of practice, industries, and experience levels.
Founded in 1987, ASC was the brainchild of Dallas lawyer Regina Montoya, who recently retired as the general counsel for Children’s Medical Center. At the time, she had just returned to her law firm after completing maternity leave. Brainstorming with the Dallas Women’s Foundation about fundraising efforts, Regina had the brilliant idea of hosting a fundraising luncheon in the summer, so that her target donors—Dallas-area law firms—could buy tables out of their recruiting or marketing budgets, rather than their philanthropic budgets. Julie Lowenberg, now a long-established Dallas community leader and activist, agreed to be Regina’s cochair for the lunch. Marlyn Schwartz of the Dallas Morning News was their keynote speaker. That first event raised about $12,000 for the Dallas Women’s Foundation.
The luncheon was such a success that Regina decided to do it again the following year. She and her cochair, Diane Pitts, chose the nonprofit now known as The ChildCareGroup as their beneficiary for the 1988 luncheon. Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder was the keynote speaker that year, and the group raised over $25,000.