What's in a name? A splendid past and a glorious future!
The Feminist Legal Analysis Section of the OBA has changed its name to "Women Lawyers' Forum". The first group in the OBA/CBA to focus on women is celebrating its 20th anniversary and moving forward as part of the national women's conference of the CBA.
Our focus and mandate remain the same: forging bonds among women lawyers, advancing women in the legal profession, critically examining how the law affects women and serving the profession and society by sharing in the OBA's advocacy and professional development work.
A bit of history
The Feminist Legal Analysis Section was formed as the Feminist Legal Analysis Committee ("FLAC") in June 1992, inspired by a highly successful program at the Annual Institute that spring. The Committee achieved section status in June 1993. For ten years, it remained unique in the CBA.
Women in British Columbia started the Women Lawyers' Forum in 2003. WLF became a national Conference of the CBA in 2005 and branches began emerging in the provinces. In 2007, the Feminist Legal Analysis Section gained recognition as the Ontario branch of WLF, while continuing to be a Section of the OBA.
Since then, all the WLF branches, now established in every province and territory except Nunavut, have become sections of their provincial CBA branches. By changing our name to "Women Lawyers' Forum", we are making our relationship with the national Conference clear. Every member of the Ontario section is automatically a member of national WLF.
Continuing into the future with our new name, our objectives are to:
- Hear the voices of women working in different areas of law and in different modalities - small firm, large firm, in-house, clinic, government, education, social action...
- Bring women together across generations and across the stages of their legal careers
- Honour our diversity and learn from each other's experiences and perspectives
- Promote the advancement of women in the legal profession
- Keep a critical eye on the law as it affects women, contribute to substantive analysis of the law and participate in OBA advocacy
- Welcome and work with our allies from other sectors of the OBA/CBA and the profession as a whole