WLWA exists to represent and promote the advancement of women in the legal profession, and to look after the interests of women in the Western Australian community.

We currently  have over 400 members from all areas of legal practice, background and experience, including most of the female Judges and Senior Counsel in Western Australia. Members can include their details in our Members Directory.

 

WLWA's work

WLWA continues to actively engage in advocacy and liaison work in relation to a variety of issues affecting women lawyers – including the underrepresentation of women at the bar and in senior positions, equitable briefing policies, emergency family care, tax deductibility of child care, anti-discrimination, bullying and the gender pay gap.

WLWA has also researched and commented on numerous issues concerning women in the community such as equal opportunity, domestic violence, prostitution and trafficking of women.

WLWA has a number of representative positions on the Joint Law Society – Women Lawyers Committee of the Law Society, enjoys links with various women's organisations, and is a constituent body of the national Australian Women Lawyers association (AWL).

WLWA is governed by a committee comprising 4 executive office-bearers, 6 general committee members and up to 6 co-opted members. Details of our current committee members are available on our Committee page. We also have 5 Working Groups, the members of which are drawn from our general membership.

WLWA offers an informal Ad-Hoc Mentoring Programme to its members whereby members are given the opportunity to discuss a particular work or career related problem (other than legal advice) with a more experienced woman lawyer assigned by our Mentoring Officer. In addition to this ad-hoc program, in 2012/13 WLWA launched our Advocacy Mentoring Programme, devised with The Hon. Christine Wheeler QC AO to provide hands-on critique and guidance with respect to practical advocacy skills. Members are matched with mentors drawn from the ranks of retired judicial members and some barristers. 

WLWA regularly presents interesting and educational CPD seminars by high profile speakers as well as a number of social functions providing informal contact and networking opportunities between women lawyers from different backgrounds and experience. For information on upcoming events visit our Events Page and calendar.

WLWA presents awards and scholarships to outstanding women lawyers and law students. These awards include our annual Women Lawyer of the Year Awards, the Heenan-Payne Prize and the Aboriginal Women's Legal Education Trust Scholarship. We encourage both WLWA members and members of the public to promote these opportunities and nominate remarkable women for the awards.

We publish a bi-annual Newsletter entitled "Without Prejudice" for our members, which contains the President's Report and articles and speeches of importance and interest to women in the law.

WLWA also supports a yearly social project dealing with women in the law or the community. Examples of social projects WLWA has undertaken include:

  • Supporting the Swan City Youth Service Inc by collecting clothes, shoes and cans of food to donate;
  • Collecting second hand clothing and make-up to assist with a program at Nyandi prison which teaches women prisoners grooming and how to present at a job interview;
  • Running a clothing collection and fundraising for Ready To Work, an organisation that helps disadvantaged WA women during their quest to gain and maintain meaningful employment and take the first steps towards financial independence and a better life;
  • Supporting the Jade Lewis Foundation, which provides high school, community and corporate drug prevention presentations and pre and post-release prison support programs to provide women with a second chance at life;
  • Sponsoring the Tanzanian Women Lawyers Association to assist to raise funds to renovate a building to house the legal aid clinic which they had successfully run for a number of years.

WLWA is currently following up on the implementation of the recommendations from our 20th Anniversary Review of the Chief Justice's Gender Bias Taskforce Report, that was released in late September 2014.

A copy of the WLWA Constitution is available to members (you must login to view). 

We have sponsorship opportunities available for our events and initiatives - please see our Sponsorship page for further details.

To become a member of WLWA, please click Subscribe on our home page or view our Member Benefits page for more information.

To contact WLWA, please see the Contact Us page.

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