About the Committee
The Women Lawyers’ Committee (WLC) aspires to empower its 3000 highly valued members from all over the world to engage, network and share knowledge. The committee was originally an interest group which was introduced as an IBA constituent in 1996 to allow efficient global networking of women lawyers.
WLC aims to level the playing field in the legal profession and inspire leaders to work to achieve gender parity. It's 20 committee officers create awareness tools to help the profession achieve this goal, while at the same time facilitate an efficient global network for women lawyers to connect and develop business and expertise.
We welcome members with all genders and encourage all perspectives and remain a committee dedicated to the cause of women lawyers.
We warmly invite you to join our quarterly global Women Lawyers’ Committee (WLC) Café for all our committee members. This event is held three times on a virtual platform, scheduled for different time zones on the same day, and the fourth time in person during the IBA Annual Conference.
The WLC Café is a platform for all members of WLC to easily and regularly network with each other and to create an institutionalised location where our members can get to know and mutually support each other. The officers of the WLC will use this opportunity to get in direct touch with members on a regular basis and encourage you to get actively involved in developing further the efforts and activities of WLC.
Invitations will be sent to all committee members well ahead of time. For any questions, please contact the Divisions Department email@example.com. We look forward to meeting you!
8 March 2023
In this short video we wish you Happy International Women's Day from the IBA Women Lawyers' Committee!
In this Committee, we work to level the playing field in the legal profession, to inspire leaders to achieve gender parity, and to facilitate an efficient global network for women lawyers to connect and develop business and expertise. We know that more than 50 per cent of the world’s population and law graduates are women. However, women remain gravely underrepresented at the management level of the legal profession. This is crucial to remedy. Let today, as we celebrate women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements, serve as a reminder that we can do better and thereby obtain a more sustainable and brighter future.
Toolkit for Sponsorship Programmes in Law Firms
Women make up the majority of law students and graduates globally, however this is not reflected in the statistics of those working at senior levels, across all legal sectors, where women still constitute a far smaller proportion than their male counterparts. When women are not equally represented on management level, young female talent lack role models as they cannot identify with leadership which creates an identity distance and leads to them feeling less entitled to leadership positions than their male counterparts. This creates a barrier in women’s ambition and entitlement and means that women lawyers do not have the same basis and support for aiming high, having aspirations, and becoming leaders. To allow for the inequality on management level to equalise, the need for law firms to have formal sponsorship best practices and to install requirements for male leaders to sponsor up-and-coming women lawyers have been accentuated.
Male Champions for Change
The WLC welcomes members of all genders, encourages all perspectives and remains a Committee dedicated to the cause of women lawyers. In this respect, the WLC recognises and seeks to enhance the role of male champions for change as catalysts for the goals described above. This document summarises why this is important and what the WLC proposes specifically regarding the ‘Male Champions for Change’ Initiative.
The IBA Women Lawyers' Committee Mentorship Toolkit is aimed at allowing law firms or lawyers interested in mentorship to take advantage of the know-how of other firms. Many studies reveal that implementing mentorship programmes will not only help mentees, but the mentors too in understanding the importance of leadership, diversity and inclusion. The toolkit will include methodology to establish a mentorship programme, including guidance on how to select mentors and pair them with mentees.
This is certainly the case for the WLC as we reflect on all of the incredible experiences and pro-jects that last year comprised, including hosting the 9th World Women Lawyers' Conference in Copenhagen (with around 200 participants!), hosting a lovely lunch and leading 3 insightful panels during the IBA Annual Conference in Miami, launching and promoting the very well-received Mentorship Toolkit
Released on Feb 07, 2023
The new year is off to a great start. Our committee’s name change has enthusiastically been approved, so we are officially now the Women Lawyers' Committee ("WLC")!
Released on Feb 14, 2022
A message from the Editors of the Women Lawyers' Interest Group, March 2021
To view past webinars hosted by the Women Lawyers' Committee please click here
Scholarships and awards
To see more information on the scholarships the Women Lawyers’ Committee runs please click here
To see more information on the award the Women Lawyers’ Committee runs please click here
Subcommittees and other groups
The Women Lawyers' Committee also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.
- Women Lawyers' Committee Advisory Board
- Women Lawyers' Committee Projects Subcommittee