A group of female students have established the Lafayette Women in Law club in an effort to provide a forum for aspiring female lawyers at the college. The club, founded by Anna Bock ’19, Gianna Hroncich ’19, Haley Matthes ’19 and Dani Tepedjiyska ’20, was officially created in the fall 2018 semester.
Bock, the club’s Founding President, reached out to the other co-founders over the summer wondering if there was any interest in forming the group. After several brainstorming meetings, the club was born.
“I had an internship with a judge over the summer, who first introduced me to the Bradwell v. State of Illinois case. I realized that no club at Lafayette really discussed these issues concerning women in law and I wanted to change that,” Bock said.
Bradwell v. State of Illinois refers to a case from 1873 in which a woman named Myra Bradwell “asserted her right to a license to practice law in Illinois by virtue of her status as a United States citizen” and the Illinois Supreme Court judges denied her application, according to Oyez.org.
“Overwhelmingly, when researching this club, we learned about a major disparity in the number of women who are appointed partners in their firms, and how oftentimes the legal field can be seen as a ‘boy’s club,'” Matthes wrote in an email.
The club was formed as a way for female students at the college to “connect and engage” with each other in issues “pertaining to law, politics and current relevant areas,” Matthes said.
“We want to provide a forum for women from all majors to discuss their opportunities and issues within the legal field,” Bock said.
Another goal of the club is to connect current female students with alumni currently in the field of law and provide networking opportunities, Matthes added.
The executive board of the club, which consists of Bock, Hroncich, Matthes, Tepedjiyska and Daniella Beganovic ’21, plans to bring in guest speakers to share their experiences in the legal field with current students. The board members also hope to start sponsoring and cosponsoring events on campus.
In the near future, Women in Law is cosponsoring an event with the Policy In Action club to host Easton Mayor Sal Panto, who will visit on Thurs, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. in Skillman Library to discuss the local government process and legal procedures surrounding the college’s expansion. According to Matthes, the club is also hoping to host female alumni for a town hall session in which speakers talk about their professional careers in the legal field and provide advice for the women in the club.
Women in Law, which has accumulated over 40 members since its creation, meets on Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. in Kirby 003.