Welcome to the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan
We were founded in 1919 by five self-proclaimed “ardent Portias of Detroit.” Today, our organization has grown extensively in size and purpose. Our membership includes attorneys, judges and law students. We have become a statewide organization with seven regional chapters, providing wide-ranging networking and professional development opportunities for women lawyers. Our mission is to secure the rights of women in society and advance the interests of women members of the legal profession, to promote improvements in the administration of justice, to promote equality and social justice for all people, to improve relations between the legal profession and the public, and to encourage the continued legal education of lawyers. Please take a look at our site, including our services, events, and member listings. We hope you like what you see and will join us. We look forward to meeting you!
Message from the President
We are coming off the coattails of the WLAM Centennial Anniversary. I look back at the history of WLAM and am in awe at all its accomplishments. WLAM is one of the very first—if not the first—organization of women lawyers in the country. We cannot forget that impressive history as the backdrop for looking forward to what the future holds for WLAM.
WLAM is only as remarkable as our members. Our members have committed time, resources, challenged status quo practices to ensure social equality, contributed creative and innovative ideas, and come together for a common purpose: to secure and advance the rights of all people who are involved in the justice system.
The committees of WLAM are made up of our members doing extraordinary work. The Candidate Rating and Endorsement Committee has hit the ground running this year already to review, rate and endorse judicial candidates who further the mission of our organization. The Legal Affairs and Legislative Committee, headed by our immediate past president Alena Clark, has been instrumental in furthering social justice by spearheading the Michigan Coalition of Impartial Justice to amend the judicial canons to preclude judges—the gatekeepers of justice—from becoming members of organizations that practice invidious discrimination on the basis of religion, race, national origin, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. These are just two of the many committees at WLAM making a difference, and I encourage each member to be part of this rewarding experience by volunteering for a committee.
Our current state of affairs in Michigan are challenging and trying: From living through a global health pandemic of proportions never seen before during our lifetimes to going through a racial consciousness that is exposing systemic racism and unraveling the biases and prejudices in our legal system and policies. This is a time of self-reflection, engagement and action. Community engagement is more important than ever.
This is the time for us to step up as an organization. The first step we have taken has been to institute a new WLAM committee titled the Diversity & Inclusion Committee. This committee will work together internally and externally to develop diversity and inclusion educational tools and programming in the legal profession and within our communities. It is our goal to use this committee to engage the legal community and community at large during these trying times and raise our presence.
We have shown we are a resilient organization in times of strife. We will do as those before us did. I am guided by a quote by Jane Goodall that is fitting as I fill those big shoes of the presidents before me: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Being involved in WLAM is the difference I want to make. I look forward to working with each and every one of you.
With continued success,
Roquia K. Draper
WLAM is dedicated to securing the rights of women in society, advancing the interests of women members of the legal profession, promoting improvements in the administration of justice, and promoting equality and social justice for all people. As advocates, we recognize that there is strength in numbers. Whether we are in a court room or on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol, WLAM’s voice is louder when we join together. Click here for details on WLAM’s advocacy efforts.