Welcome to the Women's Law Caucus

The Seattle University School of Law Women’s Law Caucus is dedicated to the support and the development of women as active and successful members of the legal community. Through our support network of legal professionals and students, the WLC encourages students to interact with current and future professional peers for personal and professional development.

The events, socials, and seminars illustrated here are just a few of the many activities and opportunities that the WLC offers to its members. Every year brings new volunteer projects, networking opportunities, social events, and new ways to contribute to our community. Become a member and enjoy what the WLC has to offer; become a board member and be part of the team at the helm of one of Seattle University School of Law’s most active and respected student organizations.

Women of the Year Event
Honoring remarkable women, inspiring those to come

The Women’s Law Caucus’s signature yearly event is the Strawberries and Champagne Reception held in March during Women’s History Month. This reception celebrates the accomplishments of women in the legal profession and singles out community leaders to be honored for their work on a myriad of women’s issues. The WLC honors these women with the Washington Woman of the Year Award. The reception affords the opportunity for the WLC and the law school to host judges, politicians, bar leaders, and alumni for an evening of celebration.

The two hour reception, held in the second floor Gallery, includes food, champagne, a keynote address, and awards. This event has attracted more than 250 attendees each year.

Keynote speakers in recent years have included Carol Moseley Brown, Dean Kellye Testy, and Gloria Steinem. Honorees have included Gov. Christine Gregoire, Publisher Assunta Ng, Women’s Advocate Ardith DeRaad, and Deputy King County Prosecutor Bonnie Glenn. WLC paid members are invited, and have the opportunity to meet with some of the region’s finest practicing attorneys and judges. WLC members can also help plan and execute the event by volunteering to work on mailings, decorations, and set up. The WLC staffs the registration tables and welcomes all guests to the event. All proceeds from the event benefit the Women’s Law Caucus.

Alumni Events and the Alumni Breakfast

The WLC is committed to connecting current law students to SU alumni. We believe it is very important for students and alumni to stay connected to each other and the school because it creates opportunities for mentorship, friendship, resources, and knowledge. There are several opportunities to connect with SU alumni throughout the school year. Some events that the WLC is especially excited about this year are our job shadow program, our alumni/student wine tasting social, our evening roundtables with alumni, and the second Reah Whitehead Award Breakfast. In addition, part of this commitment to staying connected is our affiliation with Washington Women Lawyers (WWL). The WWL is a state-wide organization dedicated to giving voice to women attorneys in Washington.

The Reah Whitehead Public Leadership Award Breakfasts

In 2005, the WLC began an annual event to take place each fall – the Reah Whitehead Public Leadership Award Breakfast. Judge Whitehead was one of the first women to practice law in Washington. Admitted to the bar in 1893, she was one of the first female judges in 1914. Co-sponsored with the law school’s alumni office, the breakfast brings together WLC members and women alumni practicing in the community. Paid WLC members will be invited to attend, to meet and mingle with their future colleagues and to come away inspired to accomplish great things through the law.

The first breakfast was held at the Rainier Club in downtown Seattle; tables were mixed with alumni and students affording the opportunity to get acquainted. The keynote speaker was Dean Kellye Testy, who presented the Leadership Award to the Honorable Mary Yu of King County Superior Court. The sold-out breakfast was well attended by both students members and alums. The WLC was gratified to see its mission fulfilled by bringing together nearly 150 women for this event. The breakfast was a unique networking opportunity for our members to get to know alums and other professionals while taking in the inspirational words of Dean Testy and Judge Yu regarding leadership, women, and the law.

Mentor/Mentee Program
A hands-on program to help 1Ls make it through

The Mentor Program was established by students with knowledge of the challenges often encountered during the first year of law school, in order to provide a network of support for entering students. This program matches 1Ls with continuing students based on information you share in order to best match mentees to mentors.

The level of involvement is up to the participants; however, we encourage students to make time during the first few weeks of the year to contact each other so the process can begin. Mentors can answer 1L questions about professors, law school expectations, texts and study aids, study techniques, tests, and more. This is a very popular program, which receives raves from the participants. Having someone you can always turn to, no matter the question or concern, can be a lifesaver in the demanding world of law school.

From a mentee: “My mentor was very helpful to me all year. She helped me figure out the best study guides to get, she gave me tips on how she handled class and exams, and she was very supportive during the tough times before finals. Most importantly, she was a friend to me when I needed someone to talk to, not just about school, but life in general. She also helped me get a great summer job, which gave me tons of invaluable experience.”

The Brown Bag Series
Bring a lunch, leave with inspiration

This series offers something for everyone. Brown bags happen about every other month and are open to the entire law school. Each year, the WLC Brown Bag Series solicits practicing attorneys from the Seattle legal community to engage in a panel discussion about creating a healthy balance between work and life. The panel is traditionally composed of women from a variety of career paths, each at a different stage of their career, with different social and family situations and a variety of challenges and goals. Near the end of each spring semester, the Series turns to law school life and invites all first year students to an informal discussion about choosing classes for the 2L year. This Brown Bag offers an environment for frank discussion on classes, professors, and their teaching methods, and how to plan your schedules strategically. Many participants have found this Brown Bag invaluable.

Evening Round Table Discussions
An assembly where parties meet on equal terms for discussion

The WLC is one of the few organizations that designs events specifically for the evening students. These Q&A sessions will provide an opportunity to talk with legal professionals about their personal stories in a small group.

Presentations are great, but the really good questions get asked after the PowerPoint is finished, crowded around the speaker at the front of the room. Designed specifically for the evening student, these Q&A sessions are an opportunity for a more intimate, conversational-style interaction with legal professionals. The speakers are diverse —one new to practice and one who has some years of experience—and they will answer everything you ask about how they made it through school, what happened in their first year in practice, balancing life demands, and the progress of their legal career.

Topics being considered range from striking out on your own right out of school, balancing work and family, and the unique challenges faced by second-career lawyers on getting on the partner track.

These sessions will be limited to ten pre-registered evening students plus the one or two guests, answering your questions on a narrow topic. The guests will not have a formal presentation and the hour will be exactly what the 12 participants make of it. Come prepared to ask not just a general question, but follow up questions; plan to engage in a deeper discussion than typical presentations allow.

Find out about what happens in the daily life of someone working in a job you would like. Investigate a specialty before you commit to a class on the topic, or what the demands are at different firms and in different roles. Possibly find a mentor that suits you perfectly. Sign up on WLC’s TWEN site now for the night and topic that interests you. Don’t miss this chance to ask all the things you have wondered, but never had the chance to ask.

The Kellye Testy Scholarship Award

In celebration of Seattle University School of Law’s appointment of its first female dean and in recognition of the outstanding professional and personal accomplishments of Dean Kellye Y. Testy, the Women’s Law Caucus is pleased to create a scholarship to recognize the unique potential represented by women in the law, and to foster and reward leadership abilities and excellence. The WLC will confer this award each academic year to a qualifying applicant. The amount of the scholarship award will be determined by WLC leadership each year.

WLC Flim Series

This year, the WLC will join forces to collaborate on their annual film series. Since 2005, the WLC has held its own series during the month of March with the co-sponsorship of other student organizations including the Black Law Student Association, the Labor and Employment Law Association, the Public Interest Law Foundation, Outlaws, and the ACLU. This year, the film series will involve many of the same organizations.

The series will present films addressing issues affecting women on both domestic and global scales, as well as within an historical and contemporary context. Past films have included Born into Brothels, in which two documentary filmmakers chronicle their tin in Sonagchi, Calcutta, and the relationships they developed with children of sex workers in the city’s notorious red light district. Another film was Seoul Train, a gripping documentary that looks into the life and death of North Koreans as they try to escape their homeland into China.

This year’s series promises similar films and the opportunity to step back from the academic load to relax and watch a film about legal issues and the search for justice in a “real world” context.

This year’s film series will be held on campus and open to both SU students and the outside community.

Women's Law Caucus Leadership: 2009-2010




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