Texas Women Lawyers was created to coordinate, facilitate and promote women's issues in the law and in the profession. The existence of a number of women's bar associations and organizations throughout the state necessitated the creation of an umbrella group to share ideas and resources and speak effectively with a common voice on women's issues in the legal profession.
Over the years, TWL has hosted an annual continuing education event focusing on issues facing women in the profession, networking, and business development. Some of its most notable keynote speakers have included Susan Estrich, Gloria Allred, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, and Jerry K. Clements, Managing Partner, Austin Office, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, to name a few. At the event, TWL honors an attorney with its Pathfinder Award. Louise Ballerstedt Raggio, a Dallas lawyer who was instrumental in the passage of the Marital Property Bill, which removed certain legal disabilities that prohibited married women from owning property in Texas, received TWL’s first award.
In 2007, TWL conducted the first statewide survey of Texas law firms’ maternity leave policies. The idea to conduct the statewide survey grew out of a TWL member’s inquiry asking what other board members’ firms offered in terms of maternity leave since her firm had no such policy. TWL quickly realized that a comprehensive survey of Texas law firms’ maternity leave policies could help its members negotiate for beneficial terms where no such policy existed and help its members advocate for better terms in existing policies. Two professors at Texas Tech School of Law, Jennifer Horn and Rosemary Dillon, analyzed the survey results and authored a report of the findings, which were presented at TWL’s 2008 Annual Meeting an CLE.
TWL, in conjunction with local bar associations, participated in the National Conference of Womens' Bar Association's "Food from the Bar" program in 2009 and 2010, collecting food and monetary donations to benefit local food banks.
Benefits for TWL members include:
Networking. A statewide directory and Internet access puts members and clients in touch with each other by location and area of expertise.
In Brief. A publication featuring articles by, for and about issues important to lawyers and women. Local and statewide events are calendared to increase business opportunities.
TWL Professional Database. This professional information system includes members' areas of practice and employment and case referral opportunities.
Legislative Updates. An information source providing members with opportunities to draft, support or oppose legislation.
Mentors and Proteges. This program matches mentors with proteges interested in advice on business, firm or company issues, and political office and law practice in general.