Thursday, July 22, 2010

Society of Women Lawyers to inaugurate its India Chapter

Society of Women Lawyers to inaugurate its India Chapter

Priti Suri, Partner at Priti Suri & Associates (PSA) has been appointed as the President of Society of Women Lawyers-India (SOWL), a platform for women lawyers to come together within India.
SOWL, which was incorporated on May 14, 2010, is having a soft-launch on August 20, which will include meeting of members to shape the direction and agenda of SOWL-India. The official launch will be in November 2010, with participants who will hail from government dignitaries, corporate India and the legal profession.
Priti Suri speaking to Bar & Bench said, “The presence of women in the legal profession has often been met with challenges and bias, possibly based on biology. Committed to inclusion, empowerment and advancement of women lawyers in India, SOWL will enable women legal professionals to come together and work on their challenges in the rapidly changing legal landscape of India. It will be a platform to discuss issues, problems, share experiences, and find solutions that work. We hope that SOWL will become the soul of the women legal fraternity. As SOWL will mature, we intend to collaborate with other international bodies to see how we can cross-pollinate ideas because some problems transcend geographical barriers”.
This issue concerning women lawyers was first highlighted by the Women Lawyers’ Conference organized in February 2009, in New Delhi under the chair of the Women’s Business Lawyers Committee, of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA). It was attended by over 100 women lawyers and other attendees include Partners of various law firms and the Additional Solicitor General, Amarjit Singh Chandhiok and Lalit Bhasin of Bhasin & Co.
The objective of SOWL is to secure equal participation of women in the legal profession; promote pro bono and assist women in obtaining positions of influence and leadership; connect members for mutual advancement of their professional relationships and referrals and assist in advancement of the interests of women in law.
Advantage of becoming a member includes opportunity of meeting other women lawyers / law graduates along with exposure pertaining to supporting legal education of the girl child, law reform and lobbying for gender-sensitive laws, continuing legal education etc.
SOWL will impart training, inclusive of webinars in essential soft-skills needed to succeed in matters such as relationship management; business development; work-life balance and time. It will support members during a difficult career change or personal upheaval and will assist in looking for a job within the legal profession.
Membership will be given only to women holding a law degree. Law firms can also become members with maximum four women representatives from each firm.

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