Minority Female Attorneys Form Networking Group
Young, Alicia, The Crisis
There are more African American women attorneys today than ever before. Yet, many challenges remain for Black women as they try to progress from mere staff members to the top lawyers for major corporations. Some believe that the lack of access to mentors and little, if any, contacts for potential business have stagnated their legal careers.
Laurie Robinson, an assistant general counsel for nearly three years for CBS Broadcasting Inc., in New York City, wanted to do something about that. She found the isolation of working in the corporate environment challenging and a potential obstacle to her career success.
"In the corporate structure, there are not that many women of color in the aggregate," says Robinson, 32. "If you have people who resemble you, who are doing great things, and offer encouragement and guidance for your career, then you have a benchmark for what to achieve."
The 1998 graduate of Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington began compiling a directory of minority female attorneys so they could have access to each other as resources for job opportunities and, most importantly, mentorship.
In 2004, she formed Corporate Counsel Women of Color, a nonprofit organization of primarily Black female attorneys who serve as legal counsel to corporations.
In January, the group celebrated its launch in New York, where members were welcomed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In just over a year, the informal group of 20 meeting for occasional dinners in New York City had grown to more than 700 members from all across the country, as well as Canada, Asia and Europe. …