Women’s Law Association honors local attorney during Women in the Profession dinner

The Women's Law Association honored a longtime advocate for women's rights during its first Women in the Profession dinner, held Friday, April 4 at the law school. Details...

2L student Miriam Heard, left, presents attorney Ellen Gerber with a gift during the Women’s Law Association’s first Women in the Profession dinner, held Friday, April 4 at the law school.
The purpose of the dinner, which WLA hopes will become an annual event, is to celebrate and honor a woman attorney for her contributions to women’s rights in the law and to helping women in the legal profession.

Attorney Ellen Gerber of High Point, N.C., was honored by WLA for her extensive contributions in the area of family law, women’s rights and work with Legal Aid of North Carolina and the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys. Gerber shared stories of her work, which ranged from fighting for more women’s bathrooms at the UNC law school in the early 70’s to lobbying for equitable distribution legislation.

Susan Dotson-Smith, president of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, discussed the NCAWA’s work and contributions to the community. Dotson-Smith highlighted the organization’s Judicial Endorsement Committee, which makes non-partisan endorsements for judicial office based on the candidate’s ability and demonstrated support for the rights of women.

Second-year student and WLA Co-President Stephanie Fabricius thanked Dotson-Smith for the support  NCAWA has given to WLA. Second-year student and WLA Director Michele Cybulski thanked the many women in attendance who had been “instrumental in opening the door to the legal profession for women,” and vowed WLA would continue to open doors for women.

Approximately 40 people attended the event, including women judges, judicial candidates and attorneys. As part of the NC Bar Association’s 4ALL Public Service Day on April 4, WLA Directors Holly Greeson and Jennifer Fleeman coordinated the Dress for Success clothing drive. Dinner guests brought suits, shoes, and other clothing to donate towards the cause. Dress for Success is a not-for-profit organization that helps disadvantaged women reach their goal of economic independence by providing professional attire for job interviews and the workplace.