Women’s Initiatives Committee
The Women’s Initiatives Committee seeks to provide leadership on Cahill’s commitment to gender equity. The Committee focuses on the firm's efforts to recruit, retain, develop, and mentor women lawyers and promote women as leaders within the firm and the broader legal community. The Committee consists of partners, associates, and counsel, including partners who serve on various other committees of the firm, including the Executive Committee. The Committee coordinates Cahill’s women’s initiatives, which include speaker and networking events, professional development and mentoring, and community outreach, and is a platform for women lawyers to discuss and address areas of particular concern or interest to women lawyers.
Women Attorneys Leadership Program
Cahill’s Women’s Initiatives Committee is leading the firm’s commitment to the advancement of women in the profession with its sponsorship of the Women Attorneys Leadership Program. The Program is designed to provide Cahill women lawyers the tools they need to take ownership of their careers and move into leadership positions at the firm, or wherever their career paths take them. The Program includes a series of interactive workshops covering topics our women lawyers have expressed interest in pursuing, including active career management, communication skills, and strategies for effective team management and feedback.
Cahill Women in Firm Leadership
Two women partners serve as members of the firm’s Executive Committee, including the chair of the Women’s Initiatives Committee. Our co-administrative partners are both women. Women partners currently serve as chairs or co-chairs of many firm committees, including Education and Training, Legal Recruiting, Green & Wellness and Workplace Environment. A woman partner also serves as the managing partner of our Washington, D.C. office.
Speaker, Networking and Support Events
The Women’s Initiatives Committee hosts events throughout the year to provide our women lawyers with new circles of collaboration, support, mentoring, and networking. Representative events include the following:
- Annual Welcome Luncheon – Typically held in the fall to welcome our new women attorneys, the welcome luncheon is a celebration of women at Cahill. Past guest speakers have included leaders of the bar, bench and academia, such as Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the Southern District of New York and acclaimed law professor Paula Franzese (both Cahill alumnae), as well as leaders in the business community, such as Stacey Friedman, currently the General Counsel of JPMorgan Chase and Karen Kaiser, the General Counsel of The Associated Press (and Cahill alumnus).
- The Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lecture on Women and the Law – The Women’s Initiatives Committee has sponsored outings to attend this lecture series at the New York City Bar Association.
- Reception for Women Summer Associates – Women summer associates are given a special welcome at this annual event in their honor.
- Women’s History Month Event – All lawyers are invited to an event each March celebrating Women’s History month, at which we showcase the accomplishments of women in the law and other professions.
- International Women's Day Collection Drive – In honor of International Women's Day we partner with Sanctuary for Families to sponsor a collection drive for their clients who are seeking to build new lives after being victims of gender-based violence.
- Working Parents Roundtable – Quarterly lunches are held, sometimes with guest speakers, to discuss matters of interest to working parents, such as successful parenting tips, work-life balance strategies, and childcare.
Cahill recognizes the challenges faced by attorneys in managing the demands of their career as only one aspect of a fulfilling life. This is especially true for lawyers attempting to integrate work and family demands. Cahill’s culture has always been one that values substance over “make work” or “face time.” The firm believes that having a family-friendly environment is not just a women’s issue. Some selected policies and programs offered by the firm to help all of our lawyers manage their professional and personal needs include the following:
- Generous leave polices for new parents: 18 weeks of paid primary caregiver leave and 4 weeks of secondary caregiver leave.
- Flexible work policy: The firm makes flexible work options available to lawyers returning from parental leave to facilitate the transition back to work. Lawyers returning from primary or secondary caregiver leave may opt to work remotely, work on a reduced hours schedule, or request extended unpaid leave from the firm. Additionally, to support lawyers who want to strike a different balance in their lives, whether on account of family or other circumstances, alternative work arrangements outside of these options are considered by the firm on a case-by-case basis.
- All of our attorneys are able to work remotely using a firm provided phone that connects seamlessly to the office.
- The firm offers back-up emergency child care at several locations, including within one block from the New York office, and also offers at-home emergency childcare options.
- We offer a “Mothers’ Room” for nursing mothers. We also offer breast milk home delivery service for business traveling breastfeeding mothers through Milk Stork.
Support for Women in the Community
The firm, and its partners and employees individually, support and participate in a wide variety of local and national organizations that support women and girls in the community. Examples of organizations and events for which Cahill lawyers have provided pro bono and/or financial support include the following:
- The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL)
- National Women’s Law Center
- The New York Women’s Foundation (NYWF)
- DirectWomen Board Institute
- Girl Scouts of Greater New York
- Women's Initiative for Self Employment
Sanctuary for Families
Sanctuary for Families’ Legal Center is one of the largest providers of free legal services exclusively for victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence in the United States. Sanctuary empowers adults and children to move from fear and abuse to safety and stability, transforming lives through a comprehensive range of services including clinical, legal, shelter, children's and economic empowerment services. Cahill works with Sanctuary to assist clients in claiming control of their lives and ending all forms of gender-based violence. Over the years, Cahill lawyers have provided thousands of hours of pro bono legal services to Sanctuary’s clients, and in 2003, and from 2014-2019, the firm and groups of our lawyers received awards from Sanctuary for excellence in pro bono advocacy in recognition of their outstanding pro bono representation and advocacy on behalf of victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking. In 2018, one of Cahill’s partners also received Sanctuary’s Abely Pro Bono Achievement Award, which honors individuals who have made a difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence and who embody compassion, zeal, energy, and dedication in their work. Cahill lawyers also perform non-legal volunteer services for Sanctuary, including through its Economic Empowerment Program, for which Cahill lawyers do mock interviews and math tutoring to help survivors achieve economic independence, and participation in its Adopt-a-Family holiday gift program.
Click here to learn more about Cahill’s work with Sanctuary for Families.