Student News

Women can face a range of challenges in the legal profession. One group of students is working to change that through workshops, mentor partnerships, and community engagement.

“Richmond Women’s Law focuses on an area of the law that is often ignored,” said Kate Miceli, L’18, president. “We focus on pay discrimination, sexism in the workplace, sexual assault, and domestic violence. Those are all legal and social issues that affect the majority of law students.”

RWL’s programming is as varied as the issues they work to combat. Last year, they organized a self-defense class and commemorated Equal Pay Day with calls to local legislators. Students developed professional skills in a salary negotiation workshop and a discussion with female judges about their paths to the bench. And Noorain Khan of the Ford Foundation spoke about understanding implicit bias and its effect on the workplace.

The group also has a long-standing partnership with Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association that matches students with local attorneys for mentoring and networking.

One annual event in April brought the two groups to the Supreme Court. There, they met Justice Clarence Thomas for a tour of the court and sat in as Justice Neil Gorsuch’s heard his first oral arguments.

“Justice Thomas took them to private chambers where tour groups aren’t allowed and talked with the students for about two hours,” Miceli said. “Everyone agreed it was one of the most memorable experiences they’ve had in law school.”