Retired Superior Court Judge Lynda B. Munro Receives 2019 Ladder Award

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2019 Ladder Award Winner Hon. Lynda B. Munro and her colleagues, Hon. Anne C. Dranginis and CBA Past President Livia D. Barndollar (2008-2009), both of Pullman & Comley LLC.

The CBA Women in the Law Section, in association with the CBA Young Lawyers Section (YLS) Women in the Law Committee, honored retired Connecticut Superior Court Judge Lynda B. Munro as the 2019 recipient of the Ladder Award at “Pathways to Leadership for Women Lawyers,” held on March 28 at Saint Clements Castle in Portland, CT.

The Ladder Award was created by the YLS Women in the Law Committee in 2007 to honor a woman attorney who has “left the ladder down” for those women to follow in her footsteps. The award is aimed at honoring the efforts of women in the legal profession who have recognized the importance of mentoring and supporting more junior lawyers in their own journeys to success in the profession. Judge Munro has joined a distinguished group of female attorneys, including Former US Attorney for the District of Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly, Justice Maria A. Kahn, Diane W. Whitney, Hon. Anne C. Dranginis, Rosemary Giuliano, and Hon. Elizabeth J. Stewart.

Women in the Law Section Chair Jennifer E. Wheelock welcomed attendees to the inspiring event before introducing keynote speaker, the Honorable Elizabeth A. Bozzuto, who discussed the gender issues in the legal profession, dating back to the 1880s: “Let us be mindful of the fact that women have, and continue to be, the minority group within the legal profession, and we need to recognize, support, and honor those who came before us to make it easier for those of us who follow to achieve great success in the law; Lynda is one of those people.” She believes women have come a long way in the field, but when it comes to equality and civility for women in the legal profession, there is still more to be done.

Judge Munro was introduced by her colleagues Judge Anne C. Dranginis (ret.) and CBA Past President Livia D. Barndollar (2008-2009), both of Pullman & Comley LLC. Attorney Barndollar further explored the ongoing gender issues in the legal profession by citing a study of gender bias in the administration of justice, which was put out by the Task Force on Gender, Justice, and the Courts in 1995. The study reported the statistical growth of women in the legal profession: seven percent (eight out of 112) of Connecticut Superior Court judges were women in 1980, increasing to 15 percent (24 out of 158) by early 1995. Currently, of the 154 Connecticut Superior Court judges, nearly 65 are female. Attorney Barndollar noted that “The CBA has always tried to ensure everyone is treated equally, whatever their gender, identity, race, or age.”

Judge Dranginis reminisced of her time shared with Judge Munro at the Connecticut Superior Court, expressing, “She was never selfish. She always allowed others to join the conversation to help make a better profession and practice.”

A standing ovation escorted Judge Munro to the podium. In acceptance of her award, she asserted the importance of being unconscious role models and mentors to not only help continue to leave the ladder down for young female attorneys, but to help change the world. “Its a crazy, scary world we live in, but if we do these great mentorship activities, I believe we can make the world a better place,” she stated.

For photos of the night’s event, visit our Facebook photo album!

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Young Lawyers Section Habitat for Humanity Build

2019 Habitat LogoThe CBA Young Lawyers Section is excited to participate in a build for Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity again this year at a construction site in Hartford on March 30, 2019. Not only will they be volunteering time to help build a home here in Greater Hartford, they have also committed to fundraising in support of Hartford Habitat’s mission to provide safe, decent, affordable housing here in the Hartford community. Donate today to help reach their fundraising goal!

YLS Executive Committee Seeks Applications for 2019-2020 Bar Year

YLS 2019-20 logoThe Young Lawyers Section (YLS) Executive Committee is a fantastic opportunity for you to take a leadership role in the Bar, network with friends and colleagues, create avenues for potential new clients, and make a name for yourself in this early part of your career.

What is the CBA/YLS Executive Committee?
The Executive Committee is your chance to take a leadership role in the YLS. Pursuant to the CBA/YLS Bylaws, the YLS is governed by an Executive Committee comprised of four officers, a team of directors, and chairs of committees dedicated to varied practice areas made up of young lawyers from across the Association and state. These committees actively engage in planning and implementing programming catered to each area of the law, and they provide an excellent opportunity for young lawyers to explore the area of law in which they practice and begin to make a name for themselves there. The committee chair positions that may comprise the 2019-2020 Executive Committee are found on the application.

What are the duties of a CBA/YLS Executive Committee member?
The term for the 2019-2020 YLS Executive Committee will run from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

The quality of each year’s educational, social and network programming is the direct product of the creativity and dedication of our Executive Committee members. Connecticut continues to have enthusiastic and outstanding members of both the Executive Committee and the Bar that devote their time and energy to produce first-class seminars, panel discussions, networking programs, dinner, and public service opportunities. We also develop programs designed to improve the practice of law in Connecticut with projects that provide public service and pro bono opportunities for our membership. We are able to invite top notch speakers from around the country and regularly receive recognition on a national level for the success we have achieved. To keep this tradition of excellent alive, we need your help in joining our Executive Committee!

With respect to time commitment, Executive Committee members are expected to attend monthly meetings from September through May. Some of these sessions will be dinner meetings held at the CBA Law Center in New Britain, CT. Other sessions will involve social and professional networking opportunities throughout the state. Executive Committee Members have responsibilities including planning and implementing CLE programs, social events for young lawyers, and public service/pro bono commitment. The responsibilities are better viewed as opportunities to tailor CLE programs to the needs of you and other similarly situated young lawyers, make valuable connections and provide pro bono/public service in a way that is personally rewarding to you. Once appointed to the Executive Committee, members are required to attend the Executive Committee’s Annual Leadership Retreat, which is a leadership training and strategic planning meeting in June. This year’s Retreat will be held on Friday June 28th and Saturday June 29 that the Foxwoods Resort Casino. The Retreat is a day and half long event and will require members to take a full day away from work Friday, June 28th. All meals and hotel accommodations as well as some scheduled resort activities will be provided by the YLS with a $35 registration fee.

How do I sign up?
Complete and return the application electronically to Carol DeJohn at cdejohn@ctbar.org by Friday, April 5, 2019. Submission of an application is a prerequisite to appointment to the Executive Committee and space on the Committee is limited. This is true for both new and current members alike. The application process is designed to aid the YLS Selection Committee in creating and Executive Committee that is diverse, inclusive, and responsive to the needs and demands of the entire membership.

 

 

YLS Honors Asha Rangappa with Diversity Award

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YLS Chair David A. McGrath, YLS Senior Advisor Suphi A. Philip, and Diversity Award recipient Asha Rangappa.

The Young Lawyers Section (YLS) held its eleventh Diversity Award Dinner on February 7  at Amarante’s Sea Cliff in New Haven. The honor was presented to Asha Rangappa—former FBI agent, CNN contributor, and senior lecturer at Yale University—for her outstanding efforts on behalf of diversity.

YLS Chair David A. McGrath introduced the event and provided the background of the award. The YLS Diversity Award is presented to a person in the legal field who has shown both a personal and professional commitment to the elimination of bias in the legal profession as well as the principle that all people should have full and equal protection in the justice system.

YLS Senior Advisor Suphi A. Philip introduced Attorney Rangappa, noting that the recipient is “the embodiment of a creative, persevering spirit.” To illustrate this point, Attorney Philip shared an anecdote about Attorney Rangappa’s FBI physical fitness exam. After suffering contused ribs in a car accident, Attorney Rangappa continued her training and was able to complete the required running, push-up, pull-up, and sit-up drills to stay in the program beyond the required minimum.

Asha Rangappa is a director of admissions and senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and a former associate dean at Yale Law School. Prior to her current position, she served as a special agent in the New York Division of the FBI, specializing in counterintelligence investigations. She was one of the first Indian-American female recruits to the FBI after the agency began a post-9/11 push for diversity and inclusion. Her work involved assessing threats to the national security, conducting classified investigations on suspected foreign agents, and performing undercover work. While in the FBI, Attorney Rangappa gained experience in intelligence trade craft, electronic surveillance, interview and interrogation techniques, and firearms and the use of deadly force.

In her previous role as Yale Law School’s dean of admissions, she was a part of the school’s efforts to increase diversity, which resulted in the most diverse class in Yale Law School’s history, in 2017.

Consistently involved in the Connecticut legal community, Attorney Rangappa has served on the boards of the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut (SABAC), the Connecticut chapters of the Society of Former Agents of the FBI, and the National Organization for Women (NOW). She has long supported Young Lawyers Section programs, including its Annual Women’s Professional Golf Event.

Attorney Rangappa graciously thanked the CBA and the organizations in attendance in support of her, stating: “Both [Yale] Law School and SABAC have played important roles in both shaping my career and offering me different perspectives on diversity and how it intersects with the legal profession.” She shared that she receives calls from South Asian girls and women each week who want to discuss a potential career in law enforcement or national security; many of them say that this career path had simply never occurred to them as something that they could do until they saw it in front of them.

She concluded the evening with a nod to the future of diversity and inclusion: “We as underrepresent[ed] groups in the legal profession in this country have a responsibility to paint a picture where our communities can’t see this path as one that they belong in and can belong in, and not only because doing so reflects the America we live in, but because it protects it as well.”

Section Spotlight: YLS Hosts Pro Bono Hour

On Tuesday, January 22, the Young Lawyers Section held its Pro Bono Hour program at Herd Restaurant in Middletown. More than 50 members in attendance learned about pro bono opportunities in a variety of practice areas for ten different Connecticut organizations. Representatives from each of the pro bono organizations detailed the current projects, time requirements, and available training.

“The Pro Bono Hour was a wonderful opportunity for YLS members from a range of organizations—both in-house council and those at firms—to learn about the pro bono opportunities available throughout the state,” said YLS Assistant Pro Bono Director Alexandra J. Cavaliere. “It is my hope that those in attendance will take these opportunities back to their firms to expand the reach of the messages shared by the pro bono representatives that night.”

Attendees were encouraged by many of the pro bono representatives to examine their availability and passions and to approach an organization to see how they can help. Currently the need for pro bono service is great, any volunteer assistance is appreciated. For more volunteer opportunities, visit ctbar.org/probonoorganizations.

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Ashleigh Backman of Statewide Legal Services discussing available pro bono opportunities.

 

Young Lawyers Section Collects over 30,000 Meals This Holiday Season

donations photoThe Young Lawyers Section’s Horn of Plenty Food Drive collected over 30,000 meals for Connecticut residents struggling with hunger this fall. Food drive participants’ monetary donations were matched two to one by Feeding America’s Give a Meal with Bank of America program. The YLS also collected food items for Connecticut Foodbank and Foodshare at law firms across the state.

The Horn of Plenty Food Drive was organized by YLS Public Service Co-directors Joanna M. Kornafel and Linda A. Bulkovitch. Cindy M. Cieslak, Sara J. Dickson, Jonathan E. Friedler, Ron J. Houde, Jr., Meredith F. McBride, and Molly C. Sanford assisted with the food collection.

“This year’s Horn of Plenty was a huge success because of the team of volunteers that helped collect food and monetary donations as well as the greater Connecticut bar community that supported our efforts,” shared YLS Public Service Co-directors Linda A. Bulkovitch and Joanna M. Kornafel. “Together we all made a difference in fighting hunger in our home state. Thank you to everyone. We know that we really made a positive difference.”

Monetary donations were made by Attorneys Austin Berescik-Johns, Patricia M. Carreiro, David A, McGrath, and Diane W. Whitney, as well as Green & Sklarz LLC, Polinsky Law Group, and Rose Kallor LLP.

Nominations are Now Open for the 2018 Ladder Award

The Women in the Law Committee of the Young Lawyers Section is seeking nominations for the 2018 Ladder Award. This award honors a Connecticut female attorney who has “left the ladder down” for women to follow in her footsteps, and values the importance of leadership development, mentoring, and supporting junior lawyers in their journeys to success.

To nominate a candidate, submit a letter of recommendation, no longer than two pages, describing the extent, type, and character of the leadership provided by the nominee. Nominations must be submitted no later than Friday, January 5, 2018 to YLSWITL@gmail.com. Learn more about the Ladder award here.

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2017 Ladder Award winner, Justice Maria A. Kahn,
with CBA officers and YLS leadership.