As the end of 2020 finally approaches, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the Northern Nevada Women Lawyers Association. Without a doubt, this year was not at all what I anticipated when I started my term as NNWLA President. Our goals this year were to focus on professional development and provide community service opportunities for our members. I am humbled by the ingenuity of our Board to quickly pivot during the pandemic to continue to produce meaningful CLE opportunities and assist our community. We were able to transition seamlessly to virtual events and continue to accomplish our goals. After reflecting on what NNWLA was able to provide for our members, I am incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve this year.
We started off 2020 by hosting a vision boarding event to focus on creating actionable goals. In February, we held a CLE with Judge Drakulich, Senior Judge Shumacher, and Professor Jean Sternlight to learn the Art of the Settlement Conference. We were able to celebrate the Valiant Women of the Vote and the centennial anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment with distinguished speakers at the Governor’s Mansion as our last in-person event. This event was co-sponsored by the Judicial College and featured inspirational remarks from former Speaker Barbara Buckley, Lieutenant Governor Kate Marshall, and Former Probate Commissioner Robin Wright, as well as a video message from Senator Cortez Masto. And this event raised over $550 in donations for the Children’s Cabinet.
Due to the pandemic, we cancelled our social event with the Washoe County Bar Association. Instead, we offered our first virtual yoga class. We followed this with NNWLA’s first ever joint event with the Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys, a Substance Abuse CLE where we participated in a mindfulness instruction. In response to the concerns regarding the increased number of bankruptcies as a result of the pandemic, we invited the Honorable Bruce T. Beesley to discuss how COVID-19 was impacting Bankruptcy Law. We finished the summer strong, with our members supporting a month-long Lawyer in the Library event for the entire month of August.
This Fall, Ann Morgan graciously hosted a virtual social event for NNWLA in September where we learned to make "the Suffragette" cocktail and mocktail. We revamped our Judicial Candidate mixer event in October by having breakout rooms in Zoom, creating a “speed-dating” setting to meet the candidates. We had planned on hosting an in-person Jury Selection CLE with Judge Simons for November, but had to postpone this CLE due to the rising COVID infection rate and the potential safety risk. I want to thank Judge Simons for working with me throughout the year to plan and replan this event, and I personally hope that NNWLA can host this event in 2021. Our final fall event was a lively discussion on Maintaining the Integrity of the Legal Profession. We are extremely thankful to our presenters, Ann Morgan, Kait Flocchini, and David Gamble Jr., who presented one our best ZOOM CLEs.
This year we increased the community service aspect of NNWLA: we formed a partnership with the Children’s Cabinet to provide a monthly educational series to their clients, called Get Your Law in Order; with our assistance, the Hugh High Mock Trial team was able to travel to Las Vegas to compete in the State Mock Trial competition. I am also extremely proud of how NNWLA responded to the call of the community by establishing a new scholarship at the University of Nevada, Reno to provide an award to a student interested in pursuing law. To start this scholarship, we reallocated the funds that we would have spent on the holiday party towards this scholarship. If you would like to donate to this scholarship, please visit our Events page.
We are looking forward to our remaining events in December. Although our Annual Holiday Party will look dramatically different from previous years, we hope to provide our members with a festive opportunity to gather and drink one of Ann Morgan’s delicious and creative cocktail/mocktail as we welcome the 2021 NNWLA Board. And while we are unable to have our Annual Holiday Shopping Event benefitting Veterans Memorial Elementary School, we are still committed to providing students with additional financial resources during the holiday season. I know that this event is a favorite for several members and one that has become a tradition shared with family and friends. And this year the students at Veterans Memorial still need our help, even more this year than previous years. Please help us reach our goal of assisting 50 children by donating using the link on our Events page. With the help of Spread the Word Nevada, we are also providing those students with books.
Lastly, thank you to my fellow motivated Board members: Stephanie Funk, Bronagh Kelly, Samantha Reviglio, Jocelyn Ostomel, Jenna Garcia, Chelsea Mazza, Andolyn Johnson, Karen Monrreal, and Rajinder K. Rai-Nielsen. It has been my pleasure to work with such talented women and to serve as the NNWLA President this year. On behalf of the 2020 NNWLA Board, I would like to extend my best wishes to all of our members and friends for a wonderful holiday season. Best of luck in 2021!
Annual Holiday Gala via ZOOM:
Unfortunately, due to Covid-19, NNWLA has decided that we can not hold our annual holiday gala in person. However, we will be holding it via ZOOM!
Happy Holidays from NNWLA! Stay safe, wear your mask, and we'll see you (hopefully in person) in 2021!