Women in the Profession Section

A Women in the Profession Section Publication
Fall 2012
In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Sponsor Corner
Survey Results
Section Hosts Annual Outstanding Woman in the Profession Achievement Award Luncheon
Section Hosts Annual Kick-Off Social
Section Members Participate in 2012 Komen For The Cure 5K Run/Walk
Women in Mediation, Arbitration and Negotiation
Foreverfamily Community Service Project
Women's Cancer Legal Project
Section Kudos
Quick Links
Follow Us
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Newsletter Editor
Laura C. Zschach

2012-2013 Women in the Profession Section
Board of Directors

Melissa Reading

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
Adriana Midence Scott

Elizabeth (Liz) Skola

Taylor Tribble

Immediate Past Chair
Laura C. Zschach

Members at Large
Heather Miller
Hon. Kimberly Esmond Adams
Lisa Liang
Jacquelyn H. Saylor
Rebecca Christian Smith
Jessica K. Stern

Upcoming Events

Annual Section Holiday Reception

Thursday, December 6, 2012 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm


Come celebrate the holidays with
the Women in the Profession Section
at the Home of Scott and The Honorable Susan Edlein


Register online and view the
detailed brochure
Mark your calendars for these other Upcoming Events!

- Annual Leader Within CLE with GAWL: Jan 22

- ForeverFamily Community Service Opportunities: Jan 29,
  Mar 26 and Apr 30


Sponsor Corner
Thank you to our 2012-2013 Annual Section Sponsors


Michael Todd Hair Studio is offering 20% off color and cut to WIP Section Members for the Holiday Season!


Survey Results
surveyThank you to the WIP Section Members who took the time
to complete our recent
member survey!

See the results of the survey here!
Section Hosts Annual Outstanding Woman in the Profession Achievement Award Luncheon


The Outstanding Woman in the Profession Achievement Award Luncheon was held on June 19, 2012 at The Capital City Club, in downtown Atlanta.  WIP presents this award each year to a woman whose contributions have assisted in promoting and empowering women in the legal profession.  This year, WIP proudly honored a woman whose strength of character and commitment to the betterment of our profession has few equals, The Honorable Carol W. Hunstein, Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court.   

Appointed to the Supreme Court of Georgia in 1992, Justice Hunstein is only the second woman to serve as a permanent member of the Court.  Prior to her appointment, she served as the first female Superior Court Judge in Dekalb County.  She was also the first woman to serve as President of the Council of Superior Court judges.

Justice Hunstein's accomplishments and contributions to the legal profession are remarkable.  She has spent untold hours working, not only on the bench, but on committees and boards which address the needs of Georgia's women and children.  She has chaired  numerous State Commissions on Child Support Guidelines, served on the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention and is former chair of the Georgia Commission on Access to Fairness, to name only a few. 

The Women in the Profession Section of the Atlanta Bar is proud to honor Justice Hunstein with this year's award.  


Section Hosts Annual Kick-Off Social
The Atlanta Bar Association's Women in the Profession Section (WIP) successfully kick-started its social calendar with a great introduction and networking event.  The Kick-Off Social took place September 13th at Gordon Biersch Brewery - Restaurant in Midtown Atlanta.  Guests had the opportunity to mingle with current WIP members, snack on some delicious hors d'oeuvres, and learn how they could get involved with the different WIP committees.

Following a few opening remarks and thanks to the section sponsors, Women in the Profession Chair Melissa Reading raffled off some exciting prizes.  A group of lucky ladies took home two tickets to the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Fundraiser, a $25 gift card to Etcetera Clothing, and a Week of Transformation by Exhale Spa.  Additionally, Exhale Spa also donated a free gym class to everyone who attended the event.

For those who could not make it to the Kick-Off Social, you can still sign up to be a part of the Atlanta Bar Association's Women in the Profession Section.  Annual membership dues are just $30.  For more information about WIP and its committees, visit the Women in the Profession Section page or check out WIP's Facebook page.

Section Members Participate in 2012 Komen For The Cure 5K Run/Walk


It may have been an unseasonably cold and rainy morning, but that did not dampen the spirits of the Women in the Profession members who participated in the 2012 "Komen for the Cure" 5K Run/Walk.  Members Heather Miller, Melissa Reading (with her children Logan and Brynn), Liz Skola, Christina Wall and Megan Hodgkiss donned their pink "Team WIP Lash" t-shirts and joined the thousands of people proudly walking through Midtown Atlanta.  The crowd consisted of cancer survivors, friends, families and other supporters in the fight against breast cancer. 


The Women in the Profession team raised more than $250 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a leading organization for breast cancer activism.  Since its inception in 1982, Komen for the Cure has invested millions of dollars in breast cancer education, support, and treatment.  For more information about the Greater Atlanta Affiliate of Komen for the Cure, visit komenatlanta.org


One of the goals of the Women in the Profession section is to encourage participation in matters relating to the interests and issues of women in the legal profession.  The WIP Pro Bono Committee has partnered with Atlanta Legal Aid in the on-going pro bono initiative, Women's Cancer Legal Project.  WIP Members help low-income cancer patients with any legal issues that may prevent them from focusing on their health and treatment. 


Women in Mediation, Arbitration and Negotiation

Women in the Profession joined with JAMS on October 17, 2012, at the JAMS offices to host a breakfast program entitled "Women in Mediation, Arbitration and Negotiation."  The program was moderated by Joan Grafstein, former Chair of Women in the Profession and a moderator and arbitrator at JAMS.  Joan prompted interesting discussions from the panel, which consisted of attorneys with various backgrounds and practice areas, including the Honorable Dorothy Toth Beasley, Amanda Farahany, Esq., Tricia (CK) Hoffler, Esq., Allegra Lawrence-Hardy, Esq., and Laura Zschach, Esq. 

The panel discussed issues regarding gender and generational differences in alternative dispute resolution and negotiations.  Each panelist shared their unique experiences and challenges. 

Joan also prompted discussions from the audience as everyone explored the advantages and challenges women attorneys encounter in negotiations and alternative dispute resolutions. 

With over sixty participants, the program proved to be a great networking opportunity and everyone in attendance seemed to obtain some practical practice advice. 


Foreverfamily and WIP Celebrate Spooky and Silly Holiday Fun
WIP kicked off its newest community service project by painting pumpkins, decorating trick-or-treat bags, and sharing cupcakes with the children of Foreverfamily.  A few Georgia State University residential assistants organized a group outing for the young folks to hang out on the college campus, eat pizza, listen to music and have fun celebrating most kids' favorite holiday.
Members of WIP's community service committee had a blast too - juggling the paint-laden elementary schoolers while also making sure the middle school youngins weren't too cool to have a good time.  All in all, the young folks were undeniably happy, and that is really all you hope for under the circumstances.
Foreverfamily provides support and a true extension of family to children who have experienced life with a parent in prison.  For 25 years, the organization has provided assistance by offering educational support, activities to empower both the children and their current caregiver, weekly group meals, assistance with visitation to see their parents within the facility, and most importantly the love and support of family. 

WIP plans to volunteer with Foreverfamily at their Tuesday night dinners every other month, but will attend more regularly with more support from our members.  Please contact Jessica Stern if you're interested in getting involved in our group activities or with one-on-one mentoring opportunities.  You will leave feeling more energized than when you arrived!

Women's Cancer Legal Project

smaller pink ribbonOn October 30, 2012, 9 women - 7 attorneys and 2 law students - joined WIP in the 4-year strong pro bono partnership with Atlanta Legal Aid's Breast Cancer Legal Project/Cancer Legal Initiative. Atlanta Legal Aid attorneys Beth Stephens and Lisa Liang (WIP Board Member-at-Large) and paralegal JoQuita Etchison led a two-hour CLE session designed to enable the women to assist low-income patients diagnosed with breast and other cancers with legal issues by conducting intake at DeKalb Medical and Grady Hospital. Volunteers learned about the partnership history, intake processes, resources for handling different types of claims, discussed practical issues with Project-clients and were introduced to elements of substantive law that particularly and disproportionally affect Project-clients. The attorney participants also were invited to get involved by signing up to be "consultants" to the Project's attorneys by accepting cases for pro bono representation or providing legal analysis and education on legal issues related to those cases.


The partnership began in 2008 as the brainchild of Melissa Reading, current Section Chair and Haley Schwartz, founding director of the Breast Cancer Legal Project and has become an integral support to Project staff as more than 60 people have been trained to assist Project clients. Given the success of the partnership, the following updates to the partnership will be effective January 2013: (1) experienced volunteers may elect to conduct intake at DeKalb Medical on his/her own or with a newly trained volunteer; however, she/he is not required to do so and a Project staff member will meet the volunteer at DeKalb Medical. A Project staff member will continue to meet all volunteers at Grady Hospital, (2) the outreach calendar will now be circulated quarterly as intake dates may change based on patients' needs, and (3) (as mentioned above) attorney volunteers may sign-up to assist Project staff with cases of interest. To find out more information or to sign-up for an outreach date or to become a consultant, please contact Lisa Liang directly at lkliang@atlantalegalaid.org or (404) 614-3971.

Women in the Profession Section Kudos

Thumbs UpCongratulations to the following Women in the Profession Section members and supporters!


The Honorable Asha F. Jackson, Superior Court of DeKalb County was awarded the Atlanta Bar Association 2012 Community Service Award at the Annual Celebrating Service Award Luncheon and Pro Bono Fair on October 19, 2012.


Section Chair Melissa Reading, Owen, Gleaton, Egan,
Jones & Sweeney, LLP
was awarded the 2012 Atlanta Legal Aid Distinguished Service Award at the Annual
Celebrating Service Award Luncheon and Pro Bono Fair on October 19, 2012.
The Women in the Profession Section wants to publish your announcement in the Kudos Section of the next Edition of WIP LASH!  Please send accolades, awards, hiring of new associates, etc. to Laura Zschach