Colorado Law is home to nearly 50 active student organizations. These organizations empower law students to increase their knowledge, gain leadership experience, network, and collaborate with the legal community—all while building connections with classmates that will last throughout their careers and beyond.
In this series, we are highlighting extraordinary organizations run by Colorado Law students.
Meet the Women's Law Caucus (WLC) here at the University of Colorado Law School.
The Women's Law Caucus strives to create a safe, supportive, and authentic environment for all students, but particularly those who identify as women in the law. We know that certain professional challenges are unique to women. WLC strives to provide women with resources and opportunities to develop professionally, connect with their peers, and step into the spaces where women in the law are needed.
When was WLC founded?
The Women’s Law Caucus stretches back at least to the 1970s. When accepting the law school’s William Lee Knous Award at the annual Law Alumni Awards Banquet this year, Beth Crane '79 warmly recalled the time she spent working on the WLC during her law school career in the late 70s. Current WLC members are compiling data and interviewing past leaders to document and celebrate the historical roots of the organization. Stay tuned!
What type of events or activities does your organization host?
WLC coordinates the law school’s largest mentorship program for incoming students to help our newest Law Buffs of all gender identities navigate the novel world of law school. We take pains to match 1L mentees with 2L or 3L mentors who share personal or professional interests. We host a Mentor-Mentee Happy Hour at the beginning of the fall semester to cultivate relationships in a laid-back environment and follow up with mentees and mentors every month of the school year with suggested discussion topics for pairs to talk through.
Throughout the year, WLC hosts smaller events for law students like informational panels about equal pay issues as well as community events like our popular Paint & Sip, where students paint ceramics while enjoying wine and refreshments.
Our biggest event is the annual Women in Law Day (WiLD), which introduces high school and undergraduate students to opportunities in the legal profession and encourages them to seek higher education. Attendance typically surpasses 100 students who travel to Boulder from all over the state to participate. Programming includes industry-leading female attorneys as speakers and panelists, mock classes, and student panels to encourage the next generation of female lawyers. This event is sponsored each year by generous firms who are committed to supporting the development of women in the law.
How does the WLC support students through their education at Colorado Law?
Our programming aims to make the law school a supportive environment, make books more affordable, and prepare students to enter the historically male-dominated legal profession.
- 8 in 10 incoming 1L students participated in the WLC mentorship program last year
- Women in Law Day 2023 drew a diverse group of young people from 35 schools across Colorado
- A recent professional panel, Know Your Worth in the Workplace, revealed the varied pay transparency practices among firms and how to advocate for ourselves in pay discussions
- WLC worked with the Byron White Center, If/When/How, Health Law Society, and CWBA to put on a two-day educational event titled Pushing Back: Navigating Reproductive Justice Post-Dobbs
- In the 2023 and 2022 legislative sessions at the Colorado General Assembly, WLC has worked with CWBA to coordinate law student testimony on issues surrounding reproductive rights and gender-affirming care
When does WLC meet as an organization?
Times vary; it is best to get in touch with current leaders to get on our email list.
What are some of the benefits of membership with the WLC?
- Practicing professionalism and leadership techniques
- Networking with women currently leading the legal profession
- Organizing events that spotlight women’s issues and inspiring each other
- Getting a feel for running a small enterprise through the WLC Bookstore
- Having a seat at the table with the Colorado Women’s Bar Association
Are there leadership opportunities available?
Yes. Students can join WLC leadership at any point in their law school career. Each fall semester, 1Ls can become Student Bar Association Representatives or join our WiLD Organizing Committee. Each spring semester, we elect current 1Ls and 2Ls (rising 2Ls and 3Ls) to a slate of board positions for the following school year. For 3Ls nearing graduation, it’s still not too late to get involved helping organize our last events of the school year or to find a home in this community. Please reach out!
Are there any examples of the WLC making change through policy at Colorado Law?
The Women’s Law Caucus has run a secondhand casebook store for decades within the law building. The WLC Bookstore existed back when the law school was housed in Fleming, which will soon be renamed the Ofelia Miramontes and Leonard Baca Education Building. The same semester the law school migrated across the parking lot from Fleming to the Wolf Law Building in 2006, law school administration dedicated space on the first floor of the building to the WLC Bookstore, where it has been run ever since. We are proud that the law school administration has allowed women to open and lead this important enterprise for secondhand casebooks and are excited to welcome future Law Buffs to benefit from it.
To get involved, students can join the WLC Canvas page or reach out to one or more WLC leaders, whose contact information is updated and available on the Student Organizations page.