On April 27 Girls Incorporated of Chattanooga and South East Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women (SETLAW) are giving more than 30 girls from Howard Middle School, ages 11-15, a closer look at the legal profession on national Take Our Daughters to Work day. Most of the Howard students participate in Girls Inc.'s “Allies in Action” leadership development workshops.
The girls will begin the event in the Division II Criminal Court of Judge Rebecca Stern. Judge Stern will formally open the court session and speak to the girls. The girls will then hear presentations from Dana Lesley and Mary Sullivan Moore of the Hamilton County District Attorney's office as well as the Hamilton County Public Defender Ardena Garth.
The girls will tour the Hamilton County Courthouse, specifically visiting the courtroom of Chancellor W. Frank Brown, III, and the office of the Clerk & Master, Lee Akers, for brief presentations.
11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
Upon returning to Judge Stern's courtroom, the girls will hear from Division I Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge Jaqueline E. Schulten; and Division III Hamilton County Circuit Court Judge L. Marie Williams; attorney Hallie McFadden; as well as a representative from Legal Aid of East Tennessee.
"Girls Inc. is delighted to partner with SETLAW and this group of judges and attorneys," said Maxine Bailey, CEO of Girls Inc. "They have made a great commitment to these girls and to the community by giving girls this kind of exposure to the legal profession."
“Each year the ladies of SETLAW look forward to this event with Girls Inc. Our purpose is to introduce the girls to the vast opportunities available to them in the legal profession. We want them to be aware of the many individuals that work together to create a fluid judicial system,” said Rebecca Siera Woods, current President of the SETLAW.
Girls Inc. is also offering a more sustained and intense introduction to legal careers this summer, in its Allies in Action Law Academy, June 5-30. Other summer Career Academies focus on entrepreneurship, print and broadcast journalism, and public health.
After organizing "Take Our Daughters To Work" day for ten years, the Ms. Foundation for Women launched "Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work" in 2003 to broaden the discussion about the competing challenges of work and family. Girls Inc. and SETLAW continue to focus on bringing girls into the workplace, because their work focuses on girls and women year round.
"We'd like to see more professions follow SETLAW's example in creating opportunities for both girls and boys to get this kind of exposure to career opportunities," said Maxine Bailey. "I appeal to any professional association: If you want to help girls understand your field, we'd love to help. If you want to work with boys, too, we'll help you find a partner."