OWLS’ mission is to transform the practice of law and ensure justice and equality by advancing women and minorities in the legal profession.
We believe that law as traditionally practiced has included barriers to the advancement of women and minorities and has not always been a friend to those seeking a healthy, balanced life. We seek to encourage and celebrate change that will eliminate those barriers and imbalances, and we expect the profession will be stronger as a result.
While most legal employers agree in concept that such changes are needed, many disagree on how to achieve these goals. How can legal employers help parents of small children avoid losing the momentum in their legal careers to become leaders in the profession? How can part-time employment work for both employer and employee? How can legal employers promote effective mentoring relationships? What can they do to attract and retain qualified women and minority lawyers and equip them for leadership? How can they value contributions to the organization that are not captured by the usual quantification tools, such as billable hours?
The OWLS Workplace Leader Award recognizes an Oregon legal employer making innovative and effective efforts to promote one or more of the following values:
- a healthy balance between work and life;
- acquiring and maintaining a diverse workforce with diverse leadership; and
- maximizing opportunities for women and minorities to succeed in the workplace and advance to positions of influence and leadership.
We are not looking for an employer to exemplify all of these virtues. Rather, the award will recognize a specific program, policy, or project that is successfully addressing one or more of the concerns outlined above. We particularly want to encourage applications from in-house legal departments, government employers, and employers who are making strides in recruiting and retaining women and minority lawyers and equipping them for leadership.
Qualifying firms or organizations have been in business in Oregon for at least three years.
Nominations should include the following:
- Information that will help the award committee evaluate the specific program, policy, or project of the employer;
- the markers of success for that program, policy, or project;
- and names of people who can be contacted for further information.
Nominations must be received via email by 5 p.m. Friday, June 1, 2018. Please send them to Val Tomasi, OWLS Transformation Committee chair.
The 2018 award recipient will be honored during the OWLS Fall CLE on Friday, October 26, at the Mercy Corps Headquarters in downtown Portland.
Previous Workplace Leader Award Recipients
Reynolds Law Firm (Corvallis)
Portland City Attorney’s Office
McDowell, Rackner & Gibson PC (Portland)
TriMet Legal Department (Portland)
Buchanan Angeli Altschul & Sullivan LLP (Portland)
Disability Rights Oregon (Portland)
The Legal Department of the Knowledge Learning Corporation (Portland)
Gartland, Nelson, McCleery, Wade & Walloch (Eugene)
Farleigh Wada Witt (Portland) and Bodyfelt Mount (Portland)
Markowitz Herbold Glade & Mehlhaf, P.C. (Portland)