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News Posted on March 2, 2009

CSBA President Fujie Leads Panel on "Women Lawyers with Kids"

Holly Fujie, president of the California State Bar Association (CSBA) and a partner at the Los Angeles firm Buchalter Nemer, joined a panel of successful women lawyers to discuss the special challenges women face in trying to balance family life with careers in law.  The event, co-sponsored by the UC Davis School of Law and Feminist Forum, was held in Wilkins Moot Courtroom February 26.

Fujie, only the third woman and the second Asian American to serve as CSBA president, was joined on the panel by Cindy Faatz, Assistant Director of Patents with Intel; June Coleman of Ellis, Coleman, Poirier, LaVoie & Steinheimer, LLP; Karen Goodman of Goodman & Associates; and Ruthe Ashley, President of California ALL.

Fujie noted that women have become more of a presence in legal education and practice since her time in law school, when only about 30 percent of the students in her class were female.  At the same time, "in certain ways, society is going a bit backwards," she said, as stereotypical images of women continue to dominate the media and younger women seem ever more uncertain about the viability of sustaining both a career and family life.

"I wanted to bring these women here as Exhibit A," Fujie said, in demonstrating that it is indeed possible to achieve a successful balance. 

The panel members offered anecdotes from their own experiences and advice on how to balance between competing demands.  "It's all about prioritizing, figuring out what's important, and then learning to say ‘no' to some things," said Ruthe Ashley.

The panel members encouraged students to consider membership in California Women Lawyers and Women Lawyers of Sacramento and to draw upon the experiences of previous generations.  "The things that may seem insurmountable are things we've gone through and things we can help you with," said Fujie.

The event was videotaped and will be made available online from the UC Davis iTunesU site.