OWLS was incorporated in 1989 as a 501(c)(6) non-profit professional
association. Interest in forming a statewide women’s bar organization
grew out of meetings of the Multnomah Bar Association's Committee on
the Status of Women in 1987-88. At the 1988 state bar convention, the
Multnomah Bar Committee co-hosted a breakfast with three existing groups
of women attorneys: Queen's Bench (in Portland), Lane County Women Lawyers,
and The Mary Leonard Law Society in Salem. The discussion led to the
1988 establishment of Oregon Women Lawyers.
The principal purposes of Oregon Women Lawyers are:
- To promote equal rights and opportunities for women
and minorities within the legal profession and the
- To promote full participation of women and minorities in the
organized bar and in the legislative and judicial branches of
- To provide opportunities for women and minorities in the legal
profession to support and educate one another
- To improve the quality and image of the legal profession in Oregon
- To actively promote equality and fair treatment of all people
within the legal profession and in society.
Oregon Women Lawyers uses numerous means to advance these goals, including
events, seminars, a members-only listserve,
newsletter, and a mentoring program.