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Brittani Mulholland's picture

Brittani Mulholland is a 3L originally from Colchester, Vermont.

She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont in 2013 and, before coming to RWU Law, Brittani worked as a paralegal in a local Vermont firm for one year. Since coming to Roger Williams, she has become...

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Women in Robes: Bigger and Better than Ever

Posted by Brittani Mulholland on 10/12/2016 at 08:11 AM

Women in Robes 2016Women in Robes is an annual event sponsored by RWU Law's Women’s Law Society, and dedicated to saluting the achievement of women judges and justices in the Rhode Island judiciary. The event is truly one of the highlights of the Fall Semester because it brings RWU Law students together with so many different members of the state's unique legal community, enabling new professional relationships and connections to form and flourish.

This year's Women in Robes took place on Wednesday, October 5, at the Providence Marriott in the heart of the capital city. It's the first time we've held the event in Providence, and the move helped make it biggest ever -- and better than ever.

Women in Robes 2016This year we had 117 attendees, a record high, and we doubled our judiciary attendance from last year. Those attending included judges from the Rhode Island Supreme Court, Rhode Island Superior Court, Rhode Island District Court, Rhode Island Family Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit -- as well as various other courts throughout the state. We were also lucky to have supportive faculty and staff from the law school in attendance, as well as members of the Rhode Island Women’s Bar Association.

Women in Robes 2016The Honorable Netti Vogel played a major role in making this year’s event such a huge success. She worked alongside the Women’s Law Society in bolstering attendance from women on the judiciary, and her efforts definitely paid off. Judge Vogel also spoke at the event, recalling the time when she started law school and only 10 percent of the law students were female.

She spoke about the struggles that she, her classmates, and all other females venturing in the legal field at that time faced; how they were able to overcome them; and how far we, as women, have come. She showcased women’s successes by pointing out that:

  • 55 percent of 2015's first-year class at RWU Law were women;
  • that approximately half of the attorneys admitted to the Rhode Island Bar last year were women; and
  • as we all hopefully know by now, the there is a woman lawyer running for President of the United States on a major-party ticket.

We are at a place today, in other words, that women could only have dreamed of just a generation or two ago -- and we have the strong women who came before us to thank.

On a personal note, I can say that it's events like these, with such an outpouring of support from the law school and legal community, that make me proud to be walking across that stage next May and becoming a RWU Law alum.

The strong sense of community we have all built together is a unique one, and I am especially proud of the work our community does together to bolster support for women in a traditionally male-dominated profession. I look forward to seeing the Women’s Law Society continue to grow this event next year; and I am thankful that my last Women in Robes as a student ended on such a delightful note (and I do not just mean that pumpkin cheesecake!).

Special thanks go out to the Honorable Netti Vogel, Dean Yelnosky, Chelsie Horne in RWU Law Events, the Student Bar Association, the Women’s Law Society’s 2016-2017 executive board, RWU Law's faculty and students, and of course the Rhode Island judiciary for making 2016 Women in Robes such a great success!

Good luck to all, and hopefully I’ll see you on the other side of that bar very soon!