Women lawyers to focus on affirmative action, unity

Constance L. Rice, western regional counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, will address affirmative action and other issues pertinent to women in the legal community during the State Bar's 1996 Women In Law Conference May 3-4 in Costa Mesa.

"The Cumulative Majority: Bringing Us Together," will be the central topic of the sixth annual statewide conference.

Lawyers, judges, paralegals and other attorneys and legal professionals will have a chance to meet and exchange ideas, as well as attend MCLE-approved workshops.

Included on the conference agenda is a Saturday luncheon featuring U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston and Rachel F. Moran, professor of law at Boalt Hall.

Christine Burdick, executive director and general counsel of the Santa Clara County Bar Association is chair of the bar's Committee on Women in the Law. The conference kicks off Friday evening with a 6 p.m. welcoming reception.

The American Bar Association's recent report on the status of women in the legal profession will be addressed at the Saturday morning plenary session.

Morning and afternoon sessions will be offered for MCLE credit. Included on the program are 14 seminars such as "Sexual Orientation and Discrimination in the Legal Community," "Establishing Leadership Roles," "Protecting the Rights of the Domestic Violence Victim," "Female Factor in the Courtroom: Vive La Difference!," "How To Recognize and Manage Stress" and "New and Upcoming Legislation in the Labor/Employment Area."

One workshop -- "Women Lawyers and Affirmative Action: Where Do We Stand?" -- will provide an update on new developments in civil rights law and the effectiveness of affirmative action commissions.

Panelists at the sessions include Assemblymembers Sheila Kuehl (D-Encino) and Juanita M. McDonald (D-Carson), former State Bar Court Judge Lise Pearlman, Markita D. Cooper, associate professor, Golden Gate University and members of several local and regional bar associations.

Registration fee for the conference, to be held at the Westin South Coast Plaza, is $85 until April 25 and $100 after. For more information, call 213/765-1580 or 415/561-8815.