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Photo: WGA Fall Golf Clinic, UNM Championship Golf Course
When UNM School of Law students Allison Block-Chavez, Vanessa Lemrond, Tracy Goodluck, and Kellie Garcia worked at different law firms and took a golf class over the summer, they noticed the scarcity of female golfers. Their solution: create a Women’s Golf Association for the Law School.
“Women still face an uphill battle in the law,” says Block-Chavez. “Knowing how to play golf adds another skill to help women advance in law. By playing golf, women have the opportunity to build strong relationships that can help advance their careers.”
The foursome divided the responsibilities so that Block-Chavez is president, Lemrond is vice-president, Goodluck is secretary, and Garcia is treasurer. The aim of the Women’s Golf Association (WGA) is to address the disparity of female lawyers playing golf and the need for a student group. “Golf and business go hand and hand,” reads the WGA mission. “Playing golf builds rapport, conversation, friendly competition, and encourages strong business relationship. However, the majority of female attorneys do not play the game. By not playing golf, women are missing the opportunity to build strong relationships with employers, clients, prospective clients, and colleagues.”
The WGA currently has 35 members composed of 1Ls, 2Ls, 3Ls, and has attracted male students as well. The $35 annual dues support the organization’s four main events: the Fall Golf Clinic, the Fall 9-hole Tournament, the Spring Tournament, and the Spring 18-hole Networking Tournament. The first two events took place in September and October of this year with help from MALSA and the Women’s Law Caucus.
The WGA hopes to do similar programming in the Spring with lawyers from throughout the community. The group plans to invite female attorneys to participate as a networking opportunity for both attorneys and students. To keep costs low for students, the WGA will seek support for the spring programs from the law community. The WGA has already received generous donations of clubs and golf bags from the law community and students.
Another benefit of the WGA is the outdoors. “It seems like the WGA is the first law student organization that allows students to be outside and engaging in physical activity, and people love it,” says Block-Chavez.
December 3, 2013