Women Lawyers of Alameda County
Policies Regarding Endorsements
1. Women Lawyers of Alameda County (WLAC) will endorse candidates in judicial elections and recommend candidates for appointment. WLAC will not endorse candidates for political office.
a. Candidates seeking endorsement must demonstrate a commitment to supporting the advancement of women in the legal profession.
b. Candidates are not required to be members of WLAC in order to receive an endorsement, nor are endorsements limited to female candidates.
c. WLAC may endorse more than one candidate in a judicial election, if the Board and membership agree that more than one candidate meets the criteria for endorsement.
d. WLAC is not required to endorse a candidate in every election, but can sit out an election if no candidate seeks endorsement or if the Board and membership vote not to endorse any candidate seeking endorsement.
2. WLAC will create an Endorsement Committee to handle the following responsibilities.
a. Maintain a page on the WLAC website that provides information to prospective endorsees.
b. Keep track of filing deadlines for judicial candidates, and contact candidates to advise them of our endorsement policies and deadlines.
c. Schedule candidates’ attendance at meetings and ensure that candidates’ written materials are provided to Board members in advance of the meeting.
d. Ensure that members are notified of requests for endorsement and schedule of candidates’ attendance at meetings (see #3, below).
3. Candidates seeking endorsement will be asked to meet the following requirements:
a. Submit a resume
b. Submit any campaign materials (if judicial election)
c. Submit judicial application (if applying for appointment)
d. Attend a Board meeting, which must be no later than the second meeting before the election
e. Submit to the Board a letter responding to the following questions:
1) Describe ways that you have demonstrated your commitment to supporting the advancement of women in the legal profession.
2) Describe ways that you have demonstrated commitment to equal rights for women in general.
3) What do you see as the obstacles for women in the legal profession at present?
4) What attributes do you bring to the bench that will make you a good judge?
5) Describe one of your greatest failures and how you responded to it.
4. The Board will vote on whether to endorse the candidate at the meeting that the candidate attends, after hearing from the candidate and discussing the request.
5. Members may participate in endorsement decisions by attending meetings at which candidates will be present, by submitting input to the Endorsement Committee before the meeting at which the Board will vote, or both
6. Other policies:
a. Requests for support for applications to the governor will go through the same process. If the Board agrees to endorse, the Board chair and the Endorsement Committee will together draft a letter of support.
b. Endorsed candidates may use only the name of the organization in announcing the endorsement, and not the names of individual Board members.
c. WLAC will determine on a case-by-case basis whether it is appropriate to sponsor or participate in judicial forums for elections in which the organization has endorsed a candidate.
Adopted by Board by vote at Board meeting on August 1, 2016.