A Touching Story from the Silent Auction at the 80th Past President's Dinner
ANNUAL JUDGES' DINNER
Each year Queen's Bench hosts this evening event to provide a forum for the outstanding women of our time to address our membership and the local judiciary. This is our largest yearly event, attended by several hundred of the most active and committed members of the local legal community, members of the California Supreme Court and Courts of Appeal, fifty to sixty trial court judges, as well as those holding political offices on the state and local level.
Previous speakers for this event include California
Supreme Court Justices Joyce Kennard (a lifetime
Queen's Bench member) and Kathryn Werdegar,
Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder of Colorado,
U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara
Boxer, former Dean of Stanford School of
Law Kathleen Sullivan, former Planned Parenthood
president Faye Wattleton, author Susan Faludi
and attorney Sarah Weddington, who argued
Roe v. Wade before the United States Supreme
Generally, this event is held in May of each
year. The speaker is always a woman of substance
and stature, speaking to us about issues
of interest and importance to women in general
and women attorney's in particular.
We hold this yearly reception to welcome California's recent bar admittees into the ranks, to welcome new members into Queen's Bench, and to swear in the incoming Queen's Bench officers and directors. This is always a fun event to which we invite the local legal community and judiciary.
The name of this annual event is an acronym for women "Lawyers, Engineers, Accountants, Architects, Doctors, and Dentists." In the early 1950’s members of the Women’s Physicians of San Francisco invited women lawyers from Queen’s Bench to a luncheon to discuss issues common to both professions. This gathering became an annual tradition and was expanded to include engineers, architects, accountants, dentists and women from all other professions.
Throughout the years the LEAADD annual meetings have featured outstanding speakers who have addressed topics of current interest to women. There have been many notable speakers, including former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Rose Bird; author, Jessica Mitford; former State Treasurer, Kathleen Brown; former National Organization for Women President, Ginny Foat; and Chez Panisse owner and chef, Alice Waters.
The goal of the LEAADD annual meeting is to create an opportunity for professional women to meet, to hear speakers on topics of special interest to all women, to network with women from other professions, and to develop leadership and team building skills.
PAST PRESIDENTS' DINNER
Generally held in the fall of the year, this is an annual event specifically designed to honor our history by honoring and featuring our Past Presidents. As the oldest women's bar association in the United States, we have a proud history of working always to advance the interests of women and children in the law and in society in general. We make a special effort at this dinner to encourage the older, less active members to attend so that they can share their stories with the newer members. Part of the dinner's tradition is that the Past Presidents in attendance wear hats.
The 1996 Past Presidents' Dinner was combined with the 75th Anniversary Gala, celebrating 75 years of active involvement in the fight for women's equality and rights. The Gala boasted singing by the Past President's Chorus, a video created by Queen's Bench members about Queen's Bench history, and featured speaker Bella Abzug. It seemed particularly appropriate that former Congresswoman Abzug should speak at a Past President's Dinner. Ms. Abzug has long been noted for her hats, in addition to her unwavering fight to advance the interests of women.
Another component of this annual dinner is the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to a Queen's Bench member whose work in furthering the interests of women is above and beyond the expected and ordinary. We also invite and introduce the law students who were that year's recipients of our various Queen's Bench scholarships.