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Where are all the female lawyers? That’s the cry beginning to emanate from the State Bar Board of Governors. If Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer Nancy Zamora loses her bid to become State Bar president on May 17, only two or three female attorneys will be on the 23-seat Bar board come September, when current terms expire. That’s because San Diego lawyer Judith Copeland leaves the board at that time, and no women are running for any of the five seats that are up for grabs this year. Compounding the problem is the fact that no women won seats in the four races contested last summer, and there’s a chance that Los Angeles attorney Margaret Stevens — the representative of the California Young Lawyers Association whose term also expires in September — could be replaced by a man during a vote in July. If Zamora loses and a woman doesn’t replace Stevens, the two remaining female lawyers — Sacramento’s Windie Scott and Redwood City’s Vivian Kral — would constitute the lowest number of female lawyers on the board since 1987-88, when San Francisco’s Robin Paige Donoghue and L.A.’s Patricia Phillips were on the board. Counting the CYLA seat and the president’s post, there are 17 lawyer positions on the board. Ironically, the State Bar board’s potential low point in numbers of female lawyers — the 2003-04 board year — comes only two years after its high point: the 2001-02 board year, when there were seven female attorneys, including then-State Bar President Karen Nobumoto. Two of those women, Marie Weiner and Erica Yew, left the board for judgeships. Of course, the current board still has three non-lawyer members who are women, but the growing lack of female attorneys on the State Bar’s governing board has women worried. “We have an increasing number of women practicing [law],” said Zamora, a partner at Zamora & Hoffmeier, “and their voices should be heard at the governance level.” Angela Bradstreet, the past president of the Bar Association of San Francisco and a partner at S.F.’s Carroll, Burdick & McDonough, called it “extremely important” for women to be on the State Bar board. “One thing I’d like to see the Board of Governors pay more attention to and do more on,” she said, “are women’s issues and the promotion of women in the legal profession.” No one could explain why the State Bar board is slowly going male — “It could be a blip on the screen,” Zamora said — but Alameda attorney Andrea Carlise, president of California Women Lawyers, said the importance of a female lawyer presence must be driven home to all attorneys. “It is the leadership of our governing board,” the Carlise & Carlise partner said, “and it should reflect the membership” of the profession at large. State Bar President James Herman, a partner in Santa Barbara’s Reicker, Pfau, Pyle, McRoy & Herman, couldn’t be reached for comment. But he is a longtime advocate for more women in the law. As a member of the board of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers, Herman has pulled together educational seminars and opened his home up for pro-women events in the past. “The demographics of the profession,” he said last year, “should reflect the demographics of society.” Associate Editor Mike McKee’s e-mail address is [email protected].

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