Report of the Second Feasibility Meeting of the Barnard Lawyers' Committee, November 16, 1971

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REPORT OF THE SECOND FEASIBILITY MEETING
 or T111? BARNARD LAWYERS‘ COMMITTEE
 16 NOVEMBER 1971
 
 Margrit Bernstein and Helene Kaplan chaired the meeting which began shortly
 before 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, November 16th, at the Columbia Club.
 
 Margrit Bernstein opened the meeting by explaining the background of the
 Women's Center and the plans for a Lawyers’ ComMittee. She gave a brief
 sumMary of the First Feasibility Meeting. She then summarized the
 important points to be covered at this meeting:
 
 1 - Does the lawyers‘ committee want to exist?
 2 - What should its constituency be?
 3 - What services should it provide?
 
 1 - The first question was answered clearly by the enthusiasm of the group
 assembled for this meeting.
 
 2 - Several among the group were concerned that since the Women's Center
 is located at Barnard and since the first group of attorneys gathered are
 primarily Barnard College alumnae, the constituency (clients) would be
 limited to Barnard students, alumnae, and faculty. The problems of having
 limited resources with which to provide services had made some feel that!
 some kind of arbitrary limitation was necessary in order to avoid over-
 extending the Committee. However, the group felt quite strongly that
 whatever services were provided by the Committee, they must be available
 to any woman regardless of her connection or lack of one with Barnard.
 
 It was generally felt that some other means must be found of limiting the
 activities of the Committee within its capabilities. This led directly
 to the consideration of the services to be provided.
 
 3 - Several members of the group felt that practical limitation could be
 achieved, not by limiting the constituency, but by limiting the services.
 
 It was suggested that the Committee begin by taking referrals only in one,
 easily identifiable, justiciable area, e.g. employment discrimination cases
 under Title VII. This area was agreed as being particularly suitable for
 
 the Committee because of Barnard's existing experience in placement and in
 plans of the Women's Center to reach into the high schools to influence
 vocational guidance. It was further suggested that the Women's Center obtain
 from the EEOC several packages of materials on Title VII suits for the
 
 attorneys on the committee. It was also suggested that Susan Diller Ross,
 an attorney in the Washington Office of the FEOC, might be willing to speak
 
 to a briefing session on Title VII suits. It should be noted, however,
 
 that this plan in no way precludes members of the committee from taking other
 cases which they feel are pertinent, and which, if they take them in the
 
 name of the Committee, they have first cleared with the committee.
 
 
Lawyers‘ Committee
 Report
 page 2
 
 Other points which were raised and discussed included the services presently
 available from other sources. Although there are theoretically resources
 for legal services for women, in practice the organizations providing them
 are swamped, and there is certainly no danger of our duplicating services
 already available elsewhere.
 
 After the meeting was formally closed, several people expressed an
 interest in the production of a handbook of women's legal status in the
 fifty states. This is a large undertaking which will utilize Barnard
 alumnae resources across the country. It is a project which will serve
 
 to make available general legal information to women who would not other-
 wise have access to it. ~i
 
 ms