In the late 1970s, Carolyn McAllaster and Sharon Thompson discussed the need for an organization in North Carolina where women lawyers could come together to discuss and take action on issues affecting women and women lawyers in North Carolina. These pioneering women lawyers were convinced that a bar association that spoke out on behalf of women's issues would garner membership and gain credibility in the legal community. Thus, in 1978, the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys was born. NCAWA’s beginnings were humble, with founding members stuffing envelopes, licking the stamps, and hauling the piles of notices and information to the nearest mailbox.
Now, more than 40 years later, NCAWA’s volunteer board and lobbyist continue the organization’s goals and missions of increasing the effective participation by women in the justice system, in public office, and within the legal profession; promoting the rights of women under the law; promoting the welfare of the women attorneys of North Carolina; and promoting and improving the administration of justice. Thanks to the initial founders of the organization, our current leadership, and our members, NCAWA is a vibrant organization with a powerful mission.
Please check these resources for more detailed information about NCAWA's history:
"A History of the North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys," written by Anna Stein (a past NCAWA historian and past chair of NCAWA's Government Action Committee) and originally published in Spring 2004 edition of The North Carolina State Bar Journal.
North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys (1978 - 2009): A Comparative History of NCAWA Members and Women Attorneys Nationally compiled and edited by Jennifer Brobst, a past historian for the NCAWA.