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Women Lawyers Committee

The USF Women Lawyers Committee was founded more than 25 years ago by a group of USF law school graduates who wanted to:

Join the Mentor Program
Guidelines for Mentors and Mentees
  • Maintain the close ties they formed with other women during law school
  • Provide guidance and support for current law students who are members of the Women's Law Association ("WLA") and women who have recently completed their legal education at USF.
  • Establish a full-tuition Scholarship for Transitional Students to help them make the transition from another career to law school. (A "Transitional Student" is a first-year law student, with a five-year break in his or her education, i.e., has been out of school at least five years between college and law school.) The Recipient must have financial need, have been involved in community service, parenting or gainful employment before law school and show an interest in community service after Law School.
From left, Yuliya Oryol, Nossaman; Justice Barbara Jones, Presiding Justice, California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division 5; Sue Mendelsohn, Founding Member, USF Women Lawyers Committee; Srijana Dhakhwa, scholarship recipient; and USF School of Law Dean John Trasviña.

On Oct. 22, Srijana Dhakhwa received the 2014 USF Women Lawyers Committee's Scholarship for Transitional Students

Dhakhwa was born in Nepal and lived there through high school before earning a doctorate in economics from UC Santa Cruz and a master’s from Mount Holyoke. She spent seven years as market researcher and business consultant for large technology firms before deciding to commit herself to the law. 

Scholarship for Transitional Students

The USF Women Lawyers Committee has awarded partial tuition scholarships to transitional students since 1987. Recipients have included: Mary Jan Delisi Lofthouse, USF ’91, Patricia Simmons, USF ’91, Lyn Harlan USF ’93, Laura Lederer DePaul ’94, Cynthia Levin USF’98, Diane Webb USF ’98, Kristin Lamson USF ’99, Shannon Thorne USF ’01, Jie Zhou USF ’01, Diana Carabajal-Strait USF ’02, Kate Flick USF ’04, LaRon (Doty) Hogg-Haught USF ’04, Jennifer Lynch Boalt ’05, Charlotte Westfall USF ’06, Stanley Radtke USF ’07, Brenda Balzon USF ’09, Michell Nuňez USF ’09, Nicole Kundsen USF '10, Sheila Husting USF ’11, Maya Kevin USF ’12, Molly LeGoy (Expected USF ’14), Rebecca Dames (Expected USF ’14), Alex Leenson (Expected USF ’15) and Anna Manuel, (Expected USF ’17).

The Scholarship for Transitional Students is based on a portion of the interest generated by its endowed funds. The bulk of the interest is dedicated to the Scholarship fund. The endowment is ONLY used for scholarships, not for fundraising or programs.

In 2013, the Committee awarded an $8,000 Scholarship, which can make a difference to a Transitional Student, but is only 18% of USF's current annual tuition. We need to continue to fill the Scholarship coffers. The Committee would appreciate your generous contributions to the USF Women Lawyers Committee's Scholarship for Transitional Students. Tax deductible donations to the "Scholarship for Transitional Students" can be sent to:

USF Women Lawyers Committee
c/o Erica Levison, Associate Director
Office of Development and Alumni Relations
USF School of Law
2130 Fulton St.
San Francisco, CA 94117

WLC/WLA JD Mentor Program

The Committee, in partnership with USF School of Law, has developed a JD Mentor Program for students who are members of the WLA and recent women graduates. If you are ready to sign up to become a Mentor, please complete the WLC/WLA JD Mentor Profile Form.

Annual Panel, Scholarship Fundraiser and Reception

Each year, the Committee hosts a variety of events including panel discussions, a scholarship reception, fundraisers and networking functions. 

The Committee's next fundraiser and networking reception will be What Women Lawyers Need to Know: Networking, Rainmaking and Eliminating Bias on Wed., May 21, 2014, from 5:30 - 8 PM at Manatt Phelps & Phillips, LLP, One Embarcadero Ctr, 30th Floor, San Francisco, CA. Registration is required.

For more information about the event, please contact Anita Ayers at aayers@usfca.edu.


Guidelines for Mentors and Mentees


The goal of the WLC/WLA Mentor Program (“Mentor Program”) is to match eligible USF JD students and recent alumnae (“Mentees”) with attorneys (“Mentors”) who have expressed an interest in volunteering their time and sharing their knowledge about their experience in the legal profession.  


1) Give Mentees insights on the practice of law.  

2) Mentees are encouraged to come to their Mentor with questions regarding the Mentor’s  legal specialty, the Mentee’s career goals, the law as a profession and professionalism in general, approaches to ethical dilemmas, interviewing, how to approach a salary and performance review, quality of life issues, etc. 

NOTE: The Mentor Program is not intended to serve as a recruitment device or job placement program; however, information about careers in law and career planning can be very useful and we encourage Mentors to share their thoughts on these subjects with their Mentees.

3)Professional activities may include:

“Shadowing” the Mentor for a few hours, a half-day, or longer, depending on job constraints

Accompanying the Mentor at hearings, meetings, depositions

Attending business development functions, Bar Association meetings, USF WLC/WLA events, or other law-related events with the Mentor

In addition, Mentors may want to invite their Mentee(s) to participate in social and recreational activities, such as wine tasting, golf, baseball games, hiking, etc.

Conversations between Mentees and Mentors should be kept confidential to encourage an open dialogue