The African Women Lawyers’ Association (AWLA) exists to help women of African and Caribbean descent who want to enter the legal profession and who want to progress their careers. We aim to provide support, advice, mentoring, training and networking opportunities for all of our members.
Our mission is to transform the careers and lives of African women lawyers around the world. We also seek to leave our members feeling refreshed, empowered and optimistic about their lives, their futures and their legal careers.
The AWLA seeks to be the essential international network helping to promote the potential and success of African women lawyers at every stage of their careers.
Founder and Patron
The AWLA was founded by Caroline Newman. She now serves as Patron of the Association.
“Unfortunately, discrimination is still rife in the legal profession. Sadly, so is ignorance of the impact of discrimination on Black Women. We face the double discrimination of racial and sexual discrimination. I’ve come to the conclusion that we cannot totally rely on others to sort this out. We have to get together and help and support each other in any way we can. The AWLA Executive is committed to building a strong community where we can support each other and celebrate our successes. We would love for you to join us. Remember, alone we can do good things, together we can do great things.”
The Executive Committee
Our current Executive Committee consists of barristers, solicitors and other leading women within the legal profession.
1. Chair – Mellissa Akinya
2. Vice Chair – Shola Mos-Shogbamimu
3. Secretary – Stella Waata
4. Treasurer – Rosemarie Smith
5. Events Secretary – Yasmin Tiyamiyu
6. Marketing Secretary – Pennie Constantine
7. Membership Secretary – Teresa Rossetti
Administrator: Caroline Anena
What we do:
We intend to provide a full range of services to all of our members. At present, we Liaise with and respond to reports and consultations from the Law Societies and Bar Councils. We attend meetings of the Law Society Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and Women’s Divisions.
Undertake research on areas of practice which are of interest to our members
provide an advice service which gives women solicitors an opportunity to talk to more experienced practitioners about issues affecting their professional careers.
provide workshops and seminars on a range of issues including legislative changes (some attracting CPD hours).
Provide the opportunity to meet like-minded professionals to talk about issues of concern;connect with other BAME and women’s organisations and with women lawyers outside the UK.
We also help members of our communities who are victims of injustice or victims.