News

If you have news you would like to share with the KWAA community, please contact KansasWomenAttorneys@gmail.com.

KWAA's Action Plan

June 11, 2020 --The Kansas Women Attorneys Association (KWAA) condemns racism and discrimination in all forms, and is recommitting itself to one of our founding principles: “to promote equality and social justice for all people.” Systemic racism is pervasive and we must work to identify and dismantle it within our profession. Every day, inequality and bias impact our minority members, our organization, our friends, our clients, and our legal system. We hear the international call for racial equity in the justice system in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black lives, and KWAA stands in support.

As we listen and learn, KWAA also knows action is imperative to uphold the ideals of our organization. In consultation with its membership and the Minority Women in the Profession, Education and Outreach, Small Firm and Solo Practice, and Public Policy and Gender Committees, KWAA is pursuing the following actions:

  • KWAA’s Executive and Minority Women in the Profession Committees are reviewing and evaluating KWAA’s policies and committee structure and responsibilities to determine how KWAA may be improved to better serve marginalized members of KWAA and the legal community.
  • KWAA’s Small Firm and Solo Practice Committee is hosting a book club to further educate our members on issues of racial equity in our society. The first book discussed will be White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Race by Robin DiAngelo. Discussion will be held virtually via Zoom on June 18 at 6:30 p.m. with Chief Judge Karen Arnold-Burger serving as facilitator. We invite you to join and hope to continue the book club with additional titles.
  • KWAA’s Outreach and Education Committee is exploring opportunities to inform legislators about the judicial system and inform attorneys about the legislative process.
  • KWAA is developing a CLE to include a panel of experts to discuss issues of racial inequality in the legal system.
  • KWAA is exploring opportunities to financially and professionally support marginalized members of the legal community.

These are not KWAA’s first steps in confronting racial equity in the legal system, and they will not be our last. We are committed to continuing the work and know we can do better. We are always looking for ways to improve and better serve our members and the legal community at large. In the coming days, weeks, months, and years, KWAA is committed to not only reflecting on how we can better support marginalized communities in the legal system, but also taking steps to put ideas into action. We welcome your feedback and ask that you hold KWAA accountable in fulfilling our commitment to promote equality and social justice for all people.

KWAA members with judicial and other governmental positions did not participate in the issuance of this
statement.

 

KWAA is hiring

June 4, 2020 -- KWAA is seeking an Administrative Assistant. Please see the job posting here. To apply, please send a letter of interest and resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line “Administrative Assistant Application.” Questions may be submitted to the same email address. Interviews will be scheduled beginning June 19, 2020.

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KWAA member Angel Zimmerman wins international award

March 3, 2020 -- KWAA past-president Angel Zimmerman received the International J. Reuben Clark Law Society (JRCLS) Women in Law Service Award at their recent annual meeting. Zimmerman is also serving as the first Regional Area Director of the newly organized US Central Region for the JRCLS. 

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Four KWAA Members Selected for Leadership Kansas 2019

2019 Leadership KS KWAA Members CroppedAugust 2, 2019 -- It's always a great day when a Kansas Women Attorneys Association ("KWAA") member is selected for participation in a distinguished program like the Kansas Chamber's Leadership Kansas. KWAA truly has cause to celebrate this year, as not one but four of its members were selected to participate in Leadership Kansas 2019--Kelly Trussell, Judge Cheryl Rios, and Amanda Stanley of Topeka and Etta Walker of Sharon Springs. According to its website, "Leadership Kansas is one of the oldest and most prestigious statewide leadership programs in the country." Each year only 40 participants are selected for the honor.

"Kansas is better when women are positioned to be leaders in our community" said Judge Rios. "Understanding the diversity in our state on many levels as well as developing an understanding of the needs of each community will continue to enrich my growth on the bench. I appreciate learning more about the communities where our attorneys grew up and continue to practice."

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KWAA Members Take Kansas Bar Association by Storm

KWAA iconJune 2019 -- At the Kansas Bar Association annual meeting, held June 20 and 21, 2019 in Topeka, Kansas, women attorneys of the state won a majority of the state bar association's awards and won all offices for the organization.

The following KWAA members were recognized:

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Hon. Rebecca Sanders Appointed to Workers Compensation Appeals Board

Judge Rebecca Sanders Photo

June 2019 -- Judge Rebecca Sanders was appointed by the Kansas Secretary of Labor to fill a vacancy on the Kansas Workers Compensation Appeals Board. The process of being appointed by the Secretary first includes consideration by the Kansas Workers Compensation and Employment Security Board, which is made up of stakeholders nominated by Kansas agency heads and appointed by the Governor. The nominating board sent Judge Sanders name to the Secretary, who accepted the nomination and appointed Sanders to the position.

Judge Sanders is a long-time member of KWAA, having attended most of the annual conferences in Lindsborg, Kansas.

"I want to thank all my friends in KWAA and WAAT for their kind words and congratulations. It is because of organizations like this that empower me and all of us to achieve our professional goals. I feel like that organizations like this give us a wind to our backs and our wings to propel us up and forward," Judge Sanders stated. 

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Governor Appoints Warner to Kansas Court of Appeals

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April 30, 2019 -- In a press release issued on April 30, Governor Laura Kelly's office announced its appointment of Sarah Warner to fill the vacancy of retired Court of Appeals Judge Patrick McAnany. The Kansas Senate confirmed Warner's appointment on May 28.  She will be sworn in on July 1. The following text is from the Governor's press release.

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“Sarah Warner is one of the brightest lawyers in our state and an expert in appellate advocacy,” Kelly said. “She will bring a wealth of experience and energy to the court.”

Warner has not only built her practice on tackling the kind of complex issues our appellate courts must handle, but she’s also devoted her time to serving the community through leading various bar associations and teaching appellate practice at Washburn Law School. She is currently president of the Kansas Bar Association. 

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Morse & Casement Elected to Topeka Bar Association Board of Directors

Morse CasementMay 9, 2019 -- KWAA Members Sarah Morse and Whitney Casement were elected to the Topeka Bar Association Board of Directors at its annual meeting on April 17, 2019. Morse is currently KWAA's Annual Conference Co-Chair, while Casement the Communications and Membership Co-Chair. The TBA  includes over 600 members. Morse was elected Secretary of the TBA and has served several years on the TBA Board. Casement is serving her first year as a Director on the TBA Board.

Warner Honored Ingram's Top 40 Under 40

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April 2019 -- Ingram's Kansas City Business Magazine honred KWAA member Sarah Warner as one of its Top 40 Under 40. Warner is currently President of the Kansas Bar Association and the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel. She was also recently selected as one of the three nominees sent to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly for appointment to the Court of Appeals. Warner is a prinicap at the law firm of Thompson Warner in Lawrence, Kansas. 

For more information about the Ingram's honor, visit https://ingrams.com/article/40-under-forty-the-21st-class/

 

Haag Selected Chief Justice McFarland Award Recipient

Natalie Haag

April 12, 2019 -- The Women Attorneys Association of Topeka selected Natalie Haag as the 2019 Chief Justice McFarland Award recipient. Haag is Executive Vice President - General Counsel at Capitol Federal Bank in Topeka. She recently served as one of the four leaders of Governor Laura Kelly's transition team. This is one among many accomplishments of Haag. 

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KWAA Member Cheryl Whelan Appointed Director to the Office of Administrative Hearings

Whelan Cheryl 17

Governor Laura Kelly today appointed Cheryl Whelan as director of the Office of Administrative Hearings. Whelan is currently an Assistant Attorney General and Director of Open Government Training and Compliance at the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.

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KWAA Members Named to Wichita Bar Association Board

KWAA icon

March 12, 2019--The Wichita Bar Association held their 2019-2020 candidate election at the March monthly luncheon on Tuesday, March 12th at which the following KWAA members were elected to the WBA Board:

Vice President: Kelly Rundell

BOG: Kristen Wheeler, Samantha Woods

Please help us in congratulating each of them!

Joni Franklin Announced as Winner of 2019 Louise Mattox Award

Joni Franklin

March 1, 2019 -- KWAA Member Joni Franklin was awarded the Louise Mattox Award, which honors one individual each year who has shown support for women in the profession, makes significant contributions to the legal community, and exhibits outstanding professionalism. The award is named after Louise Mattox, who was the first woman known to have held an active law practice in Wichita, Kansas. Congratulaions to long-time KWAA member Joni Franklin on this much deserved recognition.

 

 

 

 

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District J Collects 200 Bags for Children in Need

KWAA iconDecember 5, 2018 -- Through the generosity of the Douglas County Women Attorney Association 200 backpacks, suitcases, and duffel bags were delivered to KVC for children in care. According to District Court Judge, Pro tem Bethany Roberts, one seven year old boy was there waiting for a visit and helped unload. He laid claim to a Transformer backpack. Judge Roberts was moved by the kindness and generosity of the women attorneys in Douglas County, saying she is "proud to be counted among you." KWAA is proud of our local women attorneys for their great work!

Cocking & Parks Named to Governor's Judicial Nominating Committee

Parks Cocking News Article

December 31, 2018 -- KWAA members Jennifer Cocking and Linda Parks were named by newly elected Kansas Governor Laura Kelly to serve on a panel that will recommend judicial candidates to fill the position vacated by retiring Court of Appeals Judge Pat McAnany. 

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KWAA District Named After Chief Judge Arnold-Burger

2018 10 28 Judge Arnold Burger District Naming ReceptionKWAA's District I, which is made up of Brown, Doniphan, Atchison, Leavenworth, and Wyandotte Counties, honored Court of Appeals Chief Judge Karen Arnold-Burger, by naming the district after her on October 28, 2018.

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KWAA Member Named to Kansas Continuing Legal Education Commission

KWAA iconKWAA member Joslyn M. Kusiak of Kelly & Kusiak Law Office, LLC, was recently appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court to serve on the Kanas Continuing Legal Education Commssion. The Commission oversees continuing legal education requirements for lawyers licensed in Kansas. Another KWAA member,  Jennifer Cocking, Vice President, Associate General Counsel of Capitol Federal Savings Bank, also serves on the Commission. Congratulations, Joslyn!

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KWAA Member Mira Midvani Awarded Top Civility Award

2018 12 05 Mira Midvani JOCO Award

December 5, 2018 -- KWAA member Mira Midvani was awarded the 2018 Earl E. O'Connor Civility Award by the Johnson County Bar Association. 

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KWAA member was sworn in as the President of the CWBA

Angel Zimmerman New President

KWAA member Angel Zimmerman was sworn in as the President of the National Conference of Women's Bar Association (NCWBA) in Chicago, IL, on August 3. 

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