Roughly 110 years since female students first enrolled at LSU Law, women now account for half of the student body at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center. The Women Law Students Association at LSU Law strives to bring together women of diverse backgrounds and help them grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking, support, and recognition.
“WLSA is such an important organization to have on campus, especially right now,” said 3L and WLSA President Lindsey Tizzard. “Even with the high percentage of women at LSU Law, the legal field is still predominately male, and we want to give each woman at LSU Law a place and help them succeed.”
After two years of relative inactivity due to the pandemic, Tizzard and her fellow WLSA officers have been hard at work to increase membership and engagement as much as possible this academic year. WLSA hosts academic events and social activities throughout the school year to give students a break from their busy schedules and strengthen the community of women at LSU Law.
In the fall semester, WLSA hosted a bowling night, a screening of “Legally Blonde,” a trivia night with the WLSA chapter from the Southern University Law Center, and a panel of women in the legal profession who offered career advice and insight. This semester, Tizzard said WLSA plans to facilitate a tour of the Law Center for local middle schoolers “to show girls that they can become lawyers too.”
When WLSA isn’t bringing students together in person, Tizzard said the organization’s 208 members regularly engage with and support one another through a WLSA group chat.
“We really want to provide a community for women to get to know each other and feel comfortable asking questions when they don’t know who else to ask,” Tizzard said. “I love WLSA’s GroupMe because it’s a safe space to talk about anything and everything with no judgement.”
Since questions commonly arise on the group chat about appropriate attire for a variety of events, Tizzard said the WLSA executive board is planning to develop a resource guide. Joining the club’s GroupMe is the only step prospective members must take to join WLSA, Tizzard said.
“One thing I’ve taken on as president is just focusing on what WLSA can do to get every woman at LSU Law to join this club,” she said, adding her hope is that the relationships being fostered by WLSA at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center will further forge professional connections after graduation. “Even as a 3L, there are days where I ask myself if I can really do this, and on those days and every day, I know that I have a community of women behind me who know I can achieve my goals—almost like a cheerleading team. That’s what I want for everyone in this organization and every woman at LSU Law.”
WLSA was named the 2020 Law School Chapter of the Year by Ms. JD, a nonprofit organization that promotes women in the legal profession. The award is given annually to a law school organization that “champions the advancement of women law students through, for example, chapter initiatives (including pre-law initiatives), programming or recruitment.”
In honoring WLSA with the award, Ms. JD praised the LSU law chapter of WLSA as “a diverse and involved group of women with one important thing in common: a burning desire to make a positive impact on the women in the profession.”