March is Women’s History Month and our Guest Editor, Anna Pletcher, brings you an issue devoted to women’s rights and history. A heartfelt thanks to Anna for the inspiration and the execution. Anna interviews Amy Everitt, California State Director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, about the status of reproductive rights in the U.S. With the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade may not make it to the 50-year mark in any meaningful form. But even with Roe in force, did you know that in California, 43% of our counties do not have a single abortion provider?

Anna also profiles the Marin Family and Children’s Law Center, which since 1983, has played a critical role in providing legal assistance to those in need in Marin. And she profiles Ahtossa Fullerton, a new MCBA director whose many additional roles include being President of Marin County Women Lawyers, which plays a vital role in the Marin legal community. Mari-Ann Rivers has penned an insightful history of MCWL. Tracing its roots back to 1976, Mari-Ann paints a vivid picture of the blatant sexism, discrimination and misogyny in the legal system at the time. There are times it seems like the only thing that has changed is the “blatant” part, if that. But compared to the examples from 1976, things are definitely better, in no small part due to MCWL.

We are republishing several related articles, including Judge Adams’ history of women on the Marin Bench (with the current number at five, up one from the original publication date.) Judge Adams also wrote an illuminating history of the innovative programs of the Marin Bench in a new Judge’s Corner column for this issue. Did you know that one of MCBA’s past presidents regularly played poker with Richard Nixon? I found Peggy Bennington and Madeleine Simborg’s remembrance of Ann Diamond, MCBA’s first female president a fascinating read and a wonderful tribute to a remarkable woman.

One of the elements in the success of MCWL and MCBA is the relationships that grow out of them, including mentoring. In the spirit of making the Marin legal community even more successful, I encourage everyone to develop relationships, particularly mentorships, with people who are not like you. Tribalism is a natural human tendency and it is easy to find yourself surrounded by people like you. Growth and change can come from working to overcome this tendency. This does not mean hanging out with someone you don’t like but with someone not like you. They are not the same thing and reaching out to someone different from you might just show you how delightfully not the same they can be.