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Allegheny County Bar Association Announces Linda V. Hernandez, Esq. as Gender Equality Coordinator

New position is the first among the nation’s bar associations and is in response to disappointing 2006 gender equality survey result.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — July 17, 2007. Executives of the Allegheny County Bar Association today announced that they have contracted the services of Attorney Linda Varrenti Hernandez as Gender Equality Coordinator, which is the first such bar association position in the country. Hernandez will work closely with the Gender Equality Task Force which was formed following the release of a 2006 membership survey that showed little or no improvement in the pay disparity between male and female attorneys in the 15 years since the last survey was conducted.

According to Ken Gormley, President of the Allegheny County Bar Association, “Creating a gender equality coordinator position is a significant step in making real progress in the area of gender equality. We believe that tackling head-on the issues being addressed by the gender equity task force constitute one of the most critical challenges confronting the legal community. Our ambitious goal is to make progress that can be seen and measured, in part by establishing a blueprint of best practices for law firms and legal employers in Allegheny County. In the process, we hope to establish a new standard of excellence that can serve as a model for bar associations across the country. Linda Hernandez will be a tremendous asset in helping us to accomplish those daunting yet attainable goals.”

Hernandez most recently has been a litigator for Dickie McCamey, LLC. A graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law, Hernandez worked a year at Neighborhood Legal Services Association as a “Lawyer on Loan” from Dickie McCamey. During that time she litigated and closed 133 cases. She also has been a member of the bar association’s Gender Equality Committee since its inception.

According to Dave Blaner, Executive Director of the Allegheny County Bar Association, “while we were all disappointed with the results of our 2006 membership survey, we vowed then not to just talk a good game about gender equality but to be proactive and to champion significant change. Because our results were similar to other cities, it would have been easy to maintain status quo. But our members know that we don’t take the easy way out, especially when something is impacting people’s rights.”

Blaner said that the creation of a diversity coordinator position in 2005 has led to encouraging results in the area of diversity in the legal community.

Hernandez, who raised a family before deciding in 1998 to enter law school, will begin her assignment with the bar association on July 16, 2007. She will follow up on many of the findings of the Gender Equality Task Force, which is made up of both female and male attorneys and judges and includes four subcommittees: Work Life and Compensation Disparity Committee; Job Satisfaction and Retention Committee; Perceptions and Attitudes Committee; and the Information Gathering Committee.

Chartered in 1870 and headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County Bar Association is a professional organization with more than 6,500 member attorneys, judges, district justices, legal administrators, and paralegals.