The Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Association (GSCBWLA), formerly the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division Dade County Chapter, was formed in 1985. The association’s mission is to address the concerns of women lawyers, and to address the legal, social, and economic needs of the Black community, and the community-at-large. Read the July 1985 Florida Bar News article on GSCBWLA’s formation.
For over thirty years, the association has been a network of attorneys dedicated to community service and the professional development of its members. The association has placed a strong emphasis on community service through its community seminars, free neighborhood legal clinics and programs educating and empowering youth and the mentorship of law students. The association is also known for its support of its members’ growth and development within the legal profession. With this support, our members have achieved many “firsts” within Florida as lawyers within law firms, corporations, government agencies and the judiciary.
In 2005, the association voted to be renamed in honor of community activist Gwendolyn Sawyer Cherry, who was the first Black female attorney to practice in Dade County and the first Black female legislator in the State of Florida. Throughout the association’s existence, it has grown and its reach has expanded. Although it began as a Dade County bar association, GSCBWLA currently represents over 350 men and women law students, lawyers and judges throughout the State of Florida.