The California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) was founded in 1989 by Sheila Kuehl, Abby Leibman, and Jenifer McKenna. Together, they created the first law center in California dedicated solely to addressing the comprehensive and unique legal needs of women and girls.
For decades, CWLC has been an advocate for gender equality throughout California and beyond, working in collaboration with allies to protect, secure, and advance the comprehensive civil rights of women and girls. Our work prioritizes the needs of low-income women and families.
We advance our mission through three primary activities: education and legal support services, including training for legal professionals, stakeholders, and the general public; impact litigation, including lawsuits and amicus briefs, and policy advocacy. The three areas of our work complement each other and ensure we have the tools necessary to meet the evolving and intersectional needs of women and their families. Learn more about our unique approach here.
Today, we continue to address persistent issues like domestic violence and sexual harassment while also investing in understanding and engaging in emerging challenges, like the needs of female veterans and housing discrimination. Our work focuses on four broad areas: Title IX and gender discrimination in schools, women’s health and access to reproductive care, violence against women including sexual assault and domestic violence, and women’s economic security. Within these categories are several specific issues that impact women’s ability to lead healthy, autonomous lives. Learn more about the issues we focus on here.
As a leading advocate for women’s rights, we are often consulted for guidance. We support policy leaders, legal professionals, school administrators, and others in crafting and enforcing laws that impact women’s ability to thrive. CWLC has advocated for and achieved policy change on a wide range of issues, and we will continue to respond to the diverse and changing needs of women and girls in our state.