The Communications Committee develops, maintains and updates SBWL’s website at and publishes SBWL’s informative quarterly newsletter. There’s room on the committee for writers, editors, photographers, graphic artists and novice website programmers — anyone with traditional journalistic flair or e-commentators. Its goal is to add personal and entertaining touches to the newsletter. The committee also is SBWL’s contact with the local media, by keeping it informed about SBWL activities.

2015 Chair: Elizabeth Diaz
Committee Members: Emily Allen, Katherine Allen, Shannon DeNatale Boyd, and Kate McGuinness

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: New committee members always welcome, as are guest writers.  E-mail with questions and submissions.



The Community Relations Committee is SBWL’s liaison with the many community organizations with which SBWL networks, including Girls, Inc., Legal Aid, Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, Shelter Services for Women, Women Lawyers of Ventura, and Women Against Gun Violence. The Committee liaises with other community organizations to keep the SBWL Board of Directors and membership informed about other community organization events. Additionally, SBWL may elect to partner with other community or legal organizations through networking events. Through communication and partnership, the Committee works to strengthen ties in the community and to create further networking opportunities.

2015 Chair: Danielle De Smeth
Committee Members: Katherine Allen, Kate McGuinness and Michelle Roberson

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: New committee members are always welcome. Please contact for more information.


The Judicial Committee monitors all developments relating to Santa Barbara County’s judiciary. It also meets with and evaluates potential judicial candidates, both for election and appointment. The Committee is responsible for implementing some of SBWL’s most important goals: increasing the number of women in Superior Court positions and educating qualified candidates for upcoming openings in those posts.  The Judicial Committee also sponsors Judicial Candidate forums during the election process.

2015 Co-Chairs: Danielle De Smeth and Angela Roach
Committee Members: Shannon DeNatale Boyd, Elizabeth Diaz, Elvia Garcia, and Michelle Roberson

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: Judicial candidates interested in being evaluated are encouraged to contact


The Legal Education Committee is responsible for developing and executing MCLE events, including but not limited to arranging for speakers and publicizing the event. The Committee should endeavor to execute four or more one hour MCLE events per calendar year on topics relevant to the SBWL membership.

2015 Chair: Jennifer Smith
Committee Members: Emily Allen, Danielle DeSmeth and Catherine Swysen

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: Please contact if you are interested in providing an MCLE.


The Professional Advancement Committee administers and oversees SBWL’s Mentoring Circles Program. Additionally, the Committee solicits, evaluates and presents nominations for the annual Deborah Talmage Attorney of the Year Award and arranges the Annual Dinner. Members of this Committee may also play a role with the Glass Ceiling Task Force, which sponsors and develops a survey on attorney compensation and benefits covering Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

2015 Co-Chairs: Kate McGuinness and Michelle Roberson
Committee Members: Danielle De Smeth, Elvia Garcia, Lauren Joyce, Alicia Journey, Angela Roach, Jennifer Smith and Katie Vining

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: Please contact if you are interested in the Mentoring Circles, the Deborah Talmage Attorney of the Year Award, the Annual Dinner, or the Glass Ceiling Task Force. 


The Membership Committee recruits and welcomes new members to SBWL and works to encourage continuing membership. The Committee maintains a current membership list and is working with the Communications Committee to put a list of current SBWL members on the SBWL website. The Committee also encourages and promotes membership to California Women Lawyer (CWL).  Finally, the Committee will also continue to make special efforts to get new members involved in SBWL activities.

2015 Chair: Elizabeth Diaz
Committee Member: Danielle De Smeth and Catherine Swysen

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: Renew now for continuing Membership Benefits. Please contact for more information or simply download an application from the SBWL website.


As a pro-choice organization, SBWL closely monitors and responds to judicial, legislative, and political developments affecting reproductive rights on a local, state, and national level.  This committee networks with local choice groups, including Planned Parenthood and the Pro-Choice Coalition, and contacts SBWL members when there is a pending vote or other current event in which our members’ voices can make a difference.

2015 Chair: Emily Allen
Committee Members: Elizabeth Diaz, Elvia Garcia and Jennifer Smith

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: New committee members are always welcome. Contact


The SBWL Historian collects and organizes the Historian’s Official book and maintains all SBWL memorabilia, including newsletters, photos, seminar announcements, Board records, and special awards. The Historian is also responsible for taking or obtaining photographs at SBWL events and ensuring they are placed on the SBWL website photograph directory. The Historian also ensures that records reflecting the current year’s events are included in the SBWL archives at the end of the calendar year.

2015 Chair: Shannon DeNatale Boyd
Committee Members: Elizabeth Diaz and Michelle Roberson

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: Seeking SBWL memorabilia including photos and scrap book materials. Make your SBWL memories part of the Historian’s Official Book by contacting


The purpose of the Pro Bono Committee is to encourage and provide pro bono services to the community. Other appropriate projects are being considered each year.

2014 Chair: Angela Roach
Committee Members: Emily Allen and Kate McGuinness

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED: If you are interested in the opportunities described above, please contact


This committee organizes and coordinates the yearly Food from the Bar Drive each July. The drive supports the Foodbank’s Picnic in the Park Program, which helps bridge the “summer food gap” when school lunches are not available to children in need.

2015 Chair: Catherine Swysen

Committee Members: Lauren Joyce, Angela Roach and Jennifer Smith

MEMBER INPUT REQUESTED:  If you are interested in this program, please contact

Santa Barbara Women Lawyers
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