message from the president
In conjunction with this year's theme, Lifting As We Rise, we are proud to announce our collaboration and mentoring partnership with the Guardian ad Litem Program (GAL) in order to connect our chapter attorneys with young girls and women aging out of foster care. Every day a teenager ages out of foster care. They need someone who will help and support them during their journey. You can be that person! Just a little bit of time each month can change the life of a mentee – studies show that mentees achieve higher educational, economic, and social outcomes.

What will be your mentoring moment?

We are not asking you to be a guardian – FAWL members will mentor the youth as they transition into independence. We hope you will participate in this worthwhile initiative - see more details about the free CLE training below!

- Jessica Farrelly , President, Sarasota FAWL
As part of the "FAWL in Love with GAL" project, Sarasota FAWL is proud to sponsor GAL's free, full-day CLE training for all participating FAWL members who will accept a mentee.
November 1, 2019
8:00am - 5:00pm
Stetson University College of Law
1401 61st Street S., Gulfport, FL 33707

In accordance with The Florida Bar’s March 1st revision to member’s professional requirement, the training will include both an ethics credit as well as a bias elimination credit – providing attendees 2 of the 5 required professionalism hours. CLE certification is pending.

While the training will be enlightening, educational, and valuable, you are not required to attend the training in order to serve as a mentee! So please do not let your unavailability for the training serve as a deterrent to being a mentor!
October 17 - Third Thursdays with SRQ-FAWL
5:30 - 7:00 pm
Red Clasico , 1341 Main Street, Sarasota

November 1 - FAWL in Love with GAL Free CLE
8:00am - 5:00pm
Stetson University College of Law

November 21 - Third Thursdays with SRQ-FAWL
5:30 - 7:00pm
99 Bottles Taproom & Bottle Shop , 1445 2nd Street, Sarasota

December 7 - March in the Holiday Parade with FAWL
December 9 - Holiday Party
5:30 - 8:00pm
The Vue, 1 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
spotlight monica cunningham
Monica Cunningham, a native of northern New York, received her B.A. with honors in history from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York. She then attended American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington D.C., receiving her J.D. in 1973.
Upon relocating to El Paso, Texas, Monica worked in local government, first as the legal and executive assistant to the county judge, CEO for county government in Texas. Shifting to city government, she started as an assistant city attorney for the City of El Paso, eventually advising every city department, its joint governmental entities, and a charter commission which completely redrafted the city charter. She became the city’s chief labor lawyer, attorney for its Civil Service Commission, and its chief labor negotiator, successfully negotiating collective bargaining agreements with police and fire unions. 
Monica Cunningham
Expanding into administrative functions, Monica was appointed by the mayor and city council to be the city of El Paso’s chief administrative officer, thereby administering the day-to-day operation of the nation’s 19th largest city. She held that position for 5 years.
In 2001, Monica retired from city government and joined Kemp Smith LLP, first in the El Paso office, and subsequently in the Austin office. She is licensed in Texas since 1974 and admitted to practice in all Texas state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Monica, a lifelong advocate of women’s rights issues, was one of the founding members and president of the El Paso Women’s Bar Association. She was also a member of the State Bar of Texas’ Committee on the Effective Participation of Women in the Bar, the committee which wrote the by-laws and founded the Texas Bar’s Women in the Law Section. Monica was an early recipient of the Woman of the Year in Law from the El Paso Women’s Political Caucus. Monica is the 2015 recipient of the Travis County Women’s Bar Association Pathfinder Award, which recognizes women who have been trailblazers in the legal profession. In 2012, Monica was awarded the “Woman of Influence” recognition by her alma mater, Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, for her trailblazing career as a woman.
Monica, a widow, moved to Sarasota in 2015 and resides in the Cobblestone development on Palmer Ranch with her two rescue cats, who have somehow become very spoiled. Monica swims and does water aerobics most mornings. She also loves to knit and has learned to play mahjong. Monica recently became an emeritus attorney in Florida for purposes of practicing with Legal Aid of Manasota , where she volunteers every week.
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