The WLD had its genesis during 1971 when an informal coalition of 18 women members of the NBA discussed soliciting new NBA members to run for national offices. These women decided that there were other issues that needed to be addressed, and thus on August 5, 1971, Ruth Harvey Charity convened the first organizational meeting of NBA women lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to Ms. Charity, the organizing members of the WLD included: Hon. Joyce London Alexander, Ruth Banks, Hon. Alice Bonner, Joan Burt, Hon. Theresa Doss, Florence Jackson, Hon. Golden Johnson, Arthenia Joyner, Allie Weeden Latimer, Hon. Gabrielle McDonald, Ethel Olliverre, Hon. Eileen Petersen, Savannah Potter, Hon. Clara Rich, Alice Rucker, Dorothy Sampson, and the Hon. Lucile Watts.