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Deborah Epstein Henry

The Cheat Sheet

Context My personal goal has been to make work/life balance and women's issues a basis of competition among law firms, as historically has been the case for salary and pro bono work. As the Founder and President of Flex-Time Lawyers LLC, I have run over 100 meetings providing a forum for lawyers and legal employers to share information on work/life and women's issues to improve the retention and promotion of women in the profession. Law firm practitioners are working hard to improve the status of women inside law firms. Increasingly, in-house counsel are using diversity as a criteria for selecting…

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jessie

Waste Not, Want Not?

One of my female law professors told me that out of her group of female friends from law school (Harvard, Class of 1996), she’s the only one still working. At first I was just depressed. I mean why am I busting my butt when chances are I’ll probably just abandon the law in ten years time? My second reaction was to be pissed—not at social forces or institutions that influence these women’s life choices, but at these women! These women were gobbling up precious spots at Harvard Law School, which could have gone to other women who actually planned to…

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Kalokagathia

A shift in focus from the “opt-out” to the “opt-in”

Both Lawjobs.com (via law.com) and NYLawyer.com have recently reported new programs at Hastings and Pace University which are designed to bridge the gap and ease re-entry into the legal market for professionals who have taken a year or more off of work. Not surprisingly, most of the individuals enrolling in such programs are women who have taken time off to have/raise kids. Considering women remain the primary caregivers when it comes to the children in most families, and in the grand scheme of things - this whole "break" of sorts is a fairly new concept as our society slowly evolves…

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Manamana

Sure, you passed the bar, but are you relationship material?

Valentine’s Day has already passed, and this is therefore coming late, but I was interested in this post two weeks ago in the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog entitled “Lawyers in Love” (this was the second part of a two-part series; the first was the lyrics of a 1983 song by Jackson Browne, which I will spare you). A lot of the more “life” posts at this blog and others are frequently externally oriented, by which I mean they are focused outward (towards employers, towards institutions, towards spouses or significant others) with their observations and comments. I don’t mean to…

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KHernan881

Book ToDo: The Undomestic Goddess

Okay, so I'm calling this a "ToDo" instead of a "Review". First, I don't want to seem too serious about this. I'm no literary critic. Heck, I don't even read that much besides my law school textbooks these days. Second, I don't get any benefit from writing this ToDo. I had to purchase the book like anyone else but you could probably check it out from the library. Summer is approaching so I thought I'd pass on a fun book that I read last summer and thoroughly enjoyed. The book: The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella I read this during…

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Dahlia Lithwick

Balancing Work and Family

An acquaintance stopped me one afternoon last week, as I was picking my three-year-old son, Coby, from camp. “Great piece in the Post last Sunday,” he enthused. “I thought you did a really smart job on that one.” Almost as an afterthought, he added: “Imagine what your career would look like if you didn’t have small kids!” I must have looked stricken because he added, “I just mean, you know, you spend so many hours with them. If you were a sixty year old man . . . with nothing to do all day but write . . . .you’d…

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Wallflower

The Work-Life Balance Sales Pitch

Wallflower is a 3L at NYU School of Law It's hard to imagine any law student making it out of law school without being bombarded with talk about the extended hours attorneys work and the difficulty many have in maintaining both a happy home life and a successful career. Long hours, stressful working conditions, and having little time for social lives are challenges most attorneys face. In my experience, however, the work-life balance issue is most often discussed as a problem that primarily affects women or parents, and in my opinion, this does a disservice to all attorneys. During my…

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Jill Filipovic

On “Balance”

[The following is an email sent out over an NYU Law listserve. It references an event sponsored by a religious organization at NYU, which featured a white, male, Mormon attorney with five children and a stay-at-home wife speaking about balancing work and family.] Rebecca writes, "Nor does it address the fact that, whether you intend to or not, when you say that Mr. Belnap can't speak for women on the work-life balance issues, you implicitly depict the issue as mainly a woman's issue. Work-life is an issue neutral to gender and neutral to having children or 'family'. And while women…

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Mary Nienaber-Foster

My Mommy Wants to be a Lawyer

By Mary Nienaber-Foster, a 1L at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio Everyone thought I finally lost it. The kids or my husband's job had driven me to the brink of insanity and I had officially gone bonkers. I stood up in the spring of 2006 and announced to the world that I was going back to school. Law School. Fulltime. Granted, thousands of people around the country were announcing the same thing, but somehow, my little cluster of friends and family thought this was an earth-shattering announcement. After all, I wasn't a fresh-faced 22-year old. I was a mother. Of…

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