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bethb

In Denial?

Last night I attended a panel discussion sponsored by a women’s organization at my law school. I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet women who had successfully navigated different legal career paths and perhaps even tell them a bit about Ms. JD. Unfortunately, I left the discussion with the strange feeling that everyone in the room but me was suffering from serious denial. When a partner of a large firm was asked about sexism in the firm, she denied knowledge of any such incidents, despite having been with the firm for more than ten years. I couldn’t…

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jessie

The Personal is Political (and Confusing)

Boyfriend and I are both third year law students. For three job application rounds in a row (2 summers and a clerkship) Boyfriend’s stayed here where we go to law school, while I’ve taken a job elsewhere. Each time that’s made sense for me, and we’ve survived the temporary long distance. Each time, as luck would have it, Boyfriend has gotten his offer first and had to make a decision to stay before I had to make the decision to go. Each time the ball’s been in my court to decide between Boyfriend and my dream job. We’ve talked about…

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Eralon

DeMANding Work:  Is there a place for part-time?

This weekend I attended the Legally Female conference at Yale Law School. After hearing an amazing set of speakers and panelists and interacting with amazing women from across the country, I can't stop thinking about a question that was raised during one of the sessions. What is the limit of the part-time phenomenon? Can corporate litigators or criminal trial lawyers and others under huge time pressures really do their job effectively in a part-time situation? I guess the reason I keep thinking about this is because I just don't know. If there is a good answer, I haven't thought of…

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Manamana

Hi.  I’m an addict.

Confession time: I’m an email addict. Seriously. I have five email addresses that I constantly check most days (it tends to die down a little between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning). I think I probably spend most of my “working time” composing and answering emails, particularly since I have gone far enough into my law school career to be somewhat indifferent to reading for class. By the end of the week, I’m so sick of emailing that I have even been able to overcome my long-standing, deeply-rooted aversion to the phone, and starting ringing people up. Most of what is…

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Manamana

“The Opt-Out Myth” by E.J. Graff

Here's a very interesting article by E.J. Graff in the Columbia Journalism Review entitled "The Opt-Out Myth." It is partly a response to Lisa Belkin's article "The Opt Out Revolution" that came out in the New York Times magazine in 2003 and other similar articles that have been coming out on the topic (the Times, for instance, appears to feel compelled to publish such pieces every six months or so). "The Opt-Out Myth" highlights the problems with framing this topic in this way, and pushes back on some conventional wisdom that usually attends these discussions: "The moms-go-home story keeps coming…

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Manamana

Beyond Balance—Changing the Construct

There’s some very interesting discussions going on in this blog and elsewhere about work-life balance (see Jessie’s “Waste Not, Want Not?”; Carolyn Elefant’s “The Importance of Planning a Career,” and all the fabulous comments these have generated). To say nothing of entire blogs devoted to the topic (such as The WSJ’s The Juggle by Sara Schaefer Muñoz). So I’m adding something else into the mix: Beyond Balance, A Legal Sanity Learning Programs Eguide PDF, by Lori Herz and Arnie Herz, who blog over at Legal Sanity. Similar to

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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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