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Sabrina Ursaner

An Open Letter: ‘Dear Baby Boom Law Firm Partner…’

Dear Baby Boomer Law Firm Partner, You have paved the way for young women like me to make it in the legal profession. You sacrificed a lot to get to where you are today, and I completely respect your work ethic and drive. So it’s probably frustrating for you that this new generation of up-and-coming lawyers wants to work less and live more. We want to work and have kids; take maternity leave and vacations; go home in time for dinner; make plans on the weekends – and still be on partner track?! Why should we get all these benefits…

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D. Brook and A. Bruck

Building a Better Legal Profession

Davida Brook and Andrew Bruck placed second with this entry in the Ms. JD & PAR essay contest about work/life balance. They write, "we are interpreted as a bunch of spoiled, resume-building, brats who want to get paid gazillions and flee the office for afternoon tee times. We are confused by this reaction, as we see our efforts as simply continuing the efforts begun by our parents decades ago. For example, just as the Boomers could not think of a single good reason why a Mother should not also be promoted to partner, we cannot think of a single good…

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Lori Johnson

Bridging the Gap on Work-Life Balance

Ms. JD & PAR essay contest winner Lori Johnson (1L, U. Mississippi) recounts the work/life revolution in her previous field, accounting. "Over time, the firm’s partners did recognize the importance of promoting work-life balance in the workplace. For years they had listened to clients complain about high turnover, which often resulted in client service teams comprised of entirely new faces each year. It is not hard to argue that clients are better served by continuity." --Ed.“The problem with your generation is that you don’t have any work ethic.” A single line from my favorite movie, Reality Bites, effectively sums up…

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Congratulations to the winners of the Ms. JD & PAR essay contest!

Ms. JD and the Project for Attorney Retention received fifty-four passionate, well-written arguments for better work/life balance in the legal profession. Our organizations co-sponsored the contest to generate dialogue between Baby Boomer partners and Millennials. Essentially, we asked entrants to explain why lawyers who place a premium on work/life balance are not slackers. Ms. JD awarded $1,000 to the winning essayist as judged by PAR attorneys. Lori Johnson, a 1L at the University of Mississippi, won first prize with her essay, Bridging the Gap on Work-Life Balance. Johnson previously studied accounting and finance at Texas A&M, then spent four years…

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Is What Women Lawyers Want a Big Mystery?

Bridget Crawford of Feminist Law Professors writes an interesting post, What Women Lawyers Want Is For You To Stop Asking What We Want (and Do Your Own Laundry). Responding to The Complete Lawyer article, What Do Women Lawyers Really Want?, Crawford contends that what women want isn't a huge mystery: "Women want family leave and flexible schedules. We also want partners or family members who can help pick the kids up from school, do the laundry, pay the bills, plan the vacation, buy the birthday presents, get the car fixed, buy groceries, call the school back and find a nursing…

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They just don’t get it

Somewhat tangentially related to my last disappointment in the older but wiser generation's lawyers and their attitudes about young-ish attorneys came this priceless nugget...In consulting with an "expert" about what a symposium on the issue of work-life balance should focus on, the expert's first piece of advice was that our speaker should tell people what work-life balance really is because "it is [his] experience that today's young attorneys don't really know what it is." What? Excuse me? Why don't you just go ahead and tell me what my priorities are or should be while you're at it?[More after the jump]Oh…

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Does “Having it All” require “Settling”?

Recently a friend alerted me to Lori Gottlieb's article in The Atlantic Monthly advising women in their twenties to "settle" when it comes to finding a mate: Don’t worry about passion or intense connection. Don’t nix a guy based on his annoying habit of yelling “Bravo!” in movie theaters. Overlook his halitosis or abysmal sense of aesthetics. Because if you want to have the infrastructure in place to have a family, settling is the way to go.Well I did not take kindly to this advice. I think Gottlieb's perspective is sexist and harmful-it's directed only to women and promulgates the…

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The Green Monster: When Your Significant Other Is a Lawyer

The Washington Post has an interesting article on social psychologist Abraham Tesser's research on "how close friends and intimate partners who are engaged in similar work or activities compare themselves with one another." I can't even count all the couples I knew from law school who met in Torts, dated through Fed Courts, and were married (or engaged) by commencement. Now out in the working world, I see a rather significant number of married or engaged couples who met on the job, which makes sense given how much lawyers work--meeting other lawyers is easier than meeting a non-lawyer, and meeting…

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Work/life balance essay contest update

Thanks to everybody who entered the Ms. JD essay contest on work/life balance. Many of the essays were fantastic! The submissions are now being judged anonymously by attorneys recruited by the Project for Attorney Retention. The $1,000 winner will be announced by the end of this month.That essay competition has now closed, but if you're looking for another way to pick up some cash, consider applying to work as a law clerk for Ms. JD this summer.

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Last Chance to Win $1,000 by THIS FRIDAY [Work/Life Essay Contest with No Minimum Essay Length]

If you marked your calendar to write a few words about work/life balance, the clock is ticking... entries to win $1,000 are due this Friday, February 29th. Hey, "leap day" is an extra day in the month anyway, right? Take 10 minutes of it (or a bit more) to try for $1,000. The maximum word count is 1,500--and there's no minimum word count. Ms. JD and the Project for Attorney Retention just want to hear what you have to say.Remember, the contest is open to attorneys as well as students. So all you working moms who post here--you could have…

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