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Tiffany Crane

Sometimes life interferes with being the perfect law student. What happens after that?

I walked in, confidently shook Mr. Partner's hand and sat down. He politely tossed my resume aside and said, "What advice can I give you about interviewing with a smaller firm? My firm would never consider you."Loyola University New Orleans has a strong contingent of women lawyers working in Career Services who are particularly attuned to the issues facing female law students as we search for employment opportunities. This was something that I took for granted until my second year of law school when I began to see some of the statistics brought to life in my own quest to…

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sintecho

Are you willing to bring home the dough while your husband/partner bakes it?

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years.The New York Times had an interesting article this week about the "hostility" and difficulty many professional women now face "trying to figure out how to balance pride in their accomplishments against their perceived need to bolster the egos of the men they date." Since most firm lawyers start out with three-figure salaries, this phenomenon, assuming you buy it, would likley affect many single women lawyers trying to have a dating life in whatever time they can get away from…

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Eralon

Is Being a Mother and a Lawyer a Lose-Lose situation?

How could anyone possibly resist this face? I know what you're thinking- what does a cat have to do with a post about mother and a lawyer? Well for me, my pets are often what spawns these thoughts about life balance. When I look at the face of my cats and dogs with their sad eyes and the "please don't leave me" look, I feel riddled with guilt. So what happens if I ever have kids? How will I feel when I have to leave them? Most of the talk on this site has been about how to do it…

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jessie

Can Dad Boil the Water?

Leslie Kaufman's article in The New York Times, entitled "Mom Puts Family Back on the Table," left me so confused. Cannabalistic title aside, her solution to the basic work-cook conundrum was baffling. She details how, despite working full time and not getting home until 7:30pm most nights, she is able to put a healthy and varied menu on the table for her family. The solution? Spending her Sunday planning, shopping, and preparing. Also her babysitter pitches in.   I can relate to the desire to sit down with family each night. It was a priority in my house growing up,…

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Geeta Naidu

“Opting in” means choosing legal culture over Indian culture

After finals, after the end of school year celebrations and the spring barbeques, I drive to Illinois to start my summer of living with my parents and working at Prairie State Legal Services. I have a few days before my internship begins and I spend it running errands for my mother and grandmother. I spend long afternoons driving around the suburbs of Chicago, stopping at the houses of family friends to drop off mango pickle, pick up pan leaves and Telugu VHS movies that have been copied and re-copied until the movie has a clear picture or a clear sound,…

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Three Paths

My oldest sister Lindsay always knew she wanted to be a doctor. My middle sister Jennifer graduated at the top of her college class but wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. I want the best of both worlds. My childhood was filled with demands from my father to "become a professional" in the future. He didn't care whether that meant becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but my two older sisters and I all knew he only wanted us to pursue one of those avenues. My father is a doctor who has practiced family medicine for thirty years. My mother, a…

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Jennifer Lunsford

My stay-at-home father

Big Firm work, almost by definition, is stressful and unpredictable. The hours alone are enough to dissuade a family-oriented person, particularly a female, from taking more prestigious and rewarding positions in law. Unless one is willing to let her children be raised by hired help, or she is one of the lucky few with a stay-at-home husband, a woman must choose between her career and her family. I worked for a firm that is notorious for its poor retention of women. They tried to appear encouraging and accommodating of their female staff, but they refused to adjust the family-hostile work…

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Melanie Black

We still need the support of our elders

The idea that women do not belong in the legal field is a sentiment that my generation grew up knowing only as an ancient belief captured in our history books. As a child of the late eighties and early nineties, I was constantly told that the sky is the limit, to pursue my goals, that no obstacle was too high, and that nothing would prevent me from being whomever I pleased. It is easy to take law school for granted, to view it as just another hoop in the journey to being fabulous. But it wasn't that long ago that…

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Anonymous

Who wants to be superwoman?

I knew from very early on that I wanted to attend law school. My grandmother told me to get the highest degree I could, make sure that men worked for me, and to always keep a separate bank account from my husband. To some this may seem like extreme advice for a grandmother to give, but I assure you my grandmother was not a woman one would consider "radical" at first glance and even after a second and third inspection. She was a church going woman, who loved her family. And in fact she did keep a separate bank account…

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Anonymous

Why do we equate “being a good parent and spouse” with “not being a good lawyer”?

When I first entered law school, I never thought that my gender would in any way impede my success in the legal profession. I had not previously experienced any educational discrimination regarding my gender, and so far the past has remained true throughout law school. I did well in all of my classes, voiced my opinions, and was treated equally regarding class discussions. However, a guest speaker who visited during the middle of second semester changed my view of the role my gender would play in my legal career after law school. The guest speaker's topic of discussion was what…

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