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KHernan881

Money Talks:  The free-market answer to more diversity in law firms

With all the talk about diversity being a good business practice for law firms, it is nice to finally see a client put some pressure on law firms to change. In the November issue of Corporate Counsel magazine there is a short story about General Motors and the demands it makes of its outside counsel to be more diverse. Earlier this year, [GM] became one of the first companies to link reduced billing rates to diversity goals. ...In the second quarter of this year, the law department began a pilot program that sets individual diversity goals for six of its…

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bethb

Call for Stories about Mentors

Call for Stories about Mentors Posted October 18th, 2007 by bethb I am currently writing a law review comment on the status of women at big law firms. I am particularly interested in the purported lack of effective mentoring for female associates at large firms. This is where you come in... I am asking women who are working/have worked/know women who have worked at large firms to share stories with me about the role mentors have played in their work life. I will not ask for names of firms or the women's names, even (if anonymity is a concern). I…

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Peg

I’m a Corporate Lawyer – Get on with your happy-judging self!

Okay, so, in no particular order, I’m a (30-something caucasion) woman, I’m a (working) mother of two, I’m a (married-only-once-heterosexual) wife, I’m a (Fiscal) Conservative, and I’m a corporate (BigLaw) lawyer. Why am I subject to so much judging?See the related posts and comments here, here, here, and here about the judging that goes on among women. It is no secret that I am not a fan of the “mommy wars”. Likewise, I am also not a fan of the explicit and implicit judging that goes on between the public-interest lawyers (or lawyers-to-be) and those of us that work for…

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jessie

NYC Event: Working Mothers-Who’s Opting Out?

WORKING MOTHERS: WHO'S OPTING OUT?Tuesday, October 16, 7 p.m., $8 admissionThe New School, New York CityWollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, 5th floor (enter at 66 West 12th Street) You've read the articles--and gotten angry at the debate. Are vast numbers of working mothers bolting the career track--or dreaming of doing so? Are elite women betraying feminism by staying home with their children? Or do the Opt-Out stories rely too heavily on anecdotal evidence--while shoving aside actual labor statistics and working families' needs? JOIN US as some of the KEY THINKERS and CRITICS of the "opt-out" storyline DISCUSS & DEBATE…

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jessie

Office Romance: No Longer so Hush Hush?

A recent article in the New York Times about office relationships indicates they are becoming more acceptable to upper management. This reminded me of a warning I received as a summer law clerk: don't date another associate-it will be held against you. At the time, the advice was given to me in the context of the many ways in which women are held to double standards in big firms: men are not penalized for "hooking up" with the cute summer, but those cute summers are. I never ended up at a big firm and I never dated anyone in my…

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Judge Nancy Gertner

The revolution of falling expectations

In the 1960s, social critics spoke about the "revolution of rising expectations," describing the phenomenon in which succeeding generations of Americans expected to do better than their parents and the conflicts that resulted when they did not.If the latest issue of Working Mother magazine trumpeting the "50 Best Law Firms for Women" is any indication, we are now in the midst of "the revolution of falling expectations," which will have its own serious consequences.Working Mother -- in an altogether commendable effort to monitor the progress of women in the largest firms -- ranked them by various measures, including the percentage…

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sintecho

Work-Life Balance Isn’t a Woman’s Issue (or an American one)

A recent article by Cameron Ainsworth-Vincze highlighted work-life balance issues faced by Canadian firm lawyers. Debbie, with abrupt words and “language laden with cursing” alerts the interviewer that she will be working all night and that he can quote her that sometimes she hates her job. Canadian firm lawyers, it seems, are not so different from their southern counterparts (though the first-year associate standard is only 1,700 billable hours, which is modest when you look at 2,000+ hours that many big-city U.S. attorneys routinely bill). Also familiar is Debbie’s concern that she has “a lack of control over her personal…

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Anna

Ten Family-Friendly Firms (new ranking by law students)

The women's student group at my school has just release its second annual ranking of "the top ten family-friendly firms." I did not have any part in preparing these rankings... just passing them along. The press release is here. According to Yale Law Women and co-sponsoring women's law groups at Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Chicago, Boalt, Northwestern, and Virginia, the top ten family-friendly firms of 2007 are... [More after the jump]Quarles & Brady (Phoenix)Proskauer Rose (New York) Akin Gump Strauss Hauer (Washington, DC) Jenner & Block (Washington, DC) Mayer Brown (Chicago)Covington & Burling (Washington, DC) Arnold & Porter (Washington, DC) DLA…

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Peg

Part Time at a Firm: Opportunity or Curse?

I’ve always wondered about Biglaw attorneys who are on a part-time schedule. This is partly because I try to be realistic about the future and wonder whether this will be something I will resort to once a few full time 2000+ billable years break down my cheery disposition towards Biglaw practice. Also it is partly because I wonder just how it happens. In my mind, I can’t imagine how the arrangement begins. I frankly cannot see myself asking anybody at the firm about the option because of an assumption that I’ve concocted in my head that as soon as I…

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jessie

Southern Ms.

Until now I’ve lived in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. So when I moved to Memphis last month I was expecting culture shock. It has been shocking . . . but for the most part, it’s been shockingly nice. Seriously, to a person who has never been exposed to it before, true southern hospitality is unimaginable. So what else have I discovered besides the kindness of random strangers? I had plans for a series on shocking exposes of backwardness, but so far I have only curiosities to report:This week I learned that the biggest, fanciest firm in Memphis…

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