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Erin

Meet Penelope Andrews

As a Visiting Professor of Law at Valparaiso University School of Law, Penelope Andrews focuses her teaching and research on a variety of topics including: anti-discrimination law and policy, international human rights law, gender and the law, and judicial enforcement of socio-economic rights. Ms. Andrews received her LL.B. from the University of Natal, in Durban, South Africa, in 1982, followed by her LL.M. from Columbia University School of Law, in 1984. Professionally, Ms. Andrews has served in a variety of positions, including as a Consultant for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in 2001. Ms. Andrews has also…

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jessie

Must Read: Judge Kaye & Anne Reddy on Women in Firms

Twenty years ago Judith Kaye - now the Chief Judge of New York's Court of Appeals and a keynote speaker at Ms. JD's Student Leadership Summit - published a breakthrough study in the Fordham Law Review on the state of gender equity in law firms. In their current volume Fordham Law Review is publishing a follow-up, "The Progress of Women Lawyers at Big Firms: Steadied or Simply Studied?" There's good news and bad. Since 1988 there are more female attorneys and more female attorneys in senior positions. But inequities remain - in compensation and in position. In 1988, fewer than…

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Elizabeth

New Report on How Firms Can Retain Women

The Georgia Association for Women Lawyers released a report on retaining women attorneys entitled: IT'S ABOUT TIME II: Examining Flexible Work Arrangements from the Attorney's and the Firm's Perspectives -- A Study of Part-time Policies in Georgia Law Firms.The study surveys 84 law firms in Georgia and finds that only 30% of firms have "formal, written policies regarding reduced time and flexible work arrangements." The report also looks at informal flexible work arrangements, citing "responses from 386 female attorneys to an online survey [which] suggest that informal arrangements make monitoring, scheduling, and other work-related responsibilities very difficult" for those who…

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Peg

Basic Psychology

There is an very good article in last week's issue of Corporate Counsel magazine titled: Big-Firm Associates: Why They Go and How to Keep Them. I would recommend reading the entire article to anyone who, like me, is always thinking about the retention problem faced by big law firms. The article does not specifically address the problem of retaning women. However, I think the issue that it does address is universal and applies to men and women both. That issue is "[associates'] first professional experience after at least seven years of higher education is too unprofessional and demoralizing [and] that…

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Erin

White & Case’s Women’s Initiative - Supporting Women in the Law

Women are increasingly taking on more leadership roles both in law firms and corporations across the United States and abroad. Many law firms today recognize the importance of recruiting and retaining top talent, regardless of gender, particularly in an increasingly competitive job market. The issues surrounding the retention of top female associates are admittedly complex but it seems apparent that these factors help shape how women associates interact in the law firm environment. These issues are at the heart of why some firms, including White & Case, have embraced women's networks as well as other retention and development tools geared…

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sintecho

Do Solo Practice Women Lawyers Charge Less Than Their Male Counterparts?

In December of 2007, ALM Research released the results of its survey of 5,000 lawyers working in small and midsize firms and solo practices. The respondents were 78% male and 22% female, which could mean that fewer women work in smaller firms and solo practice; or that women were less inclined to participate; or that fewer women are "leader, manager, partner, shareholder, or owner" of these firms, since ALM reports that these were the majority of the people answering the survey. The survey itself costs $550 to access, but Business Wire reports on its troubling findings on gender: women lawyers…

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jessie

A Girl Just Wants to Have Fun: Do I Have to Be Serious to Be Taken Seriously?

I can be something of a girly-girl: I think I make a bubbly first impression, I can have a silly sense of humor, I spend a lot of time thinking about my shoes, and I waste time reading about celebrities. Basically I engage in some frivolity, and I like that about myself. Intellectually, I'm into tax policy; so mostly I figure the patent-leather pumps are a positive indication of well-roundedness. Unfortunately that's not necessarily how others perceive these traits; it seems to me that youthful, stereotypically feminine attributes are frowned upon, especially by the generation of pioneers who broke into…

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Elizabeth

Allison Wolf Gives Advice on Rainmaking for Young Women Attorneys

Allison Wolf wrote an interesting piece on how to become a rainmaker as a young woman lawyer, even if you don’t view yourself as the conventional rainmaker. Wolf describes the stereotypical rainmaker as an extroverted man who “likes to talk” and is “a bit egotistical but keeps it in check” and "always out and about networking, attending events, and talking business.” Women who consider themselves for a rainmaking role, Wolf asserts, “determine ‘that’s not me’” based on the following reflections: “I’m not a grandstander.” “I don’t like to talk about my achievements.” “I don’t like networking events; I never know…

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Anna

How Men and Women Can Work Together at Law Firms [Clippings]

Jennifer Bluestein, director of professional development for the Chicago office of Baker & McKenzie, observes that most training to remedy gender inequalities at firms is geared toward women. Presentations teach female associates how to climb upward. Bluestein argues that male partners also need to learn how to reach downward. There are three ways that senior men can offer a hand up:Managing partners, practice group chairs and senior partners can help women have the same chance of succeeding as the men do. First, women need mentors, just as men do. Second, women need flexibility and career choices, just as men do.…

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Anna

DirectWomen Board Institute trains senior attorneys to serve on corporate boards

If you or a senior attorney you know would like to serve on a corporate board, you'll want to know about the DirectWomen Board Institute. DirectWomen is a little over a year old--it started around the same time as Ms. JD. While a lot of our stuff focuses on the front end of legal careers (for students and associates), DirectWomen works on the back end (retiring business attorneys). The ABA-sponsored initiative means "to identify, develop, and support a select group of accomplished women attorneys to provide qualified directors needed by the boards of U.S. companies." DirectWomen does three main things:1.…

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