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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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Peg

Mothers’ Rooms at Biglaw

There is a post at www.abovethelaw.com today (with a strange picture choice, I might add) about lactation rooms at law firms. The post is in the site's "fringe benefits" series which chronicles the perks of law firms. Every working mom seems to find at least one thing to not have to compromise on and for many that one things is breastfeeding.I continued to breastfeed my two kids after returning to work after maternity leave. With the first child, it went pretty well and I pumped for about two months. With the second, pumping lasted all of about two weeks. I…

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Peg

Job Sharing, Has anybody witnessed it?

Deborah Epstein Henry, of Flex-time Lawyers, has a thought provoking article in the July/August Issue of Diversity & the Bar entitled, "Stepping Into Your Shoes: It's Time for Job shares in Law Firms." You can find it at: http://www.flextimelawyers.com/pdf/art7.pdf (thanks to www.jdblissblog.com for the tip)The article is very straight-forward and it does a great job of describing the ins and outs of a job share arrangement for attorneys.I've witnessed a job share arrangement for legal assistants in the firm and it seems to work without complication. I've also witnessed enough "client teams" to know that more often than not there…

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Anna

The Firms Where You Are Most Likely to Make Partner

Working Mother Magazine didn't rank firms by how many of their partners are female, but I'll do it (using their data)! Of the fifty firms named "best for women" by WMM and Flex-Time Lawyers, which firms have the highest proportions of equity (profit-sharing) and nonequity partners? The standouts are Folger Levin & Kahn (San Francisco), Ice Miller (Indianapolis), Armstrong Teasdale (St. Louis), and Katten Muchin Rosenman (Chicago). [More after the jump]It seems noteworthy that none of these firms is headquartered on the East Coast, even though most of the firms in the WMM list are. The firm that leaps out…

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Anna

The 50 Best Law Firms for Women

Click here to go straight to the list.Flex-Time Lawyers and Working Mother Magazine have just released a ranking of "The 50 Best Law Firms for Women." It is the September cover story of WMM. You can download PDFs of the press release and two articles at Debbie Henry's website: Young, Gifted and Leaving, and Making Partner. I wanted to get this news item posted for y'all ASAP, so I will be back to post some more when I have read through the methodology. Meanwhile, I have a couple of comments based on what Debbie has told me in the past…

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Anonymous

My Dream Firm

Daydreams of the perfect firm--from a public interest lawyer who found existing firms too flawed to join.Being a woman entering the legal profession is something that I think about often, although as a young girl growing up, it is a topic I never imagined I would have to consider. Growing up in the 1980s, girls were empowered to try to both outsmart and outrun boys as we played on their sports teams and competed against them in academic competitions. We watched our mothers or our friends' mothers work. We were groomed to go to college before we settled down to…

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KHernan881

BigLaw fit for women?

I want to take a minute to go against the grain and ask the seemingly counter-intuitive question about women in the profession: Could Big Law be the best place for us to practice law?I was asked by a new acquaintance last week if I thought I could handle the "negative work environment" of the big firm. My response was that I think I actually prefer a negative work environment. More about that perhaps-unusual answer in a future post. For now, I'd like to explore why I think that big organizations are better for women. The idea for this blog was…

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Nomi

The Gender Gap - Conquered?

THE GENDER GAP: CONQUERED? “Women’s rights” is not exactly a new concept. So, why are we still having this discussion? I think it’s because while women can vote, enter professions, and sit on the Supreme Court, the insidious and underlying issues that women confront remain the same. Earlier this year, the New York Times ran a series of articles under the title “The New Gender Divide,” focusing on women leaving men in the dust in school. Well, that may be so, but succeeding in school is not translating into comparable success professionally. Looking at the information on law firms thrust…

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Peg

“Opt -in”—The new buzz word?

Heller Ehrman, a big San Francisco-based law firm, has a new project called "Opt-in." A very telling and optimistic statement on the project's website says, "We do not see a conflict with professionals seeking both fulfilling lives and rewarding careers, and we recognize that in helping all professionals find this balance, our industry will not only be able to recruit the best and the brightest, but also retain them."Here's my voice in response to that boldness: "Yeah! Go for it! The sooner the better! I want a life and a firm job!"The project claims to be looking for the solution…

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Manamana

Billables: on their way out?

Over at the WSJ Law Blog, they have a post up today entitled "The Billable Hour: Still the Lead Dog, But Gaining Competition" on some changes to the standard billing practice of law firms, namely the alternative practice of using fixed fees for legal services: “Cisco, a leader in the area of so-called alternative billing, now farms out 70% to 75% of its annual legal budget, estimated at $125 million, under fixed-fee arrangements.” This follows a speech on the state of technology in the law by Cisco’s General Counsel, Mark Chandler (mentioned earlier here) in which he highlighted the decrepit…

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