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lenagraber

I will be a volcano.

"We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains." – Ursula LeGuinEntering the legal profession is quite a different matter from being a woman. Both make me proud, give me insights into complex social and political issues, and comprise particular lenses through which I interact with the world. They differ mainly in the level of objective optimism with which I see them. Being a lawyer is effectively joining the 21st century American aristocracy. Being a woman is living in a constant struggle to be taken seriously.Our…

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Kim Y. Evans

Why I left a career in public health to go to law school

As an African American female, a former public health analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for more than ten years prior to law school, and a volunteer for a variety of social service organizations during much of my adult life, I believe many of my life, work, and volunteer experiences have involved issues related to the advancement of women and the law.Having been reared by my mother alone beginning near age five gave me an early personal introduction to the struggles many women, particularly women of color, face in our society. Like so many women,…

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Peg

I can do anything you can do better!

So there's an article in the NYlawyer.com yesterday about women and law firm recruiting. The article is titled: Generation XX . (I'm not sure what that's about. Hey, NYL, is that some sort of reference to pornography?) Anyway, you can find it here but it requires a registration.The article reports that a high percentage of law firms are reporting that their summer classes have equal or higher numbers of women than men. To me this makes perfect sense because law school classes are close to equal. So why is this news?"Just from talking to attorneys at other firms, we all…

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Anonymous

In family law, women lawyers “bring more to the table” than men can

For so long, positions of authority were held by men who believed women were to be subservient to them. One would like to think that was at a time when women were not given the opportunity to excel in the world, especially the legal world. Times have changed, slowly, but changed none the less. Throughout the US, in all law school institutions, the ratio of male to female students has increasingly evened out, with some universities admitting more females then males. Not only are females entering the legal field, but we are excelling.A woman can bring more to the table…

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lawblogger

Demanding a more livable profession: why women who want it all aren’t the problem

Many of you likely saw the post by Peter Lattman on Law Blog last month on the MIT Workplace Center report: Women Lawyers and Obstacles to Leadership. As basically yet another study documenting women lawyers’ exit from the workforce, the study itself was less interesting to me than the comments after Lattman’s post. Among them, “Backwards” writes, “Something is backwards when it’s a ‘crisis’ for women to leave law firms in deference to their roles as mothers. I ask you: which job is more important, being a lawyer or being a mother?” Does this comment imply that working mothers are…

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jthibault

Courtrooms or Playpens: Choices of the Modern Female Attorney

I am proudly graduating from law school in just a few weeks. Like many of us graduates, while I’m excited to conquer the legal world, I’m also fearful of the many choices that I’ll face now that I’ve a law degree. As a woman, I’m particularly concerned about the decision to have a family. It’s frustrating to face the reality that when we become mothers, our status at work will change. We will be forced to choose between staying at home or going part-time at work, meanwhile passing up promotions or a partnership track, or staying at work and not…

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Kalokagathia

Networking No-Nos?

I recently saw this article (The Case of the Pushy Lady by Liz Ryan) headlining my yahoo homepage and must admit that I was a bit disappointed when I read it. I suppose it isn't anyone's fault but my own - the headline said something about "Networking No-Nos", it was silly of me to expect the how-to guide that I continue to seek when it comes to the skill of networking... The article pointed out some of the things I have grappled with in other posts here on Ms. JD - the problem of being too pushy in our networking…

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kirkebaby

Mommie knows best?

When we found out we were pregnant approximately one month after we were married and about four months before my husband was set to start his MBA in a different city than my job was located, I knew life would never be the same. I thought I always knew what I wanted: a career and a family. A perfect balance. I was going to be Martha Stewart by nights and weekends, and bad-ass corporate lawyer by day. I even chose to go in-house right out of law school, knowing my personal and family time was going to be a priority…

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Peg

Mentoring & Judging

I got started thinking about mentoring during one of the panels at the Ms. JD conference this weekend. I can't help but wonder why I've always seemed to have a hard time finding a mentor and holding onto her. Whenever I've been somebody's mentor it didn't pan out as I'd imagined either. In fact, the most successful mentor/mentee relationships that I've ever had have been with men. However, I recognize that finding a woman mentor is extremely important and that, someday, being a productive mentor to another woman will also crucial. The panelists at the particular session that I am…

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Jordana Lewis

Laina: A Legal Secretary’s View of Women in Law

Only the truly fussy would dare complain about my office. Not the law firm, not the partners, not the other summers, but the office itself. My 15th floor window overlooks miles of Southern California sprawl (and one particularly tempting turquoise swimming pool), the leather chair swivels, the ergonometric keyboard supports my wrists, the speakers pump my iTunes, and the air conditioning is perfectly calibrated to combat the afternoon sunshine. But I have no privacy. If I sit at my computer with the door open, and if my assistant Laina sits at her computer in her cubicle, her line of site…

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