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sintecho

Impossible Expectations Apparently Doom Women to Unhappiness

As lawyers, we are already 3.6 times more likely to suffer from a major depressive disorder than non-lawyers with similar socio-demographic traits. As women, it now appears we are more likely to be unhappy due to our membership in that demographic as well. Recent research findings suggest that women, who reported being happier than men in the 1970s, are now less happy than men. Two research papers by Alan Krueger and Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers have sparked a flurry of speculative articles (mostly by men) on the disparity. Steven Levitt of Freakonomics fame had 4 hypotheses for the gap:1.…

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Carol Simpson

Playing “the gender card” in the courtroom

This past week I attended court for the first time in my three years in law school. Actually attending a real court has not been part of any of my courses to date, so this was an event that was particularly interesting. I was attending an evidentiary hearing in federal court, after having written the analysis of an important change of facts in the case. The hearing was before a female judge, and both the plaintiffs’ attorneys are female, as well. When the defendant’s attorneys arrived, there were two men and one woman. It was obvious that their plan was…

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Rigel S. Massaro

Cracks in the Glass Ceiling

Each of us brings to our job, whatever it is, our lifetime of experience and our values.Sandra Day O'ConnorIf we are to achieve a richer culture--one rich in contrasting values--we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.Margaret MeadLast month I completed my first year of law school at the University of Arizona, where 50% + of the student body is female and all of our deans are women. I am currently interning at Consumers Union, where the 90% of…

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Katie

Practical Tips for Successful Live-in Child Care

Many two-professional families confront the issue of what is the best solution for childcare. There are the options of a live-in nanny, a live-out babysitter, care in somebody else's home setting, childcare centers and, the most coveted "relative care" choices.Personally, I have never had the option of having grandma or auntie take care of the kids so I have had to choose among the other less-desirable options. We've always gone with the live-in option. We choose the live-in option because of the flexibility. When the 6 year old was little he was usually sleeping when I went to work and…

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Anonymous

How to Play Your Cards

In my opinion, the most challenging thing about being a career woman is learning how to play your cards. I simply mean this: there are certainly stereotypes which precede women in the workplace -- submissive, peacemaker, courteous, docile, prim, proper, ladylike, etc. And it's true that there's a time and a place to correct such assumptions, but it's also true that there are times when such assumptions might work in our favor in terms of gaining an advantage for our clients. For example, a woman who is naturally abrasive, when representing a client in a particularly rural town in a…

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Manamana

Team Players?

This past week, in lieu of studying, I piled into my school’s gym with most of my law school to watch our basketball team go head-to-head with our rival law school’s. Since I’ve gone to city schools for college and law school (the same city school, in fact), this actually was the closest I’ve ever gotten to a post-high school sporting event. I’m happy to report that my school won narrowly, money was raised for charity, and we all had a much better time than we would have had outlining. But one part of the evening left me with a…

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Kalokagathia

Reality Check

Ms. Gail Cutter recently wrote a piece for the New York Law Journal/nylawyer.com called Career Coach: The Myths Of Ms. JD which I hope you will take a moment to read if you have not done so already. Ms. Cutter has eloquently put into words the reality of diversity initiatives in the legal profession - and the need to keep pushing rather than resigning ourselves to the "issue fatigue" that is blocking meaningful progress in many areas. We can't affect change without first admitting that what we're doing may not be enough. It is one thing to implement a program…

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Kalokagathia

Introductions Matter

Despite the fact that Carolyn Elefant's "My Shingle" is amongst the blawgs I most frequently visit, I somehow missed this post from March 24th highlighting an easily overlooked situation which has a simple enough (I think) solution. The article is in response to a post by Lawyer Mama illustrating how a typical business introduction may be insufficient to combat the assumption that a woman in a law firm is a secretary, not an attorney. Most often the mistake is innocent and inadvertent and therefore it is probably best to take a proactive approach to rectifying the error. I agree with…

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Manamana

No Pressure - Just Be Perfect

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years. Exactly four years ago one of our founding bloggers submitted this great post. Our board easily identified it as a "Best of" that still rings true today. I was having a great weekend (given that Ms. JD had its national launch at Yale Law School on Saturday) when I opened up my Sunday Times. Great, I thought: just as was noted in Ms. JD’s presentation at the start of Legally Female, The New York Times has gone six months…

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jessie

Things You Should Know About Your Taxes

Confession: I’m a total tax geek. News flash: If you care about supporting working women, you should be too, because the tax code is stacked against us. Nothing in the tax code is overtly gendered. However, because women are almost always a household’s secondary earner, and because social norms favor women in domestic roles, the tax code contains practical biases. First you have to understand what it means to have imputed income. Let’s say you cook yourself dinner, make your bed, or fix your bathroom drain. When you perform these services yourself, rather than hire someone else to do them,…

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