abell

Self-Promotion at Work: If You Got It, Flaunt It

Self-promotion often causes immense yet unnecessary stress and anxiety for many women, including me. (To be honest, even the title of this blog post makes me cringe!). Even though I went to an all-girls high school and a women’s college, where I was empowered and encouraged to make my voice heard, I still struggle with promoting myself professionally. This may have started in college: at Bryn Mawr, my peers were all very intelligent and capable, and we were discouraged from openly discussing grades in order to foster a less competitive environment. Unfortunately, I may have taken this approach with me…

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abell

Insecure at Work: Being Authentically You Without “Switching It Up”

A friend of mine introduced me to the HBO hit Insecure and it became my Sunday guilty pleasure. For those who have not seen it, Issa Rae stars as Issa, a black woman who works at a non-profit and spends most of the season re-evaluating her career and love life. Her best friend Molly, played by Yvonne Orji, is a black woman navigating Biglaw who is also struggling in the dating world. In one scene, Molly’s law firm partner approaches her about talking to the new summer associate who is an outspoken black woman named Rasheeda. The more seasoned lawyers…

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abell

Do Diverse Attorneys Need Diverse Mentors And Sponsors?

Recently, I was speaking with another African American attorney who told me that she has not had a mentor in her five years of practice at a large law firm. She expressed that there aren’t any income or equity partners of color and very few of them are women. Understandably this absence of leaders of color and women leaders led her to wonder what it means for her own career. To add to her worry, she has struggled to receive quality work assignments, which has hindered her development. Straddling the line between hypervisbility (as the only woman of color in…

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abell

Navigating “Biglaw” as a Woman of Color

Study after study show that women of color are fading from large law firms and most leave before they are even considered for partnership. Hence, women of color remain the most underrepresented group at the partnership level. The source of this problem is definitely complicated and difficult to pinpoint: is it an issue of law firm culture, a dearth of minority leadership and access to high-ranking mentors and sponsors to guide women of color in their professional development, or a lack of exposure to clients and quality work assignments to develop their legal skills? Perhaps it is not an “either/or…

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abell

The Reasons Smart Lawyers Blog

Every year, law schools are churning out more graduates than there are legal jobs.  Whether you initially land your dream job or not, you have to successfully market yourself so that you are distinguishable and remain competitive.  Having strong lawyering skills is the bare minimum requirement nowadays.  Lawyers must have a solid name and reputation in the legal community to garner respect from their colleagues and adversaries and in order attract business.  In networking circles, I am constantly hearing: “It is not who you know, but who knows you.”  By blogging, you are developing your professional brand, increasing your profile,…

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