Janet

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An Incredible Man (and the Making of a Champion): TIM Initiative featuring Matthew O’Leary

Seven years ago, when Matthew O’Leary and I were still fresh out of law school, wide-eyed and swimming with big sharks, we ran into each other at a wine festival. Two brand new lawyers talking shop in the summer sun. Somehow the discussion turned to women in the law and Matthew informed me that “women in the law are now equal--just look at law school enrollment!--and they just need to catch up in the partner ranks.” Full stop. Whaaaaa? I vowed NEVER to do business with him.   Two months ago, Matt and I opened O’Leary Wallace LLP. I’m going…

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skreed

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Skirting the Ceiling: Finalizing that First Impression

My 1L year is done! Behind me are long days and nights spent cramming for exams and right around the corner lies my first day of work at the local District Attorney’s office and my first day in court as an advocate! Anticipation for these two big Firsts got me thinking about another big first—the First Impression. Research shows that the first impression matters significantly and can be monumentally hard to change. So, whether it be the first 30 seconds or the first day in court or on the job, follow these four tips to finalize the first impression that…

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tammyzhu

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“He Said What?” A Panel on How to Combat Sexism and Gender Bias Against Women Litigators

This past Tuesday, I went to a panel discussing patterns of sexism and biases against women litigators and particularly young, women litigators.  As a petite woman who has been a litigation associate for just over one year, I was discouraged by these stories.  What do I have to prepare myself for if I want to stay in this line of work?  Getting verbally bullied and yelled at during meet and confer calls, getting comments such as “Don’t raise your voice at me.  It’s not becoming of a woman” during depositions, and getting used to my male counterparts jumping in to…

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nevidomsky92

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Life in the Law School Lane: Living Through the 2016 Election as a Female Law Student

"This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It is, it is worth it. And so we need—we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion." - Hillary Clinton, Concession Speech, November 9, 2016 With my penultimate post as a 2016 Writer in Residence, I figured I would be wrapping up…

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nevidomsky92

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Life in the Law School Lane: 4 Observations from the Back Row

Wow, October of 3L. Just thinking about how different my mindset is now (cruising through thinking about my upcoming travels and graduation) from 2L (stressed from over-involvement in extracurricular activities and whether I chose the right firm) and 1L (clueless about what I was learning and whether I should be in law school) at this time, is unfathomable. Now that some nostalgia has kicked in, I cannot help but reminisce on all those great times I had in law school, all the way in back row of classrooms. You know, I may not have retained the most information that a…

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mKYCZwhJPG

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: I am entering my last year of law school. Do you have suggestions for things I could do over the next year to be better prepared to practice when I graduate? A: I do. Most students should work to expand their professional networks and refine their writing skills. Practice management and professionalism skills are also important to help you gain credibility and provide more value. With regular effort in these areas over the next year, you will have a head start when you begin practice. That should make your transition more seamless and open up more opportunities to advance.…

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14sm2I-tL9

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Communication Could Be a Game-Changer

What do NFL players and the women in the legal profession have in common? If you answered that both aim for perfection and have an insatiable desire to win, you’d be right.  But that’s not the end of their commonalities. Both often have short-lived careers in their respective professions. Many researchers and task forces have investigated the phenomenon of women opting out of the legal industry. A 2015 survey conducted by Harvard Law School’s Center observed that “even women who have achieved important career success appear to be leaving their prestigious positions — and the profession as a whole —…

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Susan Smith Blakely

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Needed:  More Women Lawyers in Leadership Positions

Today I am sharing with you excerpts from a recent blog from my friend John Keyser of Common Sense Leadership.  I reference John and his work in my new book, Best Friends at the Bar: Top-Down Leadership for Women Lawyers (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers 2015), and I find him to be highly effective and thoughtful on the subject of leadership and a great advocate for women in positions of leadership.  Although John does not write specifically for women lawyers, he hits it straight into your ball park with this blog. Here is some of what John Keyser has to say in…

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MargotBrooks

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Validating Violence: High Profile, Mixed Progress

Violence against women is a pervasive part of American culture, and for many, of everyday life. In their many forms, acts of sexual and domestic violence are so ubiquitous they have become easy to ignore, and the problematic implications of their prevalence make it more convenient to condone than to address them. As a current 1L student taking on law school as the first step in pursuing a career focused on sexual and domestic violence, much of my present engagement with these issues is intellectual – abstract and from a distance. From time to time, however, outside the library on…

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mKYCZwhJPG

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks:  Practical advice for new lawyers

Q: I recently started my first law job. I am not used to getting multiple assignments from different supervisors and having to prioritize everything myself. I am feeling overwhelmed. Any advice? A: Yes. Practicing law can sometimes feel like drinking from a fire hose if you will excuse the cliché. Managing time can be a challenge at all stages of practice. Feeling overwhelmed on occasion is normal. Over time, you will become more adept at managing time. And investing the time to hone those skills is time well spent. Careful time management can help you reduce stress and ensure that you…

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