Submitted by jessie
I always think Pat Gillette's assessment of the problems facing women in the profession hits the nail on the head. Her AmLaw Daily piece on self-promotion skills is no exception. After identifying external factors, like unconscious bias, that hinder women's advancement in law firm hierarchies, Gillette points the finger at women as well, arguing that a failure to effectively take credit when it's due and ask for advancement when it's available also stops women from excelling within firm structures.
One thing that resonates with me, is Gillette's focus on "power" and "books of business." When I talk to students and my peers about why they want to work at a law firm, no one says, "I want to be powerful." People talk about working with talented people, getting training, stepping stones on their resume, or paying off loans. But none of those things will make you a partner - at least not a happy one. When I talk to successful senior-level attorneys (men & women, partners & similarly successful government or public interest folks) they talk about, for lack of a better word, power. AUSA's mention the heady business of recommending sentencings and deciding whether to accept plea deals. Advocacy folks mention systemic change over individual case management. And law firm partners - well they're a little better about coming out and saying it - they say things like influence, prestige, expertise, and power (both their own and their clients') make their jobs worthwhile. And as Gillette points out, in a law firm, power starts with books of business.
After the jump: the next steps Gillette identifies plus one I add just for good measure.