Heather Aquino

My road is my own

We are sitting at the booth in the far right hand corner of the restaurant, our "usual" table we like to call it. It's been nearly seven years since high school yet the four of us still continue to request this table, just as we had when we were sixteen years old. I sit farthest from the wall, slowly sipping a cherry coke, looking at the faces of the women I have grown up with. Looking at my childhood friends. I am the last to arrive after my train was delayed 30 minutes at Penn Station, and by the time…

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Mel Sullivan

We will be the women who shift the balance

Two things struck me during my first year in law school. The first was that every individual in a class hypothetical, whether judge, victim or villain, was referred to by a feminine pronoun. The second was that the preferred conservative dress for female attorneys was a skirt suit. There was also an accompanying rumor that judges had ordered attorneys out of court for transgressing this unwritten rule. This seeming contradiction codified the contradiction I saw within the law itself: a profession professing to act in the interest of equality and justice while at the same time being dominated on every…

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Melanie Black

We still need the support of our elders

The idea that women do not belong in the legal field is a sentiment that my generation grew up knowing only as an ancient belief captured in our history books. As a child of the late eighties and early nineties, I was constantly told that the sky is the limit, to pursue my goals, that no obstacle was too high, and that nothing would prevent me from being whomever I pleased. It is easy to take law school for granted, to view it as just another hoop in the journey to being fabulous. But it wasn't that long ago that…

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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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Lori Boozer

Me, Myself, and I: Reflections on my journey as young woman in the legal profession

I never wanted to be an attorney, but ironically, I have always wanted to be a judge. As a high school student, I had several opportunities to observe "the bench" at work. I also had the opportunity to be an acting New York Chief Justice during a mock government program held at the state capital in Albany. I wore a black robe and sat in the honorable chambers, meted out decisions on the rule of law, subjected student legislators to Judicial Review, swore in the student Governor of New York and made up my mind that this was the path…

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Carol Simpson

Generation gap or gender gap? Mother and son enroll in law school together

Being an older woman in entering the legal profession has been an interesting experience. It is difficult to determine if my experiences are more a factor of my gender or my age, but I know that my experiences have been significantly different from those of my son, with whom I am attending the same law school in the same class. Having a background as a professor in another professional school dominated by women, I see considerable differences in how women are treated and welcomed to the profession.The first difference is in how novices are hired and trained. In my previous…

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Anonymous

Who wants to be superwoman?

I knew from very early on that I wanted to attend law school. My grandmother told me to get the highest degree I could, make sure that men worked for me, and to always keep a separate bank account from my husband. To some this may seem like extreme advice for a grandmother to give, but I assure you my grandmother was not a woman one would consider "radical" at first glance and even after a second and third inspection. She was a church going woman, who loved her family. And in fact she did keep a separate bank account…

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Anonymous

I LOVE being a girl, I LOVE being African-American, and I will LOVE being a lawyer

As an African-American woman I feel as if I have a somewhat different perspective on being a woman entering the legal profession. I not only have to overcome gender stereotypes but racial stereotypes as well. As a young woman, watching my mother, a successful woman in the business world, I remember countless times when I overheard her telling my father about the sexist encounters she had with co-workers and clients. Late at night when I was up finishing my homework in my room I could hear her telling my father about the customer that was hesitant about her working on…

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Happy to be Female

Requesting Solutions to the Problems

Solutions to Discriminatory Behavior Please!!Firstly, I want to thank everyone for sharing their stories regarding differential behavior, expectations and perks between male and female associates. It is unfortunate that they are all too common and familiar to most of us. However, besides realizing that I am not alone and am not being overly sensitive in noticing the differences, I beg you to submit solutions along with the problems -- how women have successfully dealt with such issues and how we can do the same! The only two end stories I read ended with the woman attorneys leaving their firms. That…

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Roya

Do not forget why you came to law school

Since the first day of law school, my law school professors have conveyed words of wisdom. However, one professor in particular gave me advice that continues to provide me guidance when I am overwhelmed with my studies or unsure as to what direction to take. His advice was simple yet profound: Do not forget why you came to law school. The first month I kept thinking how anyone could forget why they came to law school. I came to law school, because I want to have the ability to use the law to help people. I want to be part…

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