The Legal Content Curator: Four Hints for Improving Your Negotiation Skills

Atticus Finch, the lawyer in the well-loved novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, says to his daughter, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." Sometimes, as lawyers, that is our job. We are always expected to advocate for our clients, but sometimes we need to do more than that, and put ourselves in the shoes of the other party to understand where they're coming from. If we want to settle cases, or to negotiate an agreement, or to mediate between…

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Round 2 - Navigating Law School with Baby #2 on the Way

My husband and I just announced that our second baby boy is due in a December of 2017. What better way to immerse myself in the topic of this blog, right?! I'm kidding, obviously, but it will be beneficial because I will be blogging through December about the topic of being a parent in law school. First things first, we planned this, just as we planned our first (although our first was planned to arrive during summer break, which is significantly longer than winter break). So, what does December look like for a law student? Seattle University School of Law…

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Consistency in Legal Writing: Make It the Same (to an Extent)

Starting a new job, whether as a lawyer or some other professional, is no easy business.  No matter how much education and prior work experience someone has accrued prior to starting a new job, each new job seems to come with its own set of challenges.  When I started my position as a judicial clerk, I was fortunate enough to have wonderful colleagues who were willing to show me the ropes; that said, it still took time and effort for me to scale those ropes. Of the various ropes I learned to climb during the course of my judicial clerkship, the most…

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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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Ms. Pre-JD: The Gap

I had planned to write an extensive article on how to network this month (find another amazing article about networking this summer here), but in line with last month’s post, I’m offering a step back from the constant career talk. Instead of thinking about my career trajectory, I want to extend the definition of pre-law to include the years after undergrad and before law school. Now that I’m headed into my junior year, I have only two types of pre-law friends: the ones ordering copious numbers of LSAT books and the ones still smiling because they plan to take a…

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Join the Conversation:  How to Increase Retention of Women

We know that women are underrepresented in senior ranks of law firms and across corporate America.  In Big Law, women make up 45% of incoming associates but only 16% of equity partners.  At our current rate, women will not make up 30% of equity partners until 2081.  We also know that women often take themselves out of the running for advancement.  In law firms, women quit at higher rates than men.  In tech, women are more than twice as likely to quit than men.   Firms and companies recognize the challenge of retaining talented women and have been investing in different strategies to increase retention rates.  If…

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Self-Care for Women of Color At Work

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”  -- Audre Lorde The unfortunate reality for many women working outside of the home is that dynamics within the home still require that many women shoulder the burden of household chores and caregiving responsibilities, including, caring for children and elderly relatives and contributing/managing household finances. Most women are essentially working at least two jobs -- one that is paid and another one unpaid within the home (and the latter usually doesn’t come with pay increases, bonuses, days off or promotions; hopefully it does come…

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Take Two: The Journey to Retaking the Bar—-J.D. Advantage

It’s been over one year since I graduated law school (thank you Facebook for reminding me). In that time, I have experienced the ups and downs of life. Twice I moved apartments and cities. I found a full-time job that I truly enjoy and has a great work environment. Overall, I’ve been very fortunate despite what life has thrown at me. As the Class of 2017 begin studying for the bar, there’s a spectrum of feelings and emotions surging. While studying is important, so is your health. Remember to take care of yourself, exercise, get out of the house, and…

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You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: By Making Orange Juice from Lemons

Around this same time last year I had the honor and privilege of being awarded a scholarship from the Association of Women Attorneys where I got to attend a luncheon with eight other scholarship recipients from the three Houston law schools: the University of Houston Law Center, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and South Texas College of Law.  During that luncheon I heard the story of one fellow law student in particular that stood out to me.  Her amazing story of defeating adversity brought me to tears at the luncheon and I became Facebook friends with her that very same…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Sweetiehoneybaby-That’s not my name

Last month, we talked about making a positive first impression and how maintaining that impression can be key to building a respectable reputation in law, in court and at the office. This month we are going to focus on how to respond when others make sexist comments that could undermine that positive impression you worked to make and solid reputation you built. Two days into my new summer internship, I was reminded of an issue that I had read about just two weeks before the start of my 1L year, the use of sexist nicknames in court, when a young…

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