Skirts vs. Slacks: I’m not rooting for slacks. I’m rooting for the issue to just go away.

Skirt suits or pants suits--which are more professional? This was the topic of conversation around the dinner table of a group of female classmates one evening, where a surprising majority insisted that for women, a skirt suit was the most professional attire for a female lawyer. As self-proclaimed feminists, their reasoning was that women who don't wear skirt suits are uncomfortable with their femininity. And while I may not necessarily agree with their views, I do recognize the basic message the conversation was meant to encapsulate: that the very visibility of our gender unfailingly garners attention, regardless of whether we…

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Southern Ms.

Until now I’ve lived in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. So when I moved to Memphis last month I was expecting culture shock. It has been shocking . . . but for the most part, it’s been shockingly nice. Seriously, to a person who has never been exposed to it before, true southern hospitality is unimaginable. So what else have I discovered besides the kindness of random strangers? I had plans for a series on shocking exposes of backwardness, but so far I have only curiosities to report:This week I learned that the biggest, fanciest firm in Memphis…

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Carol Simpson

Hanging out my own shingle: what being Ms. JD means to me

My summer internship is over. I spent 10 weeks totally immersed in public interest law, and as a result I have completely changed what I had so carefully planned to do after graduation. No longer do I plan to remain an academic, nor do I wish to pursue a job at a large firm. More than likely I will open a solo practice so I can do public interest law. Some of this change may also go back to how I got to attend law school. Just at the time I was preparing to take the LSAT, my younger son, then…

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Sisters in Law

When I think about advancing the role of women in the legal profession, the women I know here in the U.S. are those that come first to mind. Sometimes I extend my attention far north into Canada. Rarely, though, do I take the time to think about how powerful a voice we--women attorneys who still have a tough professional road to hoe but at least have the undisputed right to a place on the road--might have in furthering the cause of our less fortunate sisters abroad. This article on the efforts of five women lobbying for the right to practice…

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Mothers’ Rooms at Biglaw

There is a post at today (with a strange picture choice, I might add) about lactation rooms at law firms. The post is in the site's "fringe benefits" series which chronicles the perks of law firms. Every working mom seems to find at least one thing to not have to compromise on and for many that one things is breastfeeding.I continued to breastfeed my two kids after returning to work after maternity leave. With the first child, it went pretty well and I pumped for about two months. With the second, pumping lasted all of about two weeks. I…

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Gloria Steinem speaks at White & Case

Say the name “Gloria Steinem” and you are sure to conjure up some strong opinions about the woman, not to mention the issues she stands for. As a guest speaker tonight at the White & Case LLP Diversity Speaker Series, she was surprisingly relatable and humble, yet as eloquent and passionate as I expected her to be. I walked away with sound advice and some things to mull over. I hope the following three “quotes” that I heard from Gloria Steinem tonight will give you some things to think about (and discuss).1. The group in power is not the norm;…

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Interview Advice: What not to talk about

There are plenty of things that you should talk about on a job interview: your qualifications, your experience, your good grades if you have them, law review, etc.How about the things you shouldn't talk about? There are a lot of things that will highlight your inexperience or put up a wall between you and the interviewer. The bad news: you might not even be aware of them. Without encouraging that you try to hide who you really are or try to be somebody that you aren't, here is a start to a list of things you should leave out of…

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Angie McCarthy

Call for Applications: Master of Laws LL.M. in Law and Government, Specailzation in Gender and Law

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS American University Washington College of Law Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Law and Government Specialize in Gender and the Law Defending women’s rights requires a commitment to justice, creative approaches to the law, and specialized knowledge of the legal challenges facing women. American University Washington College of Law’s unique Gender and the Law Specialization is an LL.M. program focused on women’s rights and gender equality in the United States. Prepare for a Career Defending Women’s Rights The Gender and the Law specialization falls under the Law and Government Program’s Civil and Constitutional Rights concentration area. To receive…

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Job Sharing, Has anybody witnessed it?

Deborah Epstein Henry, of Flex-time Lawyers, has a thought provoking article in the July/August Issue of Diversity & the Bar entitled, "Stepping Into Your Shoes: It's Time for Job shares in Law Firms." You can find it at: (thanks to for the tip)The article is very straight-forward and it does a great job of describing the ins and outs of a job share arrangement for attorneys.I've witnessed a job share arrangement for legal assistants in the firm and it seems to work without complication. I've also witnessed enough "client teams" to know that more often than not there…

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Is Being a Mother and a Lawyer a Lose-Lose situation?

How could anyone possibly resist this face? I know what you're thinking- what does a cat have to do with a post about mother and a lawyer? Well for me, my pets are often what spawns these thoughts about life balance. When I look at the face of my cats and dogs with their sad eyes and the "please don't leave me" look, I feel riddled with guilt. So what happens if I ever have kids? How will I feel when I have to leave them? Most of the talk on this site has been about how to do it…

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