Making Your Womanhood Work for You: Navigating Callbacks

Callbacks—an unnerving and confusing process that is all but exacerbated for female law students forced to consider how the firm they choose treats female associates.  But it’s an inquiry future female associates are wise to consider.  For several years in a row, Working Mothers and Flex-Time Lawyers have conducted surveys on the best law firms for women in the United States.  While I can’t vouch for the surveys’ results, I think the statistics collected are helpful to at least consider talking points for women as they navigate law firms.

Here are a few of the things I looked at when considering firms:

  • Female equity partners
  • Maternity leave policies—in practice, not just what is written on paper
  • Part-time options
  • Willingness of female attorneys to discuss their work-life balance
  • Female-female mentorship opportunities

The best advice I can give is to not be afraid to ask questions.  Put in the time to do the research.  Ask to speak with female associates before accepting an offer. Talk to former summer associates to gain insight into their experiences.

But most importantly, never be afraid to acknowledge that you are a woman, even if it requires making more strategic and difficult decisions. 

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