Elexis Holzberg

Attorney 2.0

My father is an attorney, and everyone says how similar we are. But I like that I am the "girl version." I grew up idolizing my dad. He is elegant and charming, easy on his feet, a fast-talker, brilliant, commanding and compassionate. My dad is an attorney. He is everything the movies and media painted as an archetypal lawyer. And I thought the world of him--still do. Strangers, friends, family, all gushed how similar the two of us were--our eyes, our hair, our personalities. I beamed in his presence. I soaked up his ferocious liberal politics. I listened intently as…

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Why I am in law school

I am in law school because Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg will not live forever. Thanks to Justice Kennedy and his paternalistic majority opinion in Carhart v. Gonzales, women are now assigned to our appropriate role in society as incubators. The Carhart opinion, intended to protect me and to ensure that I don't regret any of my reproductive decisions, rendered me a second class citizen.The Carhart opinion, authored by a man struggling to come out from behind the shadow of Sandra Day O'Connor, sounds a little bitter toward women. Kennedy was joined by a chorus of four other Catholic men, all…

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Anonymous

Don’t call me a “woman lawyer”

In 1848, Charlotte Bronte wrote in a letter to William Smith: "I am neither a man nor a woman but an author." She was quick to defy gender classifications as she sought to be judged equally and apart from her male colleagues. While she spoke defiantly about gender in her letter, she would publish literature under men's names for over fifteen years, veiling her identity for fear that the "mode of writing and thinking was not what is called 'feminine'" and aware that "authoresses are liable to be looked on with prejudice." She sought to transcend the prism of gender,…

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Anonymous

You are my role models

(To the women in my law school classes) The women who came before me made great strides in the study and practice of law, strides I didn't fully appreciate until I was studying law myself in an environment where I felt respected and where I was surrounded by other smart, capable women and powerful, inspiring female faculty. Because I know that this has not always been the case, I remain indebted to the women who came before me, for it is through their work breaking through barriers and challenging preconceptions that now, pursuing a law career has become an empowering…

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Anonymous

Tips on Getting an Offer

The author is a recent graduate who got the job offer she wanted at the end of her summer internship at a firm.1. You're not getting paid to check your Facebook account. Or get your seminar paper published. Don't use your hours at work for personal tasks. I'd say occasional checking of email is fine, but be respectful of the fact that you are getting paid to actually work this summer.2. Be social. You're building a reputation as both a hard worker and a pleasant person to work with. It's important to go to lunches and chat up the partners.3.…

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Vanessa Gonzalez-Vinas

Ways Around the Old Boys Club: Networking, Committees, Working Groups

As a woman entering the legal profession I look forward to applying the skills I have learned both academically and socially in the workplace. I have had the opportunity to witness women in different situations succeed and I have also learned from past mistakes that I've made in various social settings with regard to gender equality. Historically, the legal profession is a field dominated by men, but that is slowly changing. There are certain advantages that men have because of this historical dominance and that includes the "ol' boys network" for finding jobs and being promoted. However, I don't want…

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Tiffany Bartz

Opting out?

A feminist law student transfers from Boalt Hall to the University of Arizona, and she couldn't be happier.My law school career began at the University of California, Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law. My experience there as a woman was both positive and disappointing. Although sixty percent of my incoming class was female, only about ten percent of the students who spoke in class were female. I was encouraged that so many women were entering the legal profession, but discouraged that the gender disparity, at least in regard to verbosity during class, continued.I transferred to the University of Arizona at…

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Anonymous

International Human Rights Lawyering: Can I do my own gender justice?

My first year of law school has taught me there is no law. At least, there is no law that is not first experienced by and filtered through the participants to a case or a suit. Each complaint tells a story of men and women who have suffered. Sometimes they lose money, other times rights, and in the worst of cases, the victims lose their dignity and lives. Women experience "The Law" much differently than the men who construct it, and their stories must be told.I study public international law. It is not sexy. The worst crimes are still being…

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Anonymous

Why do we equate “being a good parent and spouse” with “not being a good lawyer”?

When I first entered law school, I never thought that my gender would in any way impede my success in the legal profession. I had not previously experienced any educational discrimination regarding my gender, and so far the past has remained true throughout law school. I did well in all of my classes, voiced my opinions, and was treated equally regarding class discussions. However, a guest speaker who visited during the middle of second semester changed my view of the role my gender would play in my legal career after law school. The guest speaker's topic of discussion was what…

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Maria T. Schneider

Reflections on glass ceilings

"So, that's it... you hate men." Andrew stared down the table at me, challenging me with his words, his facial expression and his hand gesture."No," I responded slowly, "I don't hate men, I--" he jumped in and cut me off..."But I thought you were a feminist...???"As I reflect on what it means to me to be a female in the legal profession this conversation, and so many others like it, spring to mind. What does it mean to be a female in the legal profession? I suppose the simple answer is: the same thing it means to be a female…

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