Sarah Cline

A Wake-Up Call

Women lawyers still have a fight on their hands to gain true equality. Unfortunately, the greatest hindrance in this fight may be women themselves, by way of their complacency.Although history reveals extraordinary cases of American women practicing law since colonial times, it is not until very recently that women's presence in the legal profession has increased beyond these largely unknown and unrecognized crusaders. [1] Abigail Adams cautioned her husband to "remember the ladies" in creating the legal and political structure of this nation, but women had no voice in that process, and as a result their interests were unrepresented and…

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Anonymous

My Dream Firm

Daydreams of the perfect firm--from a public interest lawyer who found existing firms too flawed to join.Being a woman entering the legal profession is something that I think about often, although as a young girl growing up, it is a topic I never imagined I would have to consider. Growing up in the 1980s, girls were empowered to try to both outsmart and outrun boys as we played on their sports teams and competed against them in academic competitions. We watched our mothers or our friends' mothers work. We were groomed to go to college before we settled down to…

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Anonymous

Steps

Though the challenges facing women in the legal field today seem overwhelming, countless women have paved the way. I think of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I think of Senator and presidential contender Hillary Clinton. I think of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.There are many challenges facing women in the legal field today. For example, a recent study has found that women lawyers in general receive on average 80% of the salary received by men who are equal to them in seniority. Like many other women in other fields, women in the…

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Anonymous

Lawyering Phenomenally

Maya Angelou said, "A woman who is convinced that she deserves to accept only the best, challenges herself to give the best. Then she is living phenomenally." This is the way I approach my legal career."Funny business, a woman's career: the things you drop on the way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you'll need them again when you get back to being a woman. It's one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later we've got to work at it, no matter how many other…

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Three Paths

My oldest sister Lindsay always knew she wanted to be a doctor. My middle sister Jennifer graduated at the top of her college class but wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. I want the best of both worlds. My childhood was filled with demands from my father to "become a professional" in the future. He didn't care whether that meant becoming a doctor or a lawyer, but my two older sisters and I all knew he only wanted us to pursue one of those avenues. My father is a doctor who has practiced family medicine for thirty years. My mother, a…

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Grace M. Guisewite

Getting over it

The average law student is a woman, and her average superior is a man. I cared for about ten minutes and then got over it. Women and the law should not be a shocking relationship. It should not immediately conjure up the term "family law," nor invoke the picture of a single, suit-clad woman charging through the streets of New York, Blackberry in tow. Women and the law should simply be. The reality is that the average law student will be a female, but her superior will be a man. In a profession predicated upon teamwork this should not matter,…

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Erin Wiley

Meet Louise Arbour

I have come to realize that role models and mentors play important parts in the lives of aspiring female lawyers. I knew that I wanted to study law when, in 2000, I attended a presentation by Louise Arbour, former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and now United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. As a fifteen year-old young woman, I was inspired by the intelligence, passion, and concern for the world which she demonstrated. I was also moved by the contribution she has made in the world through her work in the field of…

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Jennifer Lunsford

My stay-at-home father

Big Firm work, almost by definition, is stressful and unpredictable. The hours alone are enough to dissuade a family-oriented person, particularly a female, from taking more prestigious and rewarding positions in law. Unless one is willing to let her children be raised by hired help, or she is one of the lucky few with a stay-at-home husband, a woman must choose between her career and her family. I worked for a firm that is notorious for its poor retention of women. They tried to appear encouraging and accommodating of their female staff, but they refused to adjust the family-hostile work…

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Kim Y. Evans

Why I left a career in public health to go to law school

As an African American female, a former public health analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for more than ten years prior to law school, and a volunteer for a variety of social service organizations during much of my adult life, I believe many of my life, work, and volunteer experiences have involved issues related to the advancement of women and the law.Having been reared by my mother alone beginning near age five gave me an early personal introduction to the struggles many women, particularly women of color, face in our society. Like so many women,…

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Tracy Walsh

Why I joined the DePaul student chapter of the Women’s Bar Association

This past semester I took jurisprudence. I felt that was the first time in law school that women were acknowledged in the curriculum. We studied feminist jurisprudence for two weeks, and how women's rights were reflected in Irish Brehon law. I had taken women's studies and sociology courses in college. But upon entering law school, I was just immersed in the maze that was the first year and forgot what it felt like to reflect on women in an academic setting. So this year, it was very rewarding to take jurisprudence and see women's issues and ideological movements at the…

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