Christine Mathias

Public interest practice is a wellspring for reform of the entire legal profession

The old saw that "law is a conservative profession" is no excuse.Upon entering the legal profession, I am acutely aware that women are in the minority. This is based on the number of women I've seen at my school and in my limited legal experience, as well as the treatment towards women and women's attitudes in the field. There are double standards for women, and women are often reluctant to address this. Starting from law school, it seems that women are more apprehensive to discuss the topic of law at all. Law school rewards confidence and aggressiveness, it seems, and…

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Meghan Corman

My law school class is 60% female, but we still need a women’s student group.

I am fortunate to attend a law school where women are the majority. At Boalt Hall, approximately 60% of the students are women. Because of these numbers, I escaped many of the law school stereotypes, such as men speaking more often in class, or getting more face time with the professors. Perhaps these things do occur, however it is my perception that such gender stereotypes are not pervasive at Boalt Hall. In fact, some of my male classmates have complained that women are smarter, work harder, and get better grades, thus hurting their chances of performing well when graded on…

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Jennifer Keys

We can be “sheroes”

Being a woman in the legal profession--in particular a woman of color--presents unique challenges, but also creates an opportunity for sharing a different perspective. Although women no longer struggle for equality in the right to vote and in the right to education, women still must fight for equal opportunities in the workplace. As more women entered the American workforce, the tide of criticism against working mothers also rose. Some continue to blame mothers in the workplace for what they call the decline in the American family. However, I believe this is a tactic to prevent women from succeeding professionally and…

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Erica Rancilio

Refusing to Play By the Rules

To me, being a woman in the legal profession is an experience in perspective and solidarity. In general, being a woman in the legal profession means every day I must move forward. I must politely demand the appropriate balance of professionalism and familiarity in my working relationships. I must ensure that mentoring does not give way to paternalism. It means that I am enraged that some firms continue with the antiquated skirt requirement. And when my professor called me "honey" in front of participants at a law conference, it means I had to determine the most respectful and effective way…

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Kathleen Lynott

The Onus Is On Us: We need to work harder to be heard in law school and beyond

Geraldine Ferraro, the first woman to be nominated as Vice President of the United States, once said, "We've chosen the path to equality, don't let them turn us around." I believe that equality in the workplace is of the utmost importance and that in order to continue to strive for equality, women must work hard to rise in their chosen profession. The importance of women being able to choose their own career path and make their own living has been made clear over the past few decades; women are now allowed to engage in nearly every profession that men are.…

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“Pink Collar” Law

My first year of law school has been an illuminating experience, particularly when looked at through a gendered lens. As a female law student I have encountered particular challenges that stem not only from being a woman in a male dominated field but also from wanting to do work that has been coded as female. From the first days of class, my female colleagues and I have started to get a glimpse of what being a female attorney will be like. We are questioned as to how we will balance family and work, something that our male counterparts are rarely…

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Katie

Practical Tips for Successful Live-in Child Care

Many two-professional families confront the issue of what is the best solution for childcare. There are the options of a live-in nanny, a live-out babysitter, care in somebody else's home setting, childcare centers and, the most coveted "relative care" choices.Personally, I have never had the option of having grandma or auntie take care of the kids so I have had to choose among the other less-desirable options. We've always gone with the live-in option. We choose the live-in option because of the flexibility. When the 6 year old was little he was usually sleeping when I went to work and…

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Anna

Congratulations to the winners of Ms. JD Public Service Summer Scholarships!

Ms. JD is pleased to announce the inaugural recipients of its Public Service Summer Scholarship. Selected from nearly 200 applicants nationwide, the recipients and honorable mentions demonstrate extraordinary commitment to promoting women in the law through public service careers. WINNERSSummer 2007Heather Aquino is a 2L at St. John's University School of Law in Jamaica, New York. She was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and is a class of 2000 graduate of Somerville High School in Somerville, New Jersey. This summer she is a legal intern for the United States Navy Office of the Judge Advocate General at Earle Naval…

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bethb

Observations of a Judicial Extern

I am spending my summer working for a (female) judge. Since there is not much on the site regarding women in government jobs, I have decided to share some observations I have made over the past few weeks. There are over 30 externs working where I am situated. There are about twice as many female externs as male externs. I have several thoughts as to why this may be the case, but of course they are just my thoughts, and are not substantiated by much (or any) investigatory work on my part. It seems most (if not all) of the…

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Heather Squatriglia

My own worst enemy? Choosing to practice family law was harder than it should have been

I am a woman who has chosen to enter a practice area that is dominated by women--Family Law (more specifically Juvenile Rights). As an older student (I'll be 37 in July), the whole reason I decided to go to law school was to work with youth in the juvenile justice system. I never considered this to be a gender specific area of the law (in the way that teaching and nursing have traditionally been women's professions) but apparently a lot of people do. I'm not really sure how I feel about that. Everybody hates to be stereotyped, especially when one…

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