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Anna

Last Chance to Win $1,000 by THIS FRIDAY [Work/Life Essay Contest with No Minimum Essay Length]

If you marked your calendar to write a few words about work/life balance, the clock is ticking... entries to win $1,000 are due this Friday, February 29th. Hey, "leap day" is an extra day in the month anyway, right? Take 10 minutes of it (or a bit more) to try for $1,000. The maximum word count is 1,500--and there's no minimum word count. Ms. JD and the Project for Attorney Retention just want to hear what you have to say.Remember, the contest is open to attorneys as well as students. So all you working moms who post here--you could have…

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sintecho

Do Solo Practice Women Lawyers Charge Less Than Their Male Counterparts?

In December of 2007, ALM Research released the results of its survey of 5,000 lawyers working in small and midsize firms and solo practices. The respondents were 78% male and 22% female, which could mean that fewer women work in smaller firms and solo practice; or that women were less inclined to participate; or that fewer women are "leader, manager, partner, shareholder, or owner" of these firms, since ALM reports that these were the majority of the people answering the survey. The survey itself costs $550 to access, but Business Wire reports on its troubling findings on gender: women lawyers…

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sintecho

Is there an issue with calling yourself an “esquire”?

Are you, like me a few days ago, unaware of the debate raging on the proper use of the title Esquire? Among the issues: can you call yourself Esquire? can you use the title outside of a legal context? can the title even apply to women? My journey into these (mostly boring questions) started when I found this conversation on Google answers about potential issues with women lawyers putting "Esquire" after their names, with the question being whether there was something inherently male about the term. The Illinois Bar Association has a Q&A by Gertrude Block explaining that Esquire was…

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sintecho

Would people respond better to what you say if you were a man?

In an article on women's leadership styles, Nicholas Kristof references research that "women, compared with men, tend to excel in consensus-building and certain other skills useful in leadership." In explaining why women have not had more success in achieving positions in government despite these strengths, Kristof hypothesizes that "in the televsion age, female leaders also have to navigate public prejudices." These "prejudices", as it turns out, are of the sort that affect women lawyers as well. Kristof cites the "Goldberg paradigm," an attribution arising out of a study in which people read an article or speech with one group of…

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jessie

A Girl Just Wants to Have Fun: Do I Have to Be Serious to Be Taken Seriously?

I can be something of a girly-girl: I think I make a bubbly first impression, I can have a silly sense of humor, I spend a lot of time thinking about my shoes, and I waste time reading about celebrities. Basically I engage in some frivolity, and I like that about myself. Intellectually, I'm into tax policy; so mostly I figure the patent-leather pumps are a positive indication of well-roundedness. Unfortunately that's not necessarily how others perceive these traits; it seems to me that youthful, stereotypically feminine attributes are frowned upon, especially by the generation of pioneers who broke into…

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Lynn Hecht Schafran

Judge Boone’s Reprimand Also Demonstrates Progress

When news broke that Maryland Judge W. Kennedy Boone was reprimanded in January for calling three African-American women lawyers “the Supremes” and advising the defendant to “get an experienced male attorney,” people were dismayed. How could this still be happening? It’s one thing when Imus does it, but a judge.... Looked at through the lens of history, however, the Boone case is also a story of tremendous progress in addressing gender bias in the courts. As Director of the National Judicial Education Program to Promote Equality for Women and Men in the Courts (NJEP) at Legal Momentum, I know that…

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Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup: Week Ending February 22, 2008

Closing the LSAT gender gapWhile 49% of those taking the LSAT in 2005-2006 were female, only 46.9% of those entering law schools were female, perhaps because, according to this author, men do better than women on the LSAT.Balancing the scales Ashley Meredith Lowe's firm, Baker Donelson, "launched an initiative in 2006 aimed at enhancing the role of women in the practice through a mentoring program, work-life balance seminars, and opportunities for continuing education, leadership development and networking." What to wearProgress has been made in Oklahoma, where judges no longer insist women wear "suits with skirts" so that women don't "have…

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lsdrake

Irresponsibility, according to Obama

My dad sent me a text message tonight. And here's the conversation:Dad: did you just hear Obama call you irresponsible?Me: Eh?Dad: For not getting your child health careDad: DebateDad: CnnMe: ah! no cnn, glad to hear I'm irresponsibleDad: he is just too high and almighty for me This is an especially interesting comment coming from my dad, because I have rarely heard my dad speak of his political views. We have political debates at the house among my many siblings, however he typically doesn't join in. He votes, but doesn't say who he votes for.Here's my story on my daughter's lack…

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Elizabeth

Do Other Women Lawyers Prefer Working With Men or Women?

The February 2008 issue of the ABA Journal Magazine features an article entitled What Women Lawyers Really Think of Each Other. The answer? The ABA Journal surveyed 1,400 people, of which 58% were indifferent about the gender of their co-workers. The other 42% had preferences one way or the other with female supervisors over the age of 40 preferring to work with women because women lawyers "take direction better" (80%), "take constructive criticism better" (59%), and "have more discretion" (79%). Younger female attorneys under the age of 40 who expressed a gender preference, however, thought that "male supervisors give better…

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Elizabeth

Allison Wolf Gives Advice on Rainmaking for Young Women Attorneys

Allison Wolf wrote an interesting piece on how to become a rainmaker as a young woman lawyer, even if you don’t view yourself as the conventional rainmaker. Wolf describes the stereotypical rainmaker as an extroverted man who “likes to talk” and is “a bit egotistical but keeps it in check” and "always out and about networking, attending events, and talking business.” Women who consider themselves for a rainmaking role, Wolf asserts, “determine ‘that’s not me’” based on the following reflections: “I’m not a grandstander.” “I don’t like to talk about my achievements.” “I don’t like networking events; I never know…

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