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Ferguson

Law school “bashed” my love of learning. Does it have to be this way?

I am taking an amazing class at law school, the first one that I remember being truly excited to go to. It’s called Biblical Law, my first small seminar at law school, and the first class that has reminded me of the thrill of my undergraduate institution. The other classes I’ve taken--the first year curriculum and then a few other “highly recommended” courses, are done via large lectures with the other students either furiously typing away or playing solitaire on their computers--don’t stimulate me. I am diligent and hard-working, do the assigned reading, listen to the professor as much as…

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Ferguson

The Permanent Clerk

Working with a law clerk at a federal court as an externship, I became amazed at how much work these permanent clerks actually accomplish. The permanent law clerk and her secretary essentially run the courtroom and chambers, assigning our work, going through the docket and giving the judges his cases, and even briefing him on every case.Although the law clerks and the secretaries do tend to be women, the law clerks, for the most part, are all practicing attorneys who at one point practiced in the private sector and have a degree of specialization in some area of the law...…

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Peg

Wow! Great insight into Choices and Consequences Written by a Mother/Professor

All I can say is "wow". There is an incredible post titled "Choices, Consequences, Constraints" up on Scatter from this weekend. Click here to read it in its entirety, which I strongly recommend if you are at all interested in some perspective on what it can be like to be a mom and an academic at the same time. The blogger writes about some of her choices and related emotions in her struggle to be a professional woman and a parent in a situation where both she and her husband worked. The post is gripping in its honesty and at…

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jessie

BigLaw Perks: Superficial or Fundamental?

A New York Times article detailing new perks designed to keep associates happy in BigLaw firms is making the rounds. These perks range from surprise treats likes milkshakes and candied apples to personal valet services, mental health professionals, and full-tiime in-house childcare. As someone who's never worked at a firm this all sounds pretty good-but what do I know? I can say this, the "principal" at the big Chicago firm that derided these measures saying, "that's setting up people's lives, and I find that appalling," strikes me as someone who has more help at home than your average female associate.…

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Peg

What does BigLaw Mean to Women?

There is an interesting story on the front page of the Washington Post today about a female 3L at Georgetown that is torn between taking a big firm job that could really help her pay off her debt or turning it down to try for a public interest fellowship that she really wants but that doesn't hire until March of next year.The story portrays this woman as really distraught by the idea of working for big law. She all but casts the position as a sell-out job for somebody like her that wants to change the world, help the little…

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Peg

7 Truths that Every Working Woman Should Know Before Having a Child—Part I

Shortly after my post about lactation rooms at BigLaw I had a brief conversation about breastfeeding with a friend (also a lawyer) who has not yet had children. The conversation reminded me of all the things that non-mothers don't know about motherhood.I was one of those people that carefully timed my two pregnancies to fit into my professional schedule. (I had both kids before law school but while I was working in an arguably more demanding career with greater responsibilities.) The first pregnancy was timed almost exactly and very purposefully so that I would give birth between a planned extended…

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Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup: Week Ending November 30

FdL County District Attorney's Office Hires 2 Female AttorneysThe Fond du Lac County District Attorney's Office has more female than male prosecutors for the first time ever. Female law-firm head: 'Not a big deal' Nina Gussack, chairwoman of Pepper Hamilton, is the only woman to head a large law firm in the Philadelphia region. Right Judge for Sex Case Investigation? Edith Jones, Chief Judge of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, heads up investigations into Judge Samuel Kent's "sexual harassment" of former case manager amid criticism that she is overly "lenient." Red Cross Ousts Its President; Chief Lawyer Steps In…

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Peg

NAWL’s National Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, Part II

In a previous post, I talked about some of the results recently reported by NAWL for their annual national survey. For the first time, NAWL asked firms questions about the retention policies and efforts to retain women lawyers. The survey focused on three structural issues: large minimum hour requirements, poor part-time policies, and the existence (or not) of a women’s initiative within the firm. Minimum Hour Requirements: The survey focused on this issue because of the idea that high billable hour requirements “have a disproportionate impact on women attorneys because of the tensions between the time required for work and…

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Peg

NAWL’s National Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, Part I

NAWL released the results of their survey two weeks ago, albeit to less fanfare that other less-involved reports. While those of us who are familiar with the topic may find that much of what the survey reports is old news, there were some things reported that were surprising to me. First, I was surprised to learn that the drop off in the number of women attorneys at firms happens between the senior associate level and the partner level. I was previously aware that women comprise somewhere between 45-50% of junior associates (actually 49% according to this survey) and somewhere around…

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Elizabeth

What the experts say about interview etiquette

2Ls are in the final stages of callback interviews, 1Ls are getting ready to contact law firms for summer jobs, and a second wave of job interviews are underway for recent grads who now have a bar admission under their belts. Ms. JD has a great string of posts on what to wear, what not to say, and how to interview as a 3L , but I was curious about what etiquette “experts” have to say about the interview process. The Emily Post Institute, which advertises itself as “a ‘civility barometer’ for American society” has the following advice on interview…

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