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Eralon

Because We Can

So often the question is asked- why do so many women leave big law firms in droves? Why don’t they stick around and make partner? Are they being forced out? The answer to that question seems like a simple yes when we look at the numbers. Why else would women be leaving at these rates from prestigious high-paying jobs? After considering this, however, I came to a different conclusion. Maybe women don’t leave law firms because we have to- maybe we leave because we can. Let’s face it- BigLaw is known for being its high salaries- but also its ridiculous…

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Mack

Adjudication Without Representation?  Panel Discusses High Court’s Clerks

Diversity among the Supreme Court’s clerks was the subject of a panel recently at New York University School of Law. Inspired by an article that appeared at the start of this year’s term (Linda Greenhouse, Women Suddenly Scarce Among Justices’ Clerks, N.Y. TIMES, Aug. 30, 2006, at A3), students in Law Women, the Latino Law Students Association, and the South Asian Law Student Association, with the support of the Coalition for Legal Recruiting, decided to put together a night to address diversity on the Court. The panel featured five former Supreme Court clerks: Professor Cristina Rodríguez (Justice O’Connor), Professor Rachel…

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Manamana

Sexy Legal Advertising

By a 2L at NYU School of Law Back in November, a minor controversy erupted in Boston over an ad placed by Jiwani, a maker of custom-tailored suits, in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly (here is a link through Abovethelaw.com to the picture Is this ad in the same vein as the Clinique ‘cum’ shot discussed by Frank Herbert in the New York Times (see his October 16, 2006 editorial “Why Aren't We Shocked?” discussing wide-spread misogyny in our society)? Is the woman in this ad a mere sexual plaything? That is the easy argument—just survey the obvious signs: she is…

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Barbara Babcock

First Women: Barbara Babcock

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years.From the very beginning, Professor Barbara Babcock was a champion for Ms. JD, serving in vital roles at the first two annual conferences and providing guidance to Ms. JD's Founders. It is with great pleasure we republish her guest post from 2007. I am honored to be the first of the first women to speak in this space. My major first was professor at Stanford Law School—which has led in turn to associate firsts (to gain tenure, hold an endowed chair,…

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Judge Dorothy Nelson

First Women: Dorothy W. Nelson

It is an honor to participate in the “First Women Lawyers” series of Ms. JD. I am particularly happy to do so in the company of Professor Barbara Babcock, one of the most admired and distinguished members of our profession. She is a marvelous mentor to her female law students, many of whom I have hired as my law clerks. Like Professor Babcock, I was the first woman faculty member of the law school that hired me-the University of Southern California. At that time (1957), I decided to insert into the curriculum something that had not been taught but was…

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Shirley Hufstedler

First Women: Shirley Hufstedler

The law is the true embodiment of everything that’s excellent. It has no kind of fault or flaw and I, my lords, embody the law. Someday a better singing commercial for the legal profession may be composed,but so far none has topped Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe written more than one hundred years ago. The British audience at the premiere probably tittered appreciatively. Today’s audience would probably be much less amused because lawyers and judges are even less popular these days, and litigation is more dreaded. Of course dissatisfaction with lawyers and legal systems are not new. That grumbling was old…

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Dahlia Lithwick

Balancing Work and Family

An acquaintance stopped me one afternoon last week, as I was picking my three-year-old son, Coby, from camp. “Great piece in the Post last Sunday,” he enthused. “I thought you did a really smart job on that one.” Almost as an afterthought, he added: “Imagine what your career would look like if you didn’t have small kids!” I must have looked stricken because he added, “I just mean, you know, you spend so many hours with them. If you were a sixty year old man . . . with nothing to do all day but write . . . .you’d…

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strunnells

Public Interest:  Woman-Friendly or Friendly Woman?

Are women attracted to public interest law because it is a friendlier environment for women? Rather, the opposite seems to be true. A 2004 study by Harvard Law students showed that twice the percentage of women than men said that “helping others” was one of the most important factors in choosing a career. Relatedly, women have achieved more top-level positions in the non-profit sector than in private law. This seems to imply that women are attracted to public interest law because they see it as a means to fulfill their desire to help others. But, does this also suggest that…

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Alex Janus

Networking

Today I received my final rejection letter for a 1L summer associate position. Naively, I thought that having a bit of firm and administrative law experience and being en route to a JD from a top 15 law school would have appeal somewhere. So I applied machine gun style: I sent my resume to over 30 firms in the Bay area, hoping I'd hit at least one or two. Turns out, it was more like zero. Over 30 little white envelopes filled my mailbox over the following two weeks. So how do people do it? I have spoken to other…

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Wallflower

The Work-Life Balance Sales Pitch

Wallflower is a 3L at NYU School of Law It's hard to imagine any law student making it out of law school without being bombarded with talk about the extended hours attorneys work and the difficulty many have in maintaining both a happy home life and a successful career. Long hours, stressful working conditions, and having little time for social lives are challenges most attorneys face. In my experience, however, the work-life balance issue is most often discussed as a problem that primarily affects women or parents, and in my opinion, this does a disservice to all attorneys. During my…

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