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KatMacfarlane

Doctors v. Lawyers

Because of my disabilities, I spend an inordinate amount of time with doctors. It’s not unusual to have four medical appointments in one week. As frustrating as my illnesses are, the interactions I have with doctors are often more demoralizing than the conditions they treat me for.  And I think that my law degree has something to do with the horrible way I feel after each doctor’s office visit. The common assumption is that because I have a law degree, doctors are more cautious with my care because they fear I will sue them. My experience has been quite the…

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tracyhuang

How to Be a Slightly Happier Lawyer

We often live our everyday lives in a blur. With smartphones, caffeine, news, and emails, we can move from our day-to-day existence without noticing what is around us. We often don’t take the time to look at people in the face or really to gaze into their eyes. I have seen this so often at the law firm where I work. One associate I observed glancing at his phone on the way to the bathroom, on the way down the elevator, out in the lobby, and into the street where we were headed to hunt for lunch. People avoid my…

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claireeparsons

An Ode to the Martys: A Father’s Day Reflection on RBG and Work Life Balance for Women Lawyers

      RBG, a documentary about the lif­e of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is a surprise hit of the summer. If you haven’t seen it yet, the movie does not only focus on RBG’s “notorious” legal career, but also delves deeply into Ginsburg’s marriage to her husband, Marty. After seeing it twice, I’d argue that RBG is a love story and, in my opinion, a love story many women lawyers really need because it shows us a great example of how two professionally successful people made their careers and their marriage fit together.      If you…

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Jannet M.

The Barred Life: A Series of Indefinite Length - Part I

PART I A Personal Thing, but a Family Affair I’m a December graduate of Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and took the February 2018 California Bar Exam. The month is May but I've been an emotional wreck since February. I write this post sitting two days away from knowing my fate and an alien feeling has come over me - my emotional wreckage is finally settling. The closer I’ve gotten to the result date, the more I let go of my anxiety, fear, numbness, and desire to control. This is a major breakthrough I'm profoundly proud of because I've…

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nadiaenn

From Paralegal to Associate:  How to Handle Stress During the First Year as an Associate

It is no secret that the schedule of an attorney is a hectic one.  Balancing a personal life with the pressure of billable hour is a tricky job.  The typical day of an attorney starts around 8:30 am and rarely ends until 7:30 pm.  Add to this the commute to and from home.  And with the new technology, are you truly ever disconnected from work?  All of these contribute to higher than normal stress level in the legal profession.  The first year of a new associate is even more difficult, as there is the continuous pressure to adjust to the…

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claireeparsons

15 Ways (Some Appropriate) to Answer the Question “How Do You Do It All?”

I spoke on a panel for a bar association event a few weeks ago. Though I was there to talk generally about lawyers as leaders in the community, the well-meaning moderator unexpectedly asked only me and the other female panelist the dreaded question: “how do you do it all?” The other panelist, who was clearly a tactical genius, quickly directed me to answer first. Having no time to fume or react emotionally, I just answered it. It was only later when several women from the audience independently asked me if I could believe the question that the frustration set in.…

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nadiaenn

From Paralegal to Associate:  How to Survive your First Year on the Job – Part II

Welcome back! As we discussed in Part I the importance of the first impression, the need to be proactive, to keep learning, and ask for advice.   This month, I will discuss the importance of networking.  Indeed, it is primordial, to start making important contacts within and outside of the company / law firm where you work. Networking will not only enable you to find new jobs in the future but also to bring you potential clients.   Lastly, the more you participate in networking events, the more you will be known by the attorneys in your city, which will bring referrals. …

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iAvaLee

To be a Woman and to be Workplace Ready

For a man, the common mantra is “seize the day.” For a woman, the common mantra is “act accordingly.” The ideal woman projects grace and cooperation. She is to complement situations, not challenge them. She is to follow rules, not make them. Easy to smile and easy to laugh, she is to sidestep her wants and needs for the greater good. One must be assertive, firm, and steadfast to reach personal and professional objectives, however these traits are downplayed at the for fear of being rejected or unlikeable. I remember my first day as a law clerk. It was standard protocol to listen and take notes during meetings. No one wanted to…

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IVfMo4o7Iu

Learning to Deal With Breast Cancer As a Law School Student

Facing breast cancer is one of the scariest things a woman can face and the uncertainty it presents can stir a wide range of emotions. Learning to accept the condition and to confront the battle ahead with courage is not something that comes easy, but it's also not something that anyone has to deal with alone. There are millions of breast cancer survivors willing to share their advice and lend their support to help you submit to treatment and face a life after recovery. Keep a Journal One of the most important things a woman confronting breast cancer can do…

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KatMacfarlane

Controlling the Conversation About (Your) Disability

I’ve been thinking about the ways we control women. How we dictate the terms by which their identity is defined, discussed, and policed. When it comes to my identity as a disabled woman, I want to write the script. Still. I've been forced to talk about my disability when all I wanted to do was chat about the weather. I have so many conversations that detour from a random comment about the rain to an intrusive question about my joints. Sometimes, I want to talk about my disability, but the person I’m talking to decides he or she does not, and…

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