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Wendi Adelson

Explore Your Options, Be Happy

I love my job. I feel extremely lucky to be able to do the kind of work that I do, and to be able to say (with complete honesty) that I wake up every day excited to get to work. Although I am still new at it, my colleague tells me that it continues to never get old, even after a decade or so. I am primarily an immigration attorney with the Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. I get to represent unaccompanied immigrant children, victims of human trafficking, asylum seekers, victims of violent crime, and abandoned, abused, neglected…

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Clippings: Chief Judge Kaye Sues New York for a raise

For over 10 years New York State's judges have gone without a raise. Since their salaries are not adjusted for inflation, they've actually experienced a devaluation in their compensation. Today, Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye formally announced her plan to sue the state to change that. Judge Kaye and her counsel, Bernard Nussbaum, spoke to Ms. JD and NWLSO's members at the recent Student Leadership Summit. In the context of a business culture in which women in particular fail to fight for compensation commensurate with their experience (check out Women Don't Ask and Ask for It for advice…

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Demanding Balance by Rejecting the Blackberry?

For 3 years the New York State Bar Association's Special Committee on Balanced Lives in the Law has been holding forums and collecting data on their members' work lives, expectations, and quality of life - essentially their ability to be anywhere but the office on the weekends. As noted on the front page of the New York Law Journal, the resulting report makes some interesting observations: Attorneys feel they have less time for volunteer and pro bono work than earlier generationsIncreased demands of child rearing compound the strain put on families with no primary care giverFemale attorneys have expressed their…

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Kimbro Law

Attorney Work/Life Balance Reform with a Virtual Law Office

A small part of the work/life balance reform in the legal profession is taking place quietly through the use of secure, web-based technology. Virtual law offices provide an alternative method of practicing law that permit flexible work hours and can be used to create a better work/life balance for legal professionals. I chose this alternative and for the past two and a half years I have practiced law from home with a completely virtual law office powered by Virtual Law Office Technology, LLC (VLOTech). In the interest of full disclosure, VLOTech is a company that my husband and I founded…

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Jodi Rosenberg

‘It’s more of a juggle than a balance’: an attorney and mother shares tips for success

Jodi Rosenberg has been a practicing attorney for fifteen years and a mother for ten. Her account of the "juggling act" won Honorable Mention in the Ms. JD & PAR work/life balance essay contest. She shares war stories--like the time the school nurse demanded to speak with her in front of a judge--and winning stories, like this one: "A week before I left for maternity leave, [a partner] approached me about my request to work part-time. He represented a large bank and I was one of a group of associates who worked on the bank’s matters. The bank’s general counsel,…

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Sabrina Ursaner

An Open Letter: ‘Dear Baby Boom Law Firm Partner…’

Dear Baby Boomer Law Firm Partner, You have paved the way for young women like me to make it in the legal profession. You sacrificed a lot to get to where you are today, and I completely respect your work ethic and drive. So it’s probably frustrating for you that this new generation of up-and-coming lawyers wants to work less and live more. We want to work and have kids; take maternity leave and vacations; go home in time for dinner; make plans on the weekends – and still be on partner track?! Why should we get all these benefits…

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D. Brook and A. Bruck

Building a Better Legal Profession

Davida Brook and Andrew Bruck placed second with this entry in the Ms. JD & PAR essay contest about work/life balance. They write, "we are interpreted as a bunch of spoiled, resume-building, brats who want to get paid gazillions and flee the office for afternoon tee times. We are confused by this reaction, as we see our efforts as simply continuing the efforts begun by our parents decades ago. For example, just as the Boomers could not think of a single good reason why a Mother should not also be promoted to partner, we cannot think of a single good…

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Lori Johnson

Bridging the Gap on Work-Life Balance

Ms. JD & PAR essay contest winner Lori Johnson (1L, U. Mississippi) recounts the work/life revolution in her previous field, accounting. "Over time, the firm’s partners did recognize the importance of promoting work-life balance in the workplace. For years they had listened to clients complain about high turnover, which often resulted in client service teams comprised of entirely new faces each year. It is not hard to argue that clients are better served by continuity." --Ed.“The problem with your generation is that you don’t have any work ethic.” A single line from my favorite movie, Reality Bites, effectively sums up…

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Congratulations to the winners of the Ms. JD & PAR essay contest!

Ms. JD and the Project for Attorney Retention received fifty-four passionate, well-written arguments for better work/life balance in the legal profession. Our organizations co-sponsored the contest to generate dialogue between Baby Boomer partners and Millennials. Essentially, we asked entrants to explain why lawyers who place a premium on work/life balance are not slackers. Ms. JD awarded $1,000 to the winning essayist as judged by PAR attorneys. Lori Johnson, a 1L at the University of Mississippi, won first prize with her essay, Bridging the Gap on Work-Life Balance. Johnson previously studied accounting and finance at Texas A&M, then spent four years…

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Is What Women Lawyers Want a Big Mystery?

Bridget Crawford of Feminist Law Professors writes an interesting post, What Women Lawyers Want Is For You To Stop Asking What We Want (and Do Your Own Laundry). Responding to The Complete Lawyer article, What Do Women Lawyers Really Want?, Crawford contends that what women want isn't a huge mystery: "Women want family leave and flexible schedules. We also want partners or family members who can help pick the kids up from school, do the laundry, pay the bills, plan the vacation, buy the birthday presents, get the car fixed, buy groceries, call the school back and find a nursing…

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