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Jennifer Lunsford

My stay-at-home father

Big Firm work, almost by definition, is stressful and unpredictable. The hours alone are enough to dissuade a family-oriented person, particularly a female, from taking more prestigious and rewarding positions in law. Unless one is willing to let her children be raised by hired help, or she is one of the lucky few with a stay-at-home husband, a woman must choose between her career and her family. I worked for a firm that is notorious for its poor retention of women. They tried to appear encouraging and accommodating of their female staff, but they refused to adjust the family-hostile work…

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Melanie Black

We still need the support of our elders

The idea that women do not belong in the legal field is a sentiment that my generation grew up knowing only as an ancient belief captured in our history books. As a child of the late eighties and early nineties, I was constantly told that the sky is the limit, to pursue my goals, that no obstacle was too high, and that nothing would prevent me from being whomever I pleased. It is easy to take law school for granted, to view it as just another hoop in the journey to being fabulous. But it wasn't that long ago that…

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Anonymous

Who wants to be superwoman?

I knew from very early on that I wanted to attend law school. My grandmother told me to get the highest degree I could, make sure that men worked for me, and to always keep a separate bank account from my husband. To some this may seem like extreme advice for a grandmother to give, but I assure you my grandmother was not a woman one would consider "radical" at first glance and even after a second and third inspection. She was a church going woman, who loved her family. And in fact she did keep a separate bank account…

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Anonymous

Why do we equate “being a good parent and spouse” with “not being a good lawyer”?

When I first entered law school, I never thought that my gender would in any way impede my success in the legal profession. I had not previously experienced any educational discrimination regarding my gender, and so far the past has remained true throughout law school. I did well in all of my classes, voiced my opinions, and was treated equally regarding class discussions. However, a guest speaker who visited during the middle of second semester changed my view of the role my gender would play in my legal career after law school. The guest speaker's topic of discussion was what…

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jessie

New Numbers on New Families

Stress about balancing work and family--that's what professional women have to face, right? Well, some new statistics out this week from the Council on Contemporary Families report that men, both those in dual and single earner households, are more likely to be stressed about balancing personal and professional responsibilities than women. I think this is a big deal. Twenty-five years ago, when the Council first surveyed families, working men were not nearly as concerned about balancing work and family as women were then or as they are now. I think this kind of awareness is the fundamental first step towards…

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Kalokagathia

Bookmark This!

Yet again, the lovely Carolyn Elefant has brought to my attention a site formerly unknown to me: Mommy Track'd I am not a mommy so it may have been a while before I ever found this on my own, but for those of you who are moms or hope to be a mom someday - check the site out. The thing I like best is the site's light-hearted focus - simply stated as, "Our mission is to provide a helpful and entertaining resource for all the time-crunched moms managing the daily tug of war between work and family." The site…

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jessie

Must Read: Feminine Mistake by Leslie Bennetts

Readers may know Leslie Bennetts from her reporting at The New York Times and Vanity Fair. Now Bennetts has a new book out, and it argues that women who opt-out of work in favor of family jeopardize their families' ultimate well-being by sacrificing their economic self-sufficiency. Now matter what you think about the "opt-out revolution" and issues of work-life balance, the factual research that supports Bennetts' work makes The Feminine Mistake a must read.

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Chicana

Men making more money than women…what’s new?

As I am sure many of you have seen on CNN and other news networks, there is a story on men making more money than women in the same jobs. While I deplore the way the story is presented, I am like that the story is out there. Now when I tell people about Ms. JD and women's issues in the work force, I can easily reference the inequalities that still exist yet seem to be of any major concern to most in this country. The problem that still exists is the way the issue is framed. As we have…

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Kalokagathia

Congressional Babies!

I am not the best when it comes to keeping up with news and politics - granted, I have become more informed and inquisitive as I get older - but I don't know the ins and outs of Washington and I certainly don't keep up with news on the players - but this article about Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers caught my attention and I thought I would mention it because, well, I thought it was a nice piece. McMorris Rodgers will be the 5th woman to give birth while serving a term in Congress - this number was higher than…

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bethb

In Denial?

Last night I attended a panel discussion sponsored by a women’s organization at my law school. I thought this would be a great opportunity to meet women who had successfully navigated different legal career paths and perhaps even tell them a bit about Ms. JD. Unfortunately, I left the discussion with the strange feeling that everyone in the room but me was suffering from serious denial. When a partner of a large firm was asked about sexism in the firm, she denied knowledge of any such incidents, despite having been with the firm for more than ten years. I couldn’t…

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