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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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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Help me help you: Do you have a tip for Limiting Interruptions? Just send an e-mail here or tweet to @babysharklaw. Easy! I will compile a roundup for a future column. I thank you, and your fellow lawyers thank you! Q: I find myself putting off boring tasks until the last minute – and then things get really stressful. Any suggestions for getting over procrastination? A: To quote Arnold Schwarzenegger, “You can have results or excuses, but not both.” Granted, our topic is not weightlifting, but the maxim still rings true. Procrastination can be self-destructive – but we all know that. And while…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Speaking Out Against Gender Inequality

The most recent example of women lawyers speaking out against inequality is the employment discrimination suit filed this week by a group of women lawyers at Morrison Foerster alleging that they were discriminated against after taking maternity leave.  Their suit is styled as a $100M putative class action, and they have retained the same law firm, Sanford Heisler Sharp, that got the $3M settlement plus $1M in attorneys fees against Chadbourne & Parke (now Rose Fulbright) in a gender discrimination suit under the Equal Pay Act recently.  So, hold onto your hat.  Here are the details. After reporting recently in this blog…

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Fighting The Wage Debt After Debt: A Look At Wrongful Death Suits

As women in the legal profession, wage inequality is a familiar concern. But what role does the wage gap play after death? In cases of wrongful death and in the subsequent lawsuits, our current system of wage inequality disadvantages women and minorities even in death. The Face of the Wage Gap Though the standard description of the wage gap is that women make about 78 cents for every dollar a man makes in a comparable role, the reality is much more complex. Rather, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the highest paid occupations also have the greatest pay…

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Food For Thought: Great Politicians Have Certain Skills

Discussions of leadership tend to center around the corporate world and the ways that managers can hone their leadership skills to drive efficiency and profits. Strangely though, leadership is rarely talked about through the lens of politics anymore. When the topic does come up, there's a good chance that it is being raised by political pundits who bemoan the scarcity of skilled political leaders in the modern age. However, it used to be a hotter topic. For generations, nations around the world elevated excellent leaders to the highest echelons of government. Their contributions were significant. Imagine what shape the United…

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Straight From The Source: An Interview with Meredith Cohen from Momentum Search Group (Part 2 of 2)

Last month, I sang the praises of recruiters as instrumental assets in forging your career.  I also shared an enlightening info session on the JD Preferred marketplace with Meredith Cohen, Managing Director at Momentum Search Group.  This month, the conversation continues about Meredith’s personal experience as a lawyer turned headhunter (a “JD Preferred” career path in its own right).  Without further ado, let’s take a peek inside Meredith’s world. ***** You started out in BigLaw straight out of law school.  What made you want to leave?  And what drew you to recruiting as your new career path? I always knew…

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Friend or Foe? Technology In Our Everyday Lives: Artificial Intelligence

Fear that robots will rule the world, even the world of lawyers, is a major source of trepidation about developments in artificial intelligence (“AI”). But looking beyond headlines and considering other points of view is necessary. AI and the automation of certain legal tasks is not something to fear or outright reject because “AI in the legal profession is not a rogue robot storming the halls of justice.” Rather, AI has the potential to enhance the practice of law rather than simply decimating the roles of attorneys. According to the Brookings Institution, AI is a technology tool that “enables people to…

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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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Though the Gap Persists, So Do We - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

  As many of you know, Equal Pay Day was earlier this month and with it, a reminder that pay between men and women, and within different groups of women, is still far from equal. While the pay gap is felt across professions, it is particularly detrimental to female athletes. Female professional athletes often make a fraction of their male counterparts' salaries. The US is not alone in this problem, as it permeates professional sports organizations around the world.   It is worth noting, however, that unlike other professions, professional sports present some unique challenges. Olympic athletes often rely on their…

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5 Ingredients to Increase Productivity in Your Firm

No matter how passionate you are about your business, there will always be days when your productivity levels just fall short. The same goes for your employees. While there are no immediate side effects to low productivity levels in the workplace, the long-term view paints a gloomy picture for the firm. It can lead to slower progress and growth, losing cases and clients, and a workplace riddled with inefficiencies and unproductive activities. Here are five ingredients that can increase productivity in your law firm. Distinguish Important Versus Unimportant Tasks At the essence of productivity is the decision matrix developed by…

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