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Join the Conversation:  How to Increase Retention of Women

We know that women are underrepresented in senior ranks of law firms and across corporate America.  In Big Law, women make up 45% of incoming associates but only 16% of equity partners.  At our current rate, women will not make up 30% of equity partners until 2081.  We also know that women often take themselves out of the running for advancement.  In law firms, women quit at higher rates than men.  In tech, women are more than twice as likely to quit than men.   Firms and companies recognize the challenge of retaining talented women and have been investing in different strategies to increase retention rates.  If…

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So You Want to Be An International Lawyer: Fathers Can Be Lawyers too

My birthday is May 31, which this year is shavouot, a small holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah to humanity on Mount Sinai. The holiday also is a time of great food, like cheesecake and ice cream and lots of singing and dancing... All perfect for a naturally occurring birthday party. In other years my birthday of May 31 has coincided with magnificent life events such as my law school graduation. And in other years, Memorial Day with big parades and barbecues in the USA and the opening of the outdoor swimming pool. My birthday is also a…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Sweetiehoneybaby-That’s not my name

Last month, we talked about making a positive first impression and how maintaining that impression can be key to building a respectable reputation in law, in court and at the office. This month we are going to focus on how to respond when others make sexist comments that could undermine that positive impression you worked to make and solid reputation you built. Two days into my new summer internship, I was reminded of an issue that I had read about just two weeks before the start of my 1L year, the use of sexist nicknames in court, when a young…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: I am just starting as a summer associate. Are there things I can do to stand out in a positive way? A: Sure. You know the basics: Be nice to everyone. Do error-free work. And stay out of Above the Law. But to stand out in a good way, you need to do things that others may forget. Here are some things to consider: Take Initiative. You will go to social events and complete projects. But if you really want to shine, seek out people to meet and projects that interest you. Firms want to know that you really…

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The Road Less Traveled: When You’re Forced Off Your Narrative Arc, and What To Do

In my day job as Associate Director of Talent at Bliss Lawyers, many of the attorneys that I speak with describe how an alt-path gives them the flexibility to optimize their lives. BigLaw hours no longer constrain them from nurturing a side hustle into profitability, pursuit of a sub-three hour marathon, writing and publishing that novel that's been swirling around in their heads, traveling abroad, or assuming a role as family caregiver.   But many of the people I speak with - including myself - were forced off the traditional path.  Like Westworld hosts, we come into this world with a narrative arc, except one…

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Social Media Advantages for Growing JDs and Attorneys

Diarra Joi Clemons McCullen, J.D. SAG-AFTRA received her Juris Doctor of Law (J.D.) degree from New York Law School, Undergraduate Degree (B.A.) from George Mason University and High School Diploma from an all-girls Catholic high school named St. Scholastica Academy in Evanston, IL. She has worked in Finance for Citibank, Morgan Stanley and Oppenheimer & Co. to name a few. She was also a Judicial Law Clerk while in law school. She is currently a Legal Journalist for Ms. JD, Novelist of the novel memoir series, "Roses are Blue" and Vantage marketing and advervitising blogger. She is a military wife,…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Progress on Parental Leave—Not Just for Women Lawyers

The progress on maternity leave for lawyers has been significant in recent history, and more and more women lawyers are benefiting from law firm policies that are slowly coming into the 21st Century.  It is not surprising that the needs of mothers, who actually carry and give birth to the babies, should be the initial focus of parental leave, but the needs of the fathers are finally getting attention, as well.  Firms like Winston and Strawn and Orrick, that give both mothers and fathers up to 20 and 22 weeks of paid leave, respectively, are leading the way.  Orrick's policy…

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Susan Smith Blakely

The Big Picture on Gender Bias and Women Lawyers

The number of gender bias law suits and gender bias complaints against law firms is on the rise, based on this article in AmLaw Daily, which quotes David Sanford, the chairman of Sanford Heisler Sharp, who represents most of the plaintiffs in the current lawsuits.  Sanford also has represented countless other women lawyers in complaints against their law firms based on unequal opportunities and unequal pay as compared to their male colleagues. Most of you probably have read at least something about the current law suits, but there is more that may come as a surprise to you.   What…

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Specialties That Actually Thrive In Rural Areas

If you’ve ever seen Hollywood’s version of females in the legal field, you’d be convinced that we were all small town gals who fulfilled our dreams of moving to the big city by obtaining our law degrees. Of course, that’s not always the case. Sure, plenty of us left our hometowns for bigger and better things, and that might have been due to the fact that rural lawyers face certain stigmas: first, you won’t make much money in a small town, and second, you’ll need to maintain a general practice if you want to succeed. The idea that specialty lawyers…

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How Men in the C-Suite Can Be Allies to Women General Counsel & the teams they lead

Please join us at the NYC Bar on June 8th for our annual general counsel signature event entitled: Strategic Alliances: How Men in the C-Suite Can Be Allies to Women General Counsel and the Teams They Lead Advance registration is required and law students get a discount:  Thursday, June 8, 2017 | 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the New York City Bar, 42 West 44th Street, NY NY 10036 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. - Pre-panel reception and networking 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. - General Counsel panel 7:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. - Post-panel reception and continuing networking Program…

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