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Janet

Acheiving Equity Partner Status: Three Hurdles

Anna Collins has a new piece at The Glass Hammer, The Struggle To Achieve Equity Partner Status. Ms. Collins discusses three hurdles women face as they work to achieve equity partner: (1) a lack of role models or mentors (2) the increasing importance of a book of business (3) work-place bias Asserting that these challenges must be overcome in order for women to break into equity ranks, Ms. Collinsmaintains that women "must take the initiative to develop their own mentors and role models when necessary, with the ultimate goal of growing their books of business." She also notes that "law…

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Susan Cartier Liebel

Is Now The Perfect Time To Start A Solo Practice?

The short answer: Yes. I'm totally aware of the inner hysteria most people are feeling about our economy, needing to take a Valium before they open their 401k statement this month. Watching your property taxes increase while your home value drops like an elevator with broken cables. You've either been laid off or can't get your first job. I get it. Trust me, I do. History tells us when economic times are their shakiest, it is the perfect climate to start a new business. (No, I'm not insane The following is information collected from disparate sources: Did you know that…

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KHernan881

Is the Profession in a Crisis?  And, Can Better Work/Life Balance Ride in on the Coattails of Reform?

There is an interesting article titled, Will a bad economy force more changes in the profession? by Diane Curtis on the front page of the California Bar Journal dated January 2009. It opens with: While some people hope the flagging economy will get law firms to rethink how they bill clients, others are warning that associates had better churn up the billable hours or face the prospect of losing their jobs. The article explore many pressures that law firms are feeling today: Clients that don't want to pay associates at partner-level billing rates. (The article says that large law firm…

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Peg

Part IV in Series: A Junior Associate’s Networking Plan

Today's post in the series I've named "A Junior Associate's Networking Plan" is Community Involvement. See here for the start of this series. As a junior associate in BigLaw, many partners and professional development folks have told me that the key to being a rainmaker is community involvement. I think the idea is that you should get to know as many people in your community as possible so that they will think of you when they need legal work. Makes perfect sense, huh? However, I work in the corporate department of a big national law firm. So, I think that…

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Anonymous

On a Tightrope

In her New York Times piece, The Tightrope of Managing a Law Office, Anita J. Cicero discusses the challenges of being an office managing partner. Watching management issues unfold each week is like watching TV when someone else controls the remote. One moment you’re watching a documentary, then — click! — it’s a thriller, then a drama, then the evening news. Switching among unfolding story lines, focusing on practical and fair solutions and trying to remember to prepare that agenda for a 4 p.m. teleconference make for stimulating and often exhausting days. At 43, a relatively young partner at Drinker,…

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Peg

Book Review: Lipstick Jungle

As I've posted about before, I am a fan of the NBC series "Lipstick Jungle". Sadly, rumor has it that the series has been cancelled and this Friday's "Season Finale" is actually the end of the show forever. Looks like my lot in life is to have the network dramas that I really like get cancelled. For Christmas, I asked for and recieved the book by Candace Bushnell that inspired the series. Even though I pretty much read for a living, I still enjoy a good fiction novel every once in a while but it needs to be something good…

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Janet

Q & A with Managing Partner Brigid Higgins

Brigid Higgins, Managing Shareholder, Gordon Silver, rose from associate to managing partner in less than ten years. In her interview with In Business Las Vegas, Higgins discusses what is like to be a female managing parter, how she balances her duties, and how she made such a rapid rise to the top. She also gives some advice to new lawyers: For new lawyers, I think - and this goes to the issue of the influx of regional and national law firms in the area - one of the things I think that's gotten lost since I started practicing law is…

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Peg

A false dicotomy: Husband-shopping vs. Serious Professional

There is a post from last week on a blog called "Hiring Partner's Office" that seemingly gives sage advice about building your law firm reputation. The hypothetical is about two women associates. One is "pleasant, cheerful" and career focused. The other does "seemingly solid work" but isn't social. The post is decent until the point where the author accuses the second (and more inferior) associate of possibly working at the firm just to land a "rich hubby".!!! What!!! This point is questioned by a couple of the commentors and earned the post a link on corporette.com. This scenario makes me…

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Peg

NAWL’s 2008 National Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, Part II

Now for the second part of the NAWL survey that I found particularly interesting this year: the finding that "For both male and femail lawyers, moving (laterally moving between firms) is likely to be a better strategy than staying in the lawyer's original firm." This finding was interesting to me (perhaps more than others) because I have no intention of ever making a lateral move and every intention to make partner at my current firm. This finding was surprising to me since I was under the impression that law firm management wasn't happy about the ease at which young lawyers…

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Peg

NAWL’s 2008 National Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women in Law Firms, Part I

So, it is that time of year and NAWL released it's 2008 Survey report yesterday. Truthfully, there isn't much to write about this survey that you can't learn by reading the report and posts about it from last year. The numbers have not really changed. However, there are two things in the report that I would like to discuss: (1) the "tier" structure of a law firm's partnership and how that impacts women hoping to make partner; and (2) the market for lateral hires and how that impacts women hoping to make partner. First, I found the aspect of the…

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