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Jabberwocky

Law Firm Hierarchy: Is Rank Unfeminine?

I enjoyed a coversation recently with a male friend who inquired about my looming future career as a "big firm lawyer." I expressed some rational doubt and hesitancy about my future - anyone who thinks that gearing up from the luxurious gliding pace of 3L year to the 80 hour week grind is going to be easy is living in a wonderful dream world. My friend mentioned that "It must be hard for women to assimilate to that world." Intrigued, and perhaps preemptively annoyed, I questioned him further and he responded that while men are naturally drawn to rank, order,…

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Anonymous

Daddy Bonus, Mommy Penalty

Neil H. Buchanan's recent paper, Why Do Women Lawyers Earn Less than Men? Parenthood and Gender in a Survey of Law School Graduates, reveals a correlation between parental status and salary. Using a dataset of survey responses from University of Michigan Law School graduates from the classes of 1970 through 1996, I find that fathers tend to receive higher salaries than non-fathers (a "daddy bonus"). In addition, mothers earn less than non-mothers (a "mommy penalty"). There is also some statistical support for the inference that there is a penalty associated purely with gender (women earning less than men, independent of…

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Anonymous

Minority Women Partners: Some Cities Fare Better Than Others

Recent analysis by NALP reports that minority women continue to be dramatically underrepresented at the partnership level, making up less than 2% of partners in the nation's major law firms. The findings also reveal that, nationally, women and minorities continue to be much better represented in associate and summer associate ranks than in the partnership ranks. The analysis goes on to report that some cities fare better than others in the represetation of women in both partnerships and associateships nationwide: Analyses for the 46 cities with the most attorneys represented in the directory reveal considerable variations in these demographic measures.…

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Peg

Do you hear that sound?  It’s the winds of change.

On the way to a recruiting dinner recently, I had the pleasure of driving with a sixth-year and an eighth-year (up for partner) associate. Both are at the top of their game at my BigLaw firm. Both are highly professional, competent, and competitive. They are your typical careerists - the type that nobody ever questions their work ethic or dedication to the firm and its clients. The conversation turned to children as one of their wives is due with their second child in December. To my surprise, the conversation drifted to paternity leave and how both men had (or intended…

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Lauren Gerber

Yale Law Women Top Ten Family Friendly Firms

Here at Yale Law Women (YLW), Yale Law School’s resident women’s group, we have just completed our third annual review of family friendly policies at the nation’s top law firms. After surveying Vault’s Top 100 firms, we have analyzed the data to produce YLW’s Top Ten Family Friendly Firms List. The Top Ten, in alphabetical order, are: Arnold & Porter (Washington, DC) Covington & Burling (Washington, DC) Debevoise & Plimpton (New York, NY) Dorsey & Whitney (Minneapolis, MN) Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (Los Angeles, CA) Kirkland & Ellis (Chicago, IL) Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (New York, NY) Mintz Levin…

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Janet

Part-Time Partners

According to Part-time Partners: How Women Lawyers are Reaching Greater Heights with Fewer Billable Hours, a feature in this month's edition of Working Mother Magazine, law firms are increasingly offering partnerships to reduced-hour lawyers. Pamela Miller, an equity partner at Arnold & Porter and mother of two, works a reduced hour schedule, making time for soccer games and school conferences. “I don’t believe in apologizing for the fact that I’m a working mother,” says the 38-year-old equity partner in Arnold & Porter’s litigation practice. “If I send out an email about things going on at home, people will get a…

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Peg

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

This is the first part of a multi-part series where I will lay out my creatively-titled "Junior Associate Networking Plan" for your information, criticism and suggestions. I am writing this series because I have found the task of figuring out what a junior associate can and should be doing to build her professional network to be a little daunting and that is perhaps because there is no way to know how much effort one should put into it or where one should dedicate that effort. I do not claim to have the right answers or be implementing the perfect plan.…

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Ms. JD

National Association for Women Lawyers Report: Actions for Advancing Women Into Law Firm Leadership

On July 16, 2008, the National Association for Women Lawyers released a report on Actions for Advancing Women Into Law Firm Leadership.  This report was based on the National Association of Women Lawyers National Leadership Summit. To view a copy of the report, click here.

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Ms. JD

The 50 Best Law Firms for Women - 2008

Click here to go straight to the list. Flex-Time Lawyers and Working Mother Magazine have just released their 2008 ranking of "The 50 Best Law Firms for Women." You can download a PDF of the press release from www.flextimelawyers.com. Firms were evaluated on their workforce profile, family-friendly benefits and policies, flexibility, leadership, compensation, advancement of women and retention of women, among other factors. According to the press release, applications were up 30% from last year. Ms. JD's coverage of the 2007 list can be found here.

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lsdrake

Bias against children

I ate lunch with one of the partners today. We chatted about working at a big law firm and he mentioned the expected hours of 8-8 plus 2-3 weekends a month. We both acknowledged my stumbling block, as a single parent, will be the demanding hours. I begin to think that BigLaw is not my path. I'd have to hire a nanny to raise my kiddo, and no amount of money is worth the time lost. I'd have to miss funny things she says or hear about them from the nanny. Yesterday, for instance, she flopped down and pointed at…

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