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Peg

I’m a Corporate Lawyer – Get on with your happy-judging self!

Okay, so, in no particular order, I’m a (30-something caucasion) woman, I’m a (working) mother of two, I’m a (married-only-once-heterosexual) wife, I’m a (Fiscal) Conservative, and I’m a corporate (BigLaw) lawyer. Why am I subject to so much judging?See the related posts and comments here, here, here, and here about the judging that goes on among women. It is no secret that I am not a fan of the “mommy wars”. Likewise, I am also not a fan of the explicit and implicit judging that goes on between the public-interest lawyers (or lawyers-to-be) and those of us that work for…

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jessie

NYC Event: Working Mothers-Who’s Opting Out?

WORKING MOTHERS: WHO'S OPTING OUT?Tuesday, October 16, 7 p.m., $8 admissionThe New School, New York CityWollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, 5th floor (enter at 66 West 12th Street) You've read the articles--and gotten angry at the debate. Are vast numbers of working mothers bolting the career track--or dreaming of doing so? Are elite women betraying feminism by staying home with their children? Or do the Opt-Out stories rely too heavily on anecdotal evidence--while shoving aside actual labor statistics and working families' needs? JOIN US as some of the KEY THINKERS and CRITICS of the "opt-out" storyline DISCUSS & DEBATE…

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jessie

Office Romance: No Longer so Hush Hush?

A recent article in the New York Times about office relationships indicates they are becoming more acceptable to upper management. This reminded me of a warning I received as a summer law clerk: don't date another associate-it will be held against you. At the time, the advice was given to me in the context of the many ways in which women are held to double standards in big firms: men are not penalized for "hooking up" with the cute summer, but those cute summers are. I never ended up at a big firm and I never dated anyone in my…

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Judge Nancy Gertner

The revolution of falling expectations

In the 1960s, social critics spoke about the "revolution of rising expectations," describing the phenomenon in which succeeding generations of Americans expected to do better than their parents and the conflicts that resulted when they did not.If the latest issue of Working Mother magazine trumpeting the "50 Best Law Firms for Women" is any indication, we are now in the midst of "the revolution of falling expectations," which will have its own serious consequences.Working Mother -- in an altogether commendable effort to monitor the progress of women in the largest firms -- ranked them by various measures, including the percentage…

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sintecho

Work-Life Balance Isn’t a Woman’s Issue (or an American one)

A recent article by Cameron Ainsworth-Vincze highlighted work-life balance issues faced by Canadian firm lawyers. Debbie, with abrupt words and “language laden with cursing” alerts the interviewer that she will be working all night and that he can quote her that sometimes she hates her job. Canadian firm lawyers, it seems, are not so different from their southern counterparts (though the first-year associate standard is only 1,700 billable hours, which is modest when you look at 2,000+ hours that many big-city U.S. attorneys routinely bill). Also familiar is Debbie’s concern that she has “a lack of control over her personal…

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Anna

Ten Family-Friendly Firms (new ranking by law students)

The women's student group at my school has just release its second annual ranking of "the top ten family-friendly firms." I did not have any part in preparing these rankings... just passing them along. The press release is here. According to Yale Law Women and co-sponsoring women's law groups at Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, Chicago, Boalt, Northwestern, and Virginia, the top ten family-friendly firms of 2007 are... [More after the jump]Quarles & Brady (Phoenix)Proskauer Rose (New York) Akin Gump Strauss Hauer (Washington, DC) Jenner & Block (Washington, DC) Mayer Brown (Chicago)Covington & Burling (Washington, DC) Arnold & Porter (Washington, DC) DLA…

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Peg

Part Time at a Firm: Opportunity or Curse?

I’ve always wondered about Biglaw attorneys who are on a part-time schedule. This is partly because I try to be realistic about the future and wonder whether this will be something I will resort to once a few full time 2000+ billable years break down my cheery disposition towards Biglaw practice. Also it is partly because I wonder just how it happens. In my mind, I can’t imagine how the arrangement begins. I frankly cannot see myself asking anybody at the firm about the option because of an assumption that I’ve concocted in my head that as soon as I…

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jessie

Southern Ms.

Until now I’ve lived in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. So when I moved to Memphis last month I was expecting culture shock. It has been shocking . . . but for the most part, it’s been shockingly nice. Seriously, to a person who has never been exposed to it before, true southern hospitality is unimaginable. So what else have I discovered besides the kindness of random strangers? I had plans for a series on shocking exposes of backwardness, but so far I have only curiosities to report:This week I learned that the biggest, fanciest firm in Memphis…

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Peg

Mothers’ Rooms at Biglaw

There is a post at www.abovethelaw.com today (with a strange picture choice, I might add) about lactation rooms at law firms. The post is in the site's "fringe benefits" series which chronicles the perks of law firms. Every working mom seems to find at least one thing to not have to compromise on and for many that one things is breastfeeding.I continued to breastfeed my two kids after returning to work after maternity leave. With the first child, it went pretty well and I pumped for about two months. With the second, pumping lasted all of about two weeks. I…

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Peg

Job Sharing, Has anybody witnessed it?

Deborah Epstein Henry, of Flex-time Lawyers, has a thought provoking article in the July/August Issue of Diversity & the Bar entitled, "Stepping Into Your Shoes: It's Time for Job shares in Law Firms." You can find it at: http://www.flextimelawyers.com/pdf/art7.pdf (thanks to www.jdblissblog.com for the tip)The article is very straight-forward and it does a great job of describing the ins and outs of a job share arrangement for attorneys.I've witnessed a job share arrangement for legal assistants in the firm and it seems to work without complication. I've also witnessed enough "client teams" to know that more often than not there…

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