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Amanda

Book Review: Rebuilding Justice: Civil Courts in Jeopardy and Why You Should Care

As someone who spent time representing low income clients during law school, I’ve always been a little (ok,  more than a little) skeptical of who the “justice system” was set up to work for. I’ve been perceived by judges and court administrators as both a client and an attorney, and the difference in treatment I received in each of those roles was startling. When I read a synopsis of Rebuilding Justice: Civil Courts in Jeopardy and Why You Should Care, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. When page two proclaimed, “The only person in the…

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Amanda

Book Review: The Road to Independence

She just couldn’t hack it. Let’s be honest, we’ve all thought it. When a woman leaves BigLaw (or even MediumLaw) and goes out on her own…we think it. We think that she couldn’t make it. Sure, maybe she was just looking for a change; but, maybe she just need to work harder. If you’ve ever thought those things…This is the book that will prove you wrong. Released earlier this year, The Road to Independence: 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms is a series a letters from women who have started their own firms. Each of the women…

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Amanda

Book Review: In Defense of Women: Memoirs of an Unrepentant Advocate by Nancy Gertner

One of my favorite spoken word poets once recited a line that has stuck with me. “I’ve seen too much injustice,” he shouted “to believe in chance.” This could have been the subtitle to Gertner’s book. A seasoned advocate, not believing in chance could be her motto. In 246 pages Gertner writes about her experience of institutionalized inequities as well as the value of old fashioned hard work. In Defense of Women details Gertner’s dedication to her work as an advocate on behalf of women as well has her commitment to the practice of law. Based on the tales in…

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Janet

Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz

This Summer, I am finally getting to a book that's been on my to-read list for months, ever since it was sent to me as a birthday gift from fellow Writer in Residence Jen Ward. The book is Woman Lawyer: The Trials of Clara Foltz by Barbara Babcock. Here's the synopsis:Woman Lawyer tells the story of Clara Foltz, the first woman admitted to the California Bar. Famous in her time as a public intellectual, leader of the women's movement, and legal reformer, Foltz faced terrific prejudice and well-organized opposition to women lawyers as she tried cases in front of all-male juries, raised…

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jessie

Book Review: Success Strategies for Women Lawyers by Lauren Stiller Rikleen

Out this month from the British ARK Group is a new book by the Bowditch Institute' Lauren Stiller Rikleen, Success Strategies for Women Lawyers.  Ms. Rikleen is also the author of Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Success in Law, and she has been interviewed for this site and spoken at Ms. JD's Chicago conference.The tone of the book is more self-help than treatise, which is great. It's an easy, entertaining read, with personal anecdotes from lawyers peppering each chapter. The advice is on soft skills, like branding, networking, mentoring, and self-promotion. Balance is addressed, but not as the main…

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jessie

Debbie Epstein Henry’s Law & Reorder

Debbie Epstein Henry, of Flex-Time Lawyers, has been a champion for Ms. JD since the very beginning. She has been a speaker at almost every major event Ms. JD has hosted, a constant supporter of new programs, and -for lack of a better word - a cheerleader in the industry for Ms. JD's fledgling efforts.So it is with great pride and excitement that I write about Debbie's new book Law & Reorder: Legal Industry Solutions for Restructure, Retention, Promotion & Work/Life Balance. The book is a remarkable undertaking. Debbie makes a thorough review of the the structural shifts forcing change…

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Janet

Gloria Feldt: No Excuses

N.Y. Times writer Adriana Gardella recently interviewed Gloria Feldt, author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change the Way We Think About Power and Leadership. Here's a snippet from the interview:Q. How do women who flee the work force have an impact on those who do not?Ms. Feldt: They make it harder for the rest of us to remedy the inequities that remain. We have to make young women aware of how their choices affect other women. It should be acceptable criticism to point out that, although everyone has the right to make their own life decisions, choosing to “opt out” reinforces…

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jessie

Recommended Reading: Necessary Dreams by Anna Fels

Necessary Dreams: Ambition in Women's Changing Lives struck a chord with me.  I spend a lot of time hearing about women who reign in their professional horizons. I have caught myself doing it too. I remember a day in high school when I thought, "Maybe I should be a psychologist. They get to set their own schedules and can have a flexible work day." That's how strong the pressure was on my teenage self to find a career that accommodated a certain kind of personal life. I am a terrible listener. And I have known I wanted to go to…

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jessie

Book Review: More Than 85 Broads

In 1993 Janet Hanson left Goldman Sachs. She left a trail of ground-breaking achievement and public struggles with gender norms and work/life balance challenges behind her.  Four years later Hanson unveiled what would become 85 Broads, a global network of business women.More than 85 Broads: Women Making Career Choices, Taking Risks, and Defining Success on Their Own Terms tells the story of the organization and shares the experiences of some of its most remarkable members.  The contributors are largely other Goldman Sachs trailblazers, who share professional and personal stories of struggle and success.I think the thing I like best about…

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jessie

Summer Reading: Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn

This month my book club read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof and his wife, journalist and business woman, Sheryl WuDunn.  It's more women and law than women in law, but if I could, I would quote the first chapter in it's entirety here. It's the most compelling reading I've done in a while.... in normal circumstances women live longer than men, and so there are more females than males in much of the world ... Yet in places where girls have a deeply unequal status, they vanish. China…

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