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Is Tattling On Yourself Admirable or Stupid?

The other day, I made a mistake at work. It was the kind of mistake that my boss may or may not have ever noticed, the kind of mistake that doesn't have far-reaching consequences but is nonetheless wrong. Also important to note is that this was the kind of mistake that was already out there, and there was nothing anyone could do to change it or somehow make it less of an error. When I realized I'd made the mistake, I decided to email my boss right away and tell him what I'd done. He wrote back and acknowledged that…

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Must Read: ABA Commission on Women - Oral Histories of Women Trailblazers in the Law

The ABA Commission on Women has compiled the testimonials of 17 remarkable women, including Professor Barbara Babcock and Judge Dorothy Nelson - both Ms. JD contributors, and Judge Betty Weinberg Ellerin - one of this year's Honored Guests at Ms. JD's Student Leadership Summit closing banquet. The transcripts make for a long but inspiring read, repleat with colorful anecdotes about the barriers to early women lawyers.

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Women Blaming Women for Lack of Work/Life Balance

I was shocked to read Monique Doyle Spencer's article in the Boston Globe, Working women, where did we go so wrong? The title should give you an uh-oh feeling, but I was completely unprepared for Doyle's topic sentence: "I think we women ruined the workplace." In a nutshell, her argument is that wolmen responded to their opportunities to finally work in high-power jobs by working harder than their male counterparts without demanding salary increases when, according to Doyle, they should have worked the same hours as men and demanded equal pay. Consequently, her argument goes, women blew an opportunity to…

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Is Long Hair Unprofessional?

I'm not alone in wondering whether chopping your hair off is a prerequisite for a woman's success. From politicians like Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Dole, and Nancy Pelosi to well-known litigators like Jamie Gorelich, Sheila Birnbaum, Amy Schulman, and Maureen Mahoney, short hair is the status quo. Does it have to be that way? I like my long hair. I've always received compliments on it; I like having the option to curl it or straighten it or put it up; and, I admit it, my long hair makes me feel feminine and attractive. But, is it holding me back?Susan Ehrlich Martin…

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‘Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters’ - A New Mentorship Publication from the Multicultural Women Attorney Network

The ABA's Multicultural Women Attorney Network has published an exciting and unique new work to address the limited mentoring opportunities between multicultural women. Entitled 'Dear Sisters, Dear Daughters: Words of Wisdom from Multicultural Women Attorneys Who've Been There and Done That,' this publication is a compilation of letters from multicultural women attorneys who graduated from law school more than a decade ago. These letters are directed at young women lawyers and law students, offering advice of a variety of topics including building a practice, raising children as a professional woman, overcoming stereotypes, building bridges with women of color, and directing…

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Do Other Women Lawyers Prefer Working With Men or Women?

The February 2008 issue of the ABA Journal Magazine features an article entitled What Women Lawyers Really Think of Each Other. The answer? The ABA Journal surveyed 1,400 people, of which 58% were indifferent about the gender of their co-workers. The other 42% had preferences one way or the other with female supervisors over the age of 40 preferring to work with women because women lawyers "take direction better" (80%), "take constructive criticism better" (59%), and "have more discretion" (79%). Younger female attorneys under the age of 40 who expressed a gender preference, however, thought that "male supervisors give better…

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Interviews: Do men and women have different experiences?

Some people think that women and men are treated differently during interviews. In an attempt to discover these differences, I asked one married man and one married woman to describe their 2L summer interview experiences. As a small sampling, their responses are not meant to draw any widespread conclusions, but merely serve as a starting place to reflect.[More after the jump] Both interviewees applied to top firms, mostly large ones in the New York metro area. The man did not care whether or not his responses remained anonymous, however, the woman did. Ultimately, the woman felt as if she had…

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Review: Lipstick Jungle, NBC Thursday Nights at 10pm

Editor's Note: a new episode of Lipstick Jungle airs tonight. [Link goes to TV Guide to help you catch reruns and then the new ep tonight on NBC, USA, Oxygen, and Bravo.] In these days of slim-pickens when it comes to new scripted TV to watch, I am intrigued that two new drama-dies have come out of the woodwork to comment on the struggles of working women. (I haven't watched Cashmere Mafia but have heard that it is really good.) Last night I watched Lipstick Jungle on NBC. I even put off my contract revision and diligence work until 11pm…

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Must Read: The Counselors by Elizabeth Vrato

In 1991, Hillary Rodham Clinton in her capacity as President of the ABA's Commission on Women in the Profession established the Margaret Brent Award "to recognize some of the women who were crashing through the glass ceiling and changing the world." Elizabeth Vrato interviewed 18 recipients and collected their stories in her book, Counselors: Conversations with 18 Courageous Women Who Have Changed the World. Some of the recipients will be familiar to all readers: Supreme Court Justices O'Connor and Ginsburg are among those interviewed. As is former Attorney General Janet Reno. The stories of these most public figures were familiar…

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Book Review: amBITCHous

Debra Condren's amBITCHous is a self-help book that seeks to convince female readers that "ambition is a virtue, not a vice." Condren argues that the word "ambitious" has acquired a negative connotation in recent years, and her book is an attempt to redefine and recast ambition in a positive light. Condren posits that ambition should not be reviled but rather celebrated, for "[a}mbition is the best of who we are." Condren provides eight "amBITCHous Rules" that will help the reader learn to become "amBITCHous" - a word that Condren defines as "a woman who: 1) makes more money, 2) has…

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