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lawscoop

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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Elizabeth

Developing a “Persuasive Presence”

In a recent article, Legal Negotiation Styles: Feminine Weaknesses, Feminine Strengths, Natalie Fraser details advice from professionals on how women lawyers can avoid minimizing themselves and their professional leadership potential. First, women often use "minimalizing language," which undermines their ability "to develop a persuasive presence" and "effectively negotiate." According to Donna Goodhand, a leadership communications specialist, "people respond more to the person representing the cause than they do to the cause itself," which makes image crucial. Goodhand advises that if women "want to be seen as leaders in our realm, if we want our ideas to be credited and our…

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Peg

How do women General Counsels stack up?

The 2007 Almanac of Corporate Counsel magazine lists the 100 highest paid general counsels in America. In a small chart on the fifth page of the report, the stats for the women on the list appear under the line "Women on the Rise". It reports that more women (15) than ever made the list. However, it is worth pointing out that only one woman made it into the top 25 and that is Louise Parent the GC of American Express Company. Reportedly her total cash compensation for 2006 was almost $3M and total take home (including stock value realized) was…

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JMLiebman

Finding Work in the Work-Life Balance

Much talk on Ms. JD has been devoted to the work-life balance, or the idea that one can have a career, and still have time to come home and do a load of laundry from time to time. Or even (gasp) have a hobby, or read a non-work related book. Of course, for many recent graduates of even top tier law schools, the work-life balance discussion is purely academic. I’m still trying to find work to put in balance with my life. So what does the post graduation job search look like, you may ask? The conventional wisdom is that…

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KHernan881

A book you can skip:  It’s Harder in Heels: Essays by Women Lawyers Achieving Work-Life Balance (July 2007)

I am sorry to report that this book with a very promising title is really not that good. I am infinitely interested in how women lawyers make it all work, how they balance work and life, how they network, who their mentors are, etc etc. I purchased this book with extreme excitement over the possibility that this would be the lawyer's counterpart to the Mommy Wars book which was basically written by journalists. The back cover promises essays that are "inspiring, observant, introspective, insightful, and wise." Well, it is sad, but this book is a real disappointment. Instead of being…

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KHernan881

Note to readers

I have recently come up on some personal/political obstacles that will require me to change the name under which I post here on Ms. JD. As Jessie would say, the personal is political. Over the last few months, I have gotten a lot more personal in my posts than I intended (which is good, I think) so I am going to have to make my identity a little more cryptic so that I maintain more control over who knows what I am writing. I am not ashamed of anything that I've written and I whole-heartedly believe in what I've said.…

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Peg

Cursing Around Women: Taboo, Offensive, or Get Over it - No Big Deal?

Law.com had a great article yesterday about one female firm partner's recipe for success. (Thanks to www.PTlawmom.com for the tip.) The article was refreshing to me because this particular woman, Mercedes Meyer, has revealed that her secret to success in BigLaw is not trying to get the firm to conform to her needs as a female professional but by trying to conform herself to some of the male-ness of the practice.I was intrigued right from the start because Ms. Meyer credits a book that I've just recently set out to read as a turning point in her professional life:Her eyes…

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kirkebaby

Last time I checked, it wasn’t any of your business. . .

I am not sure how other peoples' employers have treated you when you were pregnant or getting ready to take pregnancy related leave, but it seems to me that there are too many people who are almost what I would say "jealous" of anyone getting "benefits" because of a pregnancy (I would say most of these people are male and not of childbearing age).  Since my last submission, we have moved to our new city and it's approximately 90 miles from my job. I am fortunate enough that my mother lives in the same place as my job and has…

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KHernan881

Making different life choices than my Mom

There is a post on The Juggle that made me stop to think about another dimension in this inner-struggle that we working mothers face everyday – you know, the struggle to be a good lawyer and a good mom at the same time. That dimension is my own mother’s opinion about my choice. I actually have the best sort of mother that any adult woman could ask for. She was a great role model for me growing up and gave me lots of guidance and advice when I needed it most. Now, she is a great listener and a great…

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lawblogger

Are We Unwilling to Break the Glass Ceiling?

Last week the Financial News featured an article boldly called Women Unwilling to Break Glass Ceiling. The byline read, "Lack of aspiration and financial motivation, rather than overt discrimination, might be to blame." Of course, a lack of "overt discrimination" doesn't exactly leave you with "lack of aspiration," and the article itself, byline aside, seemed to illustrate that covert discrimination might be just as likely a candidate for the perpetuation of the glass ceiling as a lack of aspiration.The article was based on data from the financial industry and quotes UK sources (which could account for a lot). Some of…

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