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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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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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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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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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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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