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Janet

A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything

The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything, released this week, focuses on a vast array of issues facing women in the workforce, from health to education, media to marriage. The comprehensive examination of women in the labor force includes data points, policy suggestions, academic research, and reflective essays. This report describes how a woman’s nation changes everything about how we live and work today. Now for the first time in our nation’s history, women are half of all U.S. workers and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families. This is a dramatic shift…

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The Natural Rights Objection:  A Reply to Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion”

In her landmark essay A Defense of Abortion, the eminent American moral philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson argues as follows: if you were kidnapped, sedated, and attached to another person in order to serve as their kidney dialysis machine, you would not be obligated to stay connected to them – even if disconnecting yourself from them would result in their death. Similarly, women who become pregnant should be able to detach themselves from their fetuses, since their fetus has no right to use their body without their consent. (Try to think of their conception of “bodily ownership” as being essentially the…

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Ms. JD

10 Ways to Combat Diversity Fatigue

By Dr. Arin N. Reeves DIVERSITY FATIGUE (di.VUR.suh.tee fuh.teeg): According to WordSpy.com, a web site dedicated to tracking new terms that have appeared multiple times in major media, “diversity fatigue”—a form of mental exhaustion brought on by the constant attention required to create or increase diversity in work settings—is now an official part of the workplace lexicon. The concept of diversity fatigue first appeared in a New York Times (April 6, 1998) article on how the nation’s newspaper editors wanted to roll back the goals of increasing diversity in the newsrooms because “there’s a widespread sense of diversity fatigue.” Since…

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Ms. JD

Toward Inclusive Meritocracies: Examining the Relationship between Merit and Diversity in Large Law Firms

by Arin N. Reeves, President, The Athens Group (Ed. Note: This article was originally published in the 'Diversity Insider: Dedicated to Creating a Diverse Profession,' a publication for the 'DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar.') According to The American Heritage Dictionary, a meritocracy is a “system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.” Many law firms pride themselves on operating as meritocracies embodied by this definition. Individual ability and achievement is carefully examined in future hires, and attorneys who have been deemed to be worthy of inclusion in law firms are rewarded and advanced based on…

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Janet

Ms. JD Public Interest Summer Scholarship Honorable Mention: Jennifer Siepel

Ms. JD is pleased to feature Jennifer Siepel, recipient of the Ms. JD's Public Interest Summer Scholarship Essay Contest Honorable Mention Award. Here is her essay submission:When interviewing with the judge for whom I will clerk this summer, we began discussing my career aspirations. I told her the classes I most enjoyed and those I was excited to take. She began to share stories of her years in law school over thirty years ago and what her life was like when she was a new attorney. She explained she was the only female in her firm (if not the town).…

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jessie

Catalyst Releases Women of Color in U.S. Law Firms Report - Quantifying Gaps in Perception & Experience

Catalyst released it's study of Women of Color in Law Firms today. The report represents a major undertaking, and I recommend reading it yourself, but I will attempt to summarize the key points. First the problem: ...more than 75 percent of women of color associates leave their firms by their fifth year of practice, and nearly 86 percent leave before their seventh year. Those who leave often report experiencing institutional discrimination and unwanted and/or unfair critical attention, which combine to create an exclusionary and challenging workplace.5 Other research confirms that nearly two-thirds (64.4 percent) of women of color associates left…

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Anonymous

Why the Supreme Court Needs a “Critical Mass” of Women

Vanity Fair conributing editor Dee Dee Myers thinks the Supreme Court needs more than just another woman: what it needs is a critical mass. Critical mass isn’t a static number, nor is it an argument that there should be an equal number of men and women in every room. It’s not just another word for “quota.” Instead, it refers to the point at which there are enough women that the culture begins to change, that different points of view and different life experiences are equally valued, where everyone’s voice can be heard. A critical mass, Myers explains, will help overcome…

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Kat

Top Michigan Court Rules that Judge has the Power to Ban the Muslim Veil from Courtroom

Michigan Rule of Evidence 611 has just been revised, giving judges the power to determine what witnesses should wear in their courtroom. Recently, a divided Michigan Supreme Court approved this rule, despite protests from the American Civil Liberties Union that the rule should contain an exception for religion attire. The issue just decided by the Michigan Supreme Court originally arose when a Muslim woman, Ginnah Muhammad, testifying in a 2006 small claims case, was asked by the judge to remove her niqab. The judge, 31st District Judge Paul Paruk, asked her to do this so that he could see her…

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Janet

Putting on Heels

While getting ready this morning, I listened to a piece on NPR, Workers Dressing Better To Hold On To Jobs: The recession is changing the workplace in many ways. Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway says many workers are kicking it up a notch with dressier work clothes and more formal e-mails. Kellaway tells Renee Montagne that's because employees are trying to hold onto their jobs. Listen to the piece here. In her Financial Times column, Lucy Callaway has argued in the past that dressing to impress lifts spirits and increases productivity. She advocates for replacing Casual Friday with High Heels…

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jessie

Ms. Manners: Blogging from the Dinner Table

This weekend everyone's favorite style mavens at the New York Times weighed in on the propriety of smartphone interuptions during business meetings. As in "is it ok to check email on my iPhone during a potential pitch from a potential contractor?" To which I say, "SERIOUSLY?!?!" I mean how is there any debate here. Of course it's rude. Of course it's inappropriate. If you're important enough, you can get away with it. But better hope you don't need to leave anybody with the impression you care about them, their work, their time, etc. The more interesting question to me, is…

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