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Is Toe Cleavage Unprofessional?

Over at Women Lawyers Back On Track, there's an interesting post on something I admit I never even considered: is it unprofessional to wear shoes that show "toe cleavage"? As reported by the Memphis Daily News, a group of 16 judges and attorneys met at the Tennessee Supreme Court to discuss a dress code for attorneys. The meeting "included an impromptu modeling of shoes to determine if either pair represented 'cocktail shoes,' and if they did, whether they were inappropriate or disrespectful to the courts. It also included questions about how much arm is too much for a woman to…

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Ms. JD

New Talk Conversation Announcement: What is the role of the courts in making social policy?

New Talk is a new online forum designed to tackle tough policy issues directly, with ongoing commentary from leading experts and policymakers on the frontline of said issues. The next question to be addressed by New Talk is, "What is the role of the courts in making social policy?" The conversation begins Tuesday, July 8th and runs through Thursday, July 10th.Experts scheduled to participate in this next conversation include: Michael Traynor, President, American Law Institute; Lord Hoffman, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary; Kenneth Feinberg, Principal, The Feinberg Group; Theodore H. Frank, Director, AEI Legal Center for the Public Interest; Mark…

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I am a Feminist Because ...

I am a Feminist because I believe in gender equity. While acknowledging that there are real and perceived differences between men and women, I don't believe these differences justify disparities in their treatment. I think it's important to explain why I am a Feminist because a lot of people associate Feminism with other values - with extremism, with elitism, with activism, with exclusivity, with anger. There are famous Feminists who have visibly advanced those values: abolitionists, prohibitionists, suffragists, etc. Many were brave and pioneering. Many were controversial. Many made mistakes. I know that I invoke their memory when I adopt…

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The Giggle Monster

In my continual search to find the newest advice for professional women, I randomly came across this old post at On Phara entitled Channeling Barbie: Career Advice for Professional Women, and then immediately googled John McKee, the guy who is cited heavily in the post. Just so you're oriented as to the messenger, I'll start with John McKee, self-styled as "one of America's leading executive coaches" and author of Business Woman Web: How to Use Gender Bias to Ensure Your Career Success. Red flags, anyone? In addition to advocating using gender bias rather than eradicating it, McKee answers the question…

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Shoes, Clothes, and Law, Oh My

The Wall Street Journal has joined the hoary conversation on women’s professional apparel with a trifeca of articles/blog posts: first, with a profile of Lehman Brother’s CFO Erin Callan; next, with a follow-up post on The Juggle blog that specifically commented on Callan’s choice of shoes in the photo accompanying the profile; and now on the Law Blog, which picked up on comments that split on whether female lawyers indeed need to wear uncomfortable professional outfits in the courtroom. And as regular Ms. JD readers know, this is indeed something that consumes a great deal of time and mental anxiety…

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Dressing for success as a young (read: still in debt), pregnant lawyer

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Gen Y and the Blame Game

The New York Times’ Lisa Belkin—she who graced us with the oversimplifying phrase “opt-out”—is a good writer, and she frequently touches on subjects that I find personally compelling. This is largely because she’s one of the few mainstream media writers writing about the working life struggles that I face or will face, and which I spend a lot of time thinking about. (Why she has been cosigned to the Styles Section, rather than, say, the Business Section, and what message that sends about the valuation of issues relating to working women and men vis-à-vis their personal lives, is worth a…

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Ms. Stiletto, Meet Ms. Rubber-heel

I understand the stereotypical female shoe fetish. I understand the draw to higher arches, slimmer heels, pointier toes, shinier patent leather. In a profession where office dress is often highly regulated, a woman's shoe is where she expresses both her power and her femininity. When, Ms. Stiletto, a powerful female professional, marches into a room in a 5 inch black pointy-toed stiletto, you can almost hear the click of the heels say "I am woman, hear me roar." Ms. Stiletto, I highly admire you and your shoes, but I am not one of you. I've tried, but my feet hurt…

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Is there an issue with calling yourself an “esquire”?

Are you, like me a few days ago, unaware of the debate raging on the proper use of the title Esquire? Among the issues: can you call yourself Esquire? can you use the title outside of a legal context? can the title even apply to women? My journey into these (mostly boring questions) started when I found this conversation on Google answers about potential issues with women lawyers putting "Esquire" after their names, with the question being whether there was something inherently male about the term. The Illinois Bar Association has a Q&A by Gertrude Block explaining that Esquire was…

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Irresponsibility, according to Obama

My dad sent me a text message tonight. And here's the conversation:Dad: did you just hear Obama call you irresponsible?Me: Eh?Dad: For not getting your child health careDad: DebateDad: CnnMe: ah! no cnn, glad to hear I'm irresponsibleDad: he is just too high and almighty for me This is an especially interesting comment coming from my dad, because I have rarely heard my dad speak of his political views. We have political debates at the house among my many siblings, however he typically doesn't join in. He votes, but doesn't say who he votes for.Here's my story on my daughter's lack…

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