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Southern Ms. Part III: Networking

This week the female clerks in my building are gathering for our second "Wine on Wednesday." Wednesday was chosen because that's when the male clerks in the building hold practice for their all-male basketball league. For many years I've heard the stories about the exclusion of women from valuable athletics-based networking events. Whether it be the company softball team or the annual super-bowl pool, these always seemed like tell-tale signs of latent discrimination. I've also heard about the mani-pedi events firms organize for women to compensate, and then how these events were terminated due to IRS crackdowns. Having never been…

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The Permanent Clerk

Working with a law clerk at a federal court as an externship, I became amazed at how much work these permanent clerks actually accomplish. The permanent law clerk and her secretary essentially run the courtroom and chambers, assigning our work, going through the docket and giving the judges his cases, and even briefing him on every case.Although the law clerks and the secretaries do tend to be women, the law clerks, for the most part, are all practicing attorneys who at one point practiced in the private sector and have a degree of specialization in some area of the law...…

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Observations of a Judicial Extern

I am spending my summer working for a (female) judge. Since there is not much on the site regarding women in government jobs, I have decided to share some observations I have made over the past few weeks. There are over 30 externs working where I am situated. There are about twice as many female externs as male externs. I have several thoughts as to why this may be the case, but of course they are just my thoughts, and are not substantiated by much (or any) investigatory work on my part. It seems most (if not all) of the…

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Sabrina Ross

From Rural Nicaragua to Corporate America, Women Change Landscapes

My experience as a woman entering the legal profession is perhaps as much about history as it is about the future.In part, my entrance is shaped by my pre-existing commitment to using the law to advance equality where the nexus of race, gender, disability, and other qualities currently locates inequality, both de facto and de jure. I will start with an example of this commitment, and the view it affords: working in Nicaragua, I would often assess the results of our organization's small grants to feminist projects. One day on such an assignment, equipped with a two-minute brief on the…

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Security screening

I personally experienced the changing face of the U.S. legal profession on Capitol Hill when I attended a hearing held in a Senate office building as a member of the general public. The security detail posted at the entrance treated me like a Senator.

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