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jennyrpatten

Problems to Solve, or Tensions to Manage?

A few days ago, I ran into a colleague that I hadn’t seen in a few weeks at our company café. As we caught up while standing in line to order our lunches, he commented on the fact that I carry two phones with me and asked why. I explained that I try to keep my personal and work communications separate, and this allows me to “put away” my work texts and emails when I’m spending time with my kids by physically placing my work phone in my purse for a few hours. I admitted that while this tactic had…

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ktran227

Pay and Power Disparities and the Retention of Female Lawyers

Women lawyers leaving big or established firms are not always leaving law firm life.  Many are leaving to start solo or small law firms.  The reason may come down to the numbers.  According to the December 2018 report by Major Lindsey & Africa, male partners earn 53 percent more than female partners at top U.S. law firms. The reasons for this disparity include originations and billing rate discrepancies.  Add to that the issue that the amount of originations is often a key factor in making equity partner versus non-equity partner at many law firms.  Equity partnership means more voting power and…

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XpYmu98NtP

The Mental Load: Unlock the Golden Handcuffs

Feeling trapped in a job, career, or any other aspect of your life can be crippling. For a handful of years, I felt trapped in the BigLaw life. We all know the “golden handcuffs” analogy, but viewing things now “from the other side”, I’m here to tell you that you are not imprisoned. Unless you truly are in prison, you have a choice every morning when you wake up about what you’re going to do that day. No really, you do! You’ve heard the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Whatever type of…

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Caambridge

Managing the Costs of Law School

The costs associated with seeking higher education can be astronomical. At this point in time, debt is an issue that plagues many students and their families. As the nation becomes more sensitive to the negative implications associated with student debt, it is essential to seek ways to keep the costs of receiving an education low. 1. Make sure you apply to law school early The majority if not all law schools have rolling admission. Rolling admissions means the law school evaluates applications as they are received and continue to evaluate applications until the seats are filled for the incoming class.…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - Finding Purpose and Giving Back

As I continue to move forward in my career and slowly chip away at my student debt, I feel more compelled to pay it forward.  I often wonder whether us “Straddlers” and first generation lawyers have a greater propensity to engage in volunteer work, perhaps as a way to reconcile the duality of gratitude (for how far we have come) and guilt (for what we may have left behind).    I attended a pro bono training several years ago, sponsored by an area bar association.  At the time, I had been feeling a little uninspired by the daily grind of my work in healthcare…

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Millennial Women

What’s in a number?: Navigating different personality types at work

Has anyone else gotten swept up in the personality test craze lately? Here, over the last six months, it seems like every leadership or team-building program we’ve been to has involved some discussion of the Enneagram test, 16 Personalities or the Myers-Briggs, just to name a few. As an aside, Melanie, Elise and I all took the Enneagram test this past winter. (Fun fact, we’re all 9’s!) These tests can be helpful in a variety of ways. Some identify your “default” tendencies—the ways you process information or what motivates you to action. Some help explain how you relate to others.…

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XpYmu98NtP

The Mental Load: Are You Plagued by Perfectionism?

Perfectionism seems to be the target of numerous attacks lately. Psychology-slanted articles describe it as an affliction that is “a very bad thing” – causing crippling fear of failure, procrastination, unrealistic standards, and low self-esteem. Business coaches preach the gospel of “launch before perfection”, and a recent article in Entrepreneur magazine (incidentally, authored by a former law firm associate), goes so far as to postulate that “Perfectionism is THE [emphasis added] biggest obstacle to productivity” and “If you won't send something until it is perfect, you’re not pulling the trigger quickly enough.” Call me sick if you want, but I…

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stephanietheother85

Three Quick Ways to Make Networking Part of Your Routine

If you've been following along, we've talked about how to be a giver when networking, how to not overextend yourself while being a giver, and how to leverage being a panelist - this month I want to touch on how to fit all this networking into your already busy schedule. You’ve heard it hundreds of times: You need to network! If you want to build your client base, get referrals, establish your brand and be a better lawyer, networking is required. But when you’re already busting your tail to bill 1,800 (or more) hours per year, and striving to be involved in…

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ktran227

The Limiting Effect of Biology on a Legal Career

In private practice a lawyer’s reputation is built on the number of times they have done something: the number of times they have gone to trial, successfully settled a case, argued in a specific court, or argued before a certain judge.  Getting as many opportunities as you can early in your career shapes the opportunities and the clients you will have in your later years.  But for some female lawyers, this requirement does not coincide well with their own biology – the choice to have children and to prioritize the needs of their family.  While this is not true for all,…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Embracing Your Blue-Collar Roots and Overcoming Self-Doubt

For this month's post, I wanted to write an article about "impostor syndrome."  While scrolling through LinkedIn, I noticed a recent post referencing "imposter syndrome."  Cue feelings of self-doubt.  So I quickly did a Google search of "impostor or imposter" and discovered that both versions are acceptable.  Nevertheless, my inner critic started questioning whether I should do more research (out of fear of making an egregious grammatical error) or, just select one way to spell it, be consistent throughout the post, and move on with my life.  Oh the irony!  By now, you're likely familiar with impostor syndrome and its prevalence in the legal profession.  In the 1970s, two clinical psychologist coined the phrase “impostor phenomenon” to describe…

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