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Jennifer Guenther

From the Desk of the Working Mom—Happy Toes

I have recently come to the realization—somewhat to my relief—that so-called “life balance” is impossible to achieve. In fact, striving for this mythical state of well-being was quite stressing me out. There are entire websites devoted to “work-life balance” or finding your “inner balance”. Each of these sites advocates finding ways to reduce your workload, to relax, and to enjoy life more. It sounds lovely in concept, like sitting under a cabana on an exotic beach somewhere, the gentle sea breeze cooling your face, while the attractive waiter who can actually pull off a pair of short shorts brings you…

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Impey Biggs

Confessions of a Non-Networker: Layoffs

My post this month does not cover the topic I planned to write about. You may remember that one of my proposed networking goals last month was to return to my law school for a two-day event. I did that in mid-February, and really enjoyed catching up with my friends who practice near the law school. It was interesting to talk about our practices and realize that "big city" law firms have many of the same issues for associates as firms in smaller cities – finding mentors, how to stay active when work is slow, developing client relationships, etc. However,…

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Mommy Law: Watch Those Corners!

“I arrived exactly on time and went inside. Within minutes, a nanny came running in as another nanny went running out. It was probably time for a shift change. I entered the house and headed to the music room. Three of the daughters came bounding in to show me their guinea pig, and I could hear the youngest daughter singing upstairs. Since the parents didn't come to greet me, I knew they were still at work. I began the piano lessons as usual.” This was my life before law school. I ran a piano studio. I taught oodles of lessons…

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You Don’t Always Get What You Want

As an older student, people always ask me: "Why did you decide to go to law school?" I explain how my skills and abilities match those required by lawyers; and the profession will allow me to help others and make a difference. That response is not untrue; just incomplete. I started law school to regain my confidence in my own merit as an individual. Contrary to lip service, society does not value homemakers’ contributions. We admire money and tangible accomplishments. After leaving a successful career for the opportunity to live abroad, I focused my energy on kids, husband, and home.…

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What Not to Do….

Law school is a roller coaster ride. The trick in embracing 1L year is jumping onboard and holding on tight to survive the ups and downs. Then 2L year rolls around, and seemingly things get easier because classes aren’t as daunting and the Socratic method no longer makes your heart beat faster at the thought of being called on. But one of the most important aspects of law school, which I personally believe is not discussed enough- is the career search. The first hurdle for many students in law school is the elusive 2l summer clerkship then hopefully results in…

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The End Is Only the Beginning

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. –Louis L’Amour Nearly three years ago, I made the cross country drive from Atlanta, Georgia to Palo Alto, California to begin my first year at Stanford Law School. Only three months prior, I had just completed my master’s program in philosophy at Emory University. At the time, most of my belongings were packed in my parents’ basement, and I had no idea where I would permanently reside once I got to California. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed. Looking back, I wonder…

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Frank Kimball

Reflections from a Headhunter & Hiring Partner: Stopping Sexual Harassment (Enough is Enough!)

It’s a familiar story. A woman associate is sexually harassed by a partner. The harassment may be subtle or grotesque, occasional or frequent, or hint at a quid pro quo. It may be fueled by martinis at midnight or take place at lunch. It may happen in the office, at a restaurant, or at a firm meeting. Between 5 and 10 percent of the 5,500 women lawyers and law students I’ve met since 1977 report they have been harassed. I believe that number understates the scope of the problem. Firms must enforce a zero-tolerance, no-exception rule against sexual harassment. The…

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Breaking the Chain to Build New Links: Informational Interviews

Note: If you are anything like me, you have never approached networking or self promotion in a systematic way. In fact, you may be terrified of it. Yet, our ability to network and self promote is essential for building a client base, building our own name, and building our careers. Each month I’m going to tackle one strategy for networking or self promotion in an effort to help all of us break the chains we’ve put around ourselves and begin building new links. If you have a topic you’d like covered, e-mail me at We’re now in the throes…

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Ashley Dawn Rutherford Esq.

Savvy Shopper-At-Law: Building Your Clerkship Wardrobe 101

So, you are a 1L and you obtained your first clerkship. It is prestigious, but it pays very little. Currently, all of your clothing consists of quirky college t-shirts and worn jeans. So how do you begin creating a work wardrobe on a budget?Savvy Shopper-At-Law is here to help! With a few core pieces, you can create two weeks worth of working wardrobe choices. Additionally, by choosing these purchases wisely, you can save hundreds of dollars and precious time in the mornings. The following pieces can be combined to create at least two weeks worth of work clothing:One skirt suitOne…

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Deal Makers and Breakers: Female Powerhouses and The Corporate Arena

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a couple of my female law school friends. These two women are highly successful students, at the top of their class, and incredibly smart, funny, and talented. In preparation for this column, I had wanted to test my suspicions on what female law students think about corporate law and the attorneys who practice it. These two women were the perfect subjects. Between discussing up-in-coming law school events and legal accounting classes, I posed this question: “What comes to mind when you think of a thriving, high-powered business lawyer?” And, without hesitation, my…

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