jenreise@gmail.com

Just in time for graduation, the ABA tightened its bar pass standard for law schools

Thousands of new lawyers celebrated their graduation this weekend and, in time-honored tradition, celebrated for approximately one day before turning to studying for the bar exam. On Friday, the ABA announced that it was tightening its accreditation standard for law schools’ bar passage rates. The new standard will require law schools to have a bar pass rate of at least 75% within two years of graduation.  Overall, this rate was 88.57% for the most recent year, but bar passage rates are highly correlated with LSAT scores. This change puts the pressure on bottom-tier law schools, i.e., those that admit the…

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robertaoroberts

Time Management Tips for Women Lawyers from Harmony Planners Creator Kellie Beach Sims, Esq.

A survey of 146 female lawyers revealed the “constant need to be the best” as the “single greatest obstacle to juggling career and family,” and that more than half of the female lawyers surveyed “reported difficulty delegating responsibility (compared with about 38 percent of the overall sample).”  But the average woman lawyer probably doesn’t need a survey to validate these facts: many of us feel stressed getting it all done in our demanding careers while also being present and showing up in our family and personal lives.  As women, we often want to “have it all” and may feel like…

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XpYmu98NtP

The Mental Load: There’s No App for Work-Life Balance…but Property Law Might Help

Whether you’re on team Sandberg or team Slaughter, you’ve probably realized by now that nobody “has it all”. Exhibit A: Michelle Obama's candid slip when discussing techniques for achieving the elusive work-life balance: “That $%#& doesn’t work all the time.” Despite the polarizing opinions on work-life balance (or work-life integration, if you prefer), there’s one thing all women have in common: we want things to be better, both collectively and individually. But with an overabundance of advice on how to get something that we've established doesn’t actually exist, it’s easy to feel like this whole dialogue is muddling into meaningless mush…

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Susan Smith Blakely

The Intersection of Motherhood and Partnership

A recent edition of in the London-based Financial Times included a very thought-provoking article that is a must read for all women lawyers and those who lead them.  The sources are both UK and US based and there is no single geographic focus. This is not just the "same old same old" you have read in the past.  Yes, the statistics will be recognizable because the percentage of women equity partners in law firms has not changed in recent history.  But there is much beyond those statistics for you to chew on and some new approaches that you may or may not agree with.…

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anbonill

Defying Gender Norms and Becoming a Better Advocate

Think back to a time when you experienced bad customer service. Perhaps the waiter was slightly rude, or an agent charged you more money than they originally stated. What did you do? Did you complain or haggle for a better deal? During my undergraduate studies, after we examined the wage gap between men and women, the class noted that men are also more likely than women to challenge things. Women are less likely to complain about bad service, are less likely to ask for raises, and are less likely to speak their concerns. This is partially because of the desire…

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stephanietheother85

More Value, Less Time: Being A Giver Does Not Mean Overextending Yourself

Last month, we discussed the importance of being a giver when networking.  A common follow-up question is how to be a giver but also not overextend yourself.  Here are some ways that you can continue to build relationships, add value, and be a giver when networking, but not stretch yourself too thin that you become overwhelmed or give up altogether. Set Realistic Goals Many times, after you’ve made the decision to invest in your professional development you want to dive in full-speed.  As with most things we approach this way, the momentum will only take us so far.  Setting goals…

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ktran227

Chicken or the Egg: The issue of retention starts with perspective.

Why can't we retain our female and minority lawyers?  Last month I told you I would share my story first.  The story of why I choose to stay, when a disproportionate number of lawyers like me choose to leave the traditional practice of law.  I am a female minority lawyer practicing in BigLaw.  I have been in practice for 12 years.  I started in a smaller firm and made my way steadily through bigger more established firms.  In my city, there are few lawyers like me practicing in the larger law firms.  There are plenty, however, that opened up their…

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XpYmu98NtP

The Mental Load: I Couldn’t Care Less About My Job

Caring drives success in any endeavor. And caring, by its nature, requires emotional investment. While some career guidance cautions that “emotional investment is normally a stigma you want to avoid in the workplace”, an authentic caring-based approach to your substantive work, your relationships with colleagues, and your personal goals can not only steer you clear of the emotional turmoil caused by acting in discord with your true instincts, but also pay off in spades. Caring helps a lawyer empathize with clients to provide meaningful insight and guidance. Caring leads to identifying and inventing deeper and more creative arguments and solutions.…

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nwilli67

How I Speak Up!

“Nicole, although your year-end review showed that you were among the top producers for the Georgia Families 360 program, we are unable to offer you a salary increase.  We hope that you will continue to advocate for the adoption assistance, foster care, and juvenile justice population as you have done this year so successfully.” Wow.  There I was, the third year in a row, not receiving the salary increase that was “guaranteed” to me when I interviewed for the position.  As an outreach care specialist, I was tasked with calling healthcare facilities, juvenile correctional facilities, and families to ensure they…

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kmiceli

The Happy Lawyer: A Year-Long Experiment

My last year of law school, I took a seminar class called “The Happy Lawyer”. The concept was simple; ten law students, one dean, and one professor read six books about happiness and discuss them over dinner throughout the school year. Full disclosure, I took this class because it was at the dean’s house (who doesn’t want to see their law school dean’s house?) and was taught by one of my favorite professors. The happiness and mindfulness aspect of the class was secondary at best.    Over the course of the year, we read six books including; Happiness: A Very…

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