Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): The Continuing Conundrum of All Male Panels

I’ve been going to law-related conferences for almost 20 years. As a law student, I was usually fairly dazzled by any panelists and their expertise. However, as the years pass it has become more obvious that the speakers at legal conferences are often more disproportionately white and male than the audiences. Evidently, my experience is not unusual. A new tumblr titled “Congrats, you have an all male panel” caused a buzz in 2015. It had winning internet-humor by using a “Hoffsome stamp” to mock pictures of all male panels with a 1980s era David Hasselhoff giving a thumbs up. But it was the ring of…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): How to Measure if You are Effective

Recently, I was introduced to the work of Professor Dana Wittmer here at Colorado College. She teaches in the political science department and focuses her research on gender and politics. I’m glad that I found this before the end of my year writing about women in legislatures. Since I write these blogs based on my personal experience working as U.S. Congressional staff and lobbying for nonprofits at the Colorado General Assembly and my interviews of women legislators, I wondered if this academic research would confirm - or refute - my experiences. So, I read Professor Wittmer’s recent piece “When Are…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): An International Perspective

This month I had the opportunity to talk with a delegation of women leaders in government from 5 countries (Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia). We discussed the role of women in the legislature and political campaigns and how that affected substantive policies. International comparisons like this are always fascinating to me and take me back to my pre-law school roots as a student majoring in Russian and US Diplomatic History. Perhaps it is no surprise to many readers that some working conditions are better for women in this country - and Colorado in particular - than many Arab…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): How to Share your Love of Law

Happy Constitution Day! September 17 is Constitution Day - the date that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in 1787. This year, the Constitution is 228 years old and the document itself is still inspiring. I took my kids to see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights at the National Archives in Washington DC this summer. The importance of those founding documents on faded parchment cut through their generation-minecraft brains and they were impressed. We lawyers and law students deal with the Constitution, laws and the courts every day, but most citizens don’t. Constitution Day is…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): My Dark Bar Exam Story

Ok, a little deviation from the general topic of this blog which focuses on women in the legislative branch. This summer marks the 15-year anniversary of my bar exam (successful, thanks goodness!). Following up on Ms. JD's bar exam tips and stories this summer, I want to share my bar exam story. For those who just survived this year (or in years past), congrats! For those who are law students looking ahead, take heart. This is not to scare you, but to inspire you to trust in yourself and also "let it go" over things you can't control. (earworm alert).…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): So you want to run for office?

When I was young, I had a motto that I doodled on notebooks or wrote in yearbooks: “Peggy in 2012.” It referred to my future campaign in the first Presidential election year after I reached the Constitutional age of eligibility. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t run in 2012. While I haven’t run for office myself (yet), I have had the chance to work on campaigns in various capacities over the years: from envelope-licking volunteer on 1992 Clinton-Gore to managing a city-wide candidate for city council in 2011. Plus, I’ve learned a lot from the legislators that I’ve worked with over the…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): Q & A with Rep. Beth McCann

This month I’m including a Q&A with Colorado State Representative - and fellow Georgetown Law alumna - Beth McCann. She gives great advice about being a law student, government lawyer, legislator and District Attorney candidate. Q: What made you decide to go to law school? A: From the time I was in high school, I knew I wanted a career. It didn’t seem right to me that women would spend a lot of time getting educated and not use the education. I participated in debate among other activities and enjoyed it. My mother always said I could argue about anything!…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House: 5 tips for adding state legislation to your practice

Whether you are a law firm lawyer looking for some business development, or in-house and seeking ways to increase your value to your organization, you can add state legislation to your practice. Here are five tips for incorporating legislation monitoring and advocacy into your client service. 1. Check your state lobbying laws - First and foremost, it is important to check the laws on lobbying in your state. Your firm (or employing organization) might not want you to officially trip the threshold of “lobbying” under state law, so you need to know where that line is. For example, the Colorado…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): The Sisters Who Came Before

I majored in History before I went to law school. So, when I heard that a couple women in Colorado were compiling a interview-based history of all elected women in Colorado History I knew I had to meet them. Meg Froelich and Laura Hoeppner graciously agreed to meet with me so that I could interview them about the project and the stories of these women legislators for this month's blog. Before joining forces to write & produce this film called “Strong Sisters: Elected Women in Colorado,” Meg and Laura met in graduate school at the University of Michigan. As part…

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Peg_Perl

Ladies of the House (and Senate): What is Equity?

Women’s History Month is filled with stories of women who fought 100 years ago for equal voting rights and women who marched 50 years ago for the Equal Rights Amendment. But have women achieved equity in the US? What is equity? It’s not so simple to define or “achieve.” Patricia Arquette called for pay equity in her Oscar acceptance speech and it sparked an important discussion not only of the differences that exist between men and women, but the unequal treatment of people of color, the LGBT community, women of color and many of us who have multiple intersecting identities.…

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