reconstructinglawschool

Dr. Pepper TEN: Light on Calories, Heavy on Sexism

Do you ever have those moments where you are sure that what you have just perceived to have happened surely must not have happened. Because, well, it couldn't possibly have happened because it was just to darn sexist. And it's 2011 for cryin' out loud. And well...surely… I call these "homey-say-what" moments. When I worked in an environment where men weren't used to thinking twice about the sexist bull honky that came out of their mouths I found that I could usually make my point clear (sir, what you're saying is offensive and unacceptable) without causing a major academic or…

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reconstructinglawschool

In the Workplace, What Men Can Learn from Women

I often find myself frustrated with the “what women can learn” genre of career help books and articles. I’m not saying we don’t have a lot to learn…we do. Being more assertive, giving ourselves credit where credit is due, and making sure that our superiors know our career goals are all skills that would generally benefit women. Here’s my problem: this genre is almost entirely based on the assumption that we should be more like men. It holds maleness as the standard for professional.  This makes sense, of course, because men have always been the standard of profession.  But what’s…

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reconstructinglawschool

Why I Chose Not to Participate in OCIs

On Campus Interviews: the holy grail of the law school job hunt. Or it’s supposed to be. Right?For every student who enters law school the “correct” path is clear. Year one: be in the top 10% of your class and find something useful, maybe even “public interest work,” during the summer. Year two: participate in On Campus Interviews (OCIs) and land a well-paying job for the following summer. 2L Summer: Get that well-paying summer associate gig to turn into an actual job offer. Year three: Cruise along, put in hours on the law review, sleep easily knowing you have a…

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reconstructinglawschool

So…My Mentor Hit On Me

When I was in my first year of law school my legal writing class assigned me a mentor. In fact, every first year law student received a mentor. Of course, both the mentors and the mentees had varying levels of interest in each other and the mentorship program had a wide range of success. My mentor, unlike most, was great! He took more of an interest in me than most other mentors seemed to take in their mentees, he returned emails within a day, and he paid for the coffee when we met at Starbucks.  And then…things got a little…

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reconstructinglawschool

What are “Women’s Issues”?

House Representative Kristi Noem recently gave a speech on the House floor about her view that the Republican party is “pro-women.” In response to recent criticism of the Republican Party, she told the House, “[M]y agenda and the Republican agenda is indeed pro-women. It is pro-woman because it is pro-small business, pro-job creator, pro-family, pro-economic growth. […] It’s pro-woman and it’s pro-man because it does exactly what we need to get our economy back on track.” Rep. Noem seems to be implying that women’s issues are just well, issues. They are the same issues that affect men, there is nothing…

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reconstructinglawschool

Must We Respect Rudeness?

The Careerist posted a blog about how rude people are more respected than polite people. Vivia Chen cites recent social science research that says, “not smiling, shouting, and generally being unpleasant and disrespectful” gets people respect. She goes on to mention that “successful rude people also know when to turn on the charm. They might treat associates, secretaries, and weaker partners like dirt, but when it comes to clients or those more powerful, they are the sweetest, most solicitous people on earth.” Pretty gross, right? Why is this? Have we just hung onto the grade school idea that if-he-calls-you-names-it-means-he-likes-you for…

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reconstructinglawschool

Law School’s Final Act of Inclusiveness

I graduated this weekend. Law school is over. It feels good. But, in true law school form, my legal education got one final jab in. This, my friends, is the instruction sheet for how to wear my academic hood during graduation. Oh wait, it's not how to wear my hood...it's how a man should wear his hood. You know, because all people who graduate from law school are men.  The instruction sheet tells me to do the following:"1. Put hood on over your head with velvet side up and with small tapered end in front."Great! I'm on board. "2. Before closing gown, loop cord…

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reconstructinglawschool

What’s a “Girl” to do?

I recently participating in a business case competition at my institution. Depending on what team you were assigned to, the challenge was to create a diversity plan for a local bank, alcohol distributor, or energy company. During the introduction meeting a business school professor gave a short talk on presentation best practices. I was buying in until it came to the close of her talk, at which point she said, "Now, five years ago I wouldn't have had to say this but I find that I do need to say it these days. Now, men, when I say 'Dress professionally'…

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reconstructinglawschool

This is What a Feminist Looks Like

I spent approximately half of my undergraduate career in a shirt that said "This is What a Feminist Looks Like". Ok, lets be honest, it was shirts...plural. I had at least four shirts and one hoody that announced that I was a feminist. I may or may not still have two of them. I spent the other half of undergrad in shirts with various plays on the word vagina, but that's another story. I've interned at the Feminist Majority Foundation, volunteered with HRC, been a fundraiser for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and run a college women's center... and…

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reconstructinglawschool

I was crazy once

This semester, I'm taking a gender and the law class from a brilliant feminist professor. On the first day I immediately thought, "Where have you been for the last 2.5 years!?" During the first hour of class she stated that, "Privilege is never having to think about whether you deserve to be at the top." Ahh, suddenly I was breathing familiar air.Even in my final semester of law school, so much of my legal education still feels foreign. I've accepted that I will never get used to this level of privilege. I will never get used to people in the…

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