sintecho

Finding a Good Mentor Requires a Strategy

In Bend An Ear, Straighten Your Path, Ann Farmer offers tips on being a "proactive mentee." The idea is that mentorship is not something that you chance to happen upon but rather something that you actively seek out based on how they can "help you shape your career." Farmer profiles several young lawyers in her article who found successful mentoring relationships, and there was no one-size-fits-all recipe. Some women chose mentors with whom they shared similarities, some chose mentors with whom they would never have the opportunity to interact if not for the mentoring relationship. For some, the important thing…

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Is the Supreme Court Biased Against Women Lawyers?

I recently came across this study, released earlier this year by three law professors--Kaheny, Sarver, and Szmer--which concludes that "Supreme Court justices are less likely to support litigants represented by women." Their research, even after controlling for potentially biasing variables like lawyers' prior experience and clerkship background, found that "as the proportion of women attorneys on the petitioner’s side increases relative to that of the respondent, the likelihood of a justice making a pro-petitioner decision decreases. Substantively, the larger role women attorneys play in constructing arguments, the less likely they are to convince the justices to side with their client."…

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Why Do Women Dominate Public Interest?

I was poking around the Perspectives magazine articles available online, and I came across An Eye-Opening Tool for Wide-Eyed Law Students, a piece last year about the Equal Justice Works ranking of law schools by their public interest programs. I found two things interesting about the article. First, the approximately 27% of law graduates who enter public interest has remained fairly static since the 1980s. Second, women are presumed to benefit more from pressure on law schools to provide more support for public interest job hunting since women are more likely to take public interest jobs (the article cites a…

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Does Your Partner Hide Behind Your Skirts?

I’ve come to take for granted some of the skills law school gave me: A) an ear for logical arguments, B) an ability to understand terms in contracts, and C) a calm and reasoned way to articulate A and B. So natural have these things become, in fact, that my partner now expects me to deal with any glitches that come up with anything vaguely contract/law-related. I don’t mind, but, as it turns out, other people do. Why? Because they want to “deal with my husband.” We recently moved and, in the process, had a dispute with both our landlord…

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Impossible Expectations Apparently Doom Women to Unhappiness

As lawyers, we are already 3.6 times more likely to suffer from a major depressive disorder than non-lawyers with similar socio-demographic traits. As women, it now appears we are more likely to be unhappy due to our membership in that demographic as well. Recent research findings suggest that women, who reported being happier than men in the 1970s, are now less happy than men. Two research papers by Alan Krueger and Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers have sparked a flurry of speculative articles (mostly by men) on the disparity. Steven Levitt of Freakonomics fame had 4 hypotheses for the gap:1.…

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Work-Life Balance Isn’t a Woman’s Issue (or an American one)

A recent article by Cameron Ainsworth-Vincze highlighted work-life balance issues faced by Canadian firm lawyers. Debbie, with abrupt words and “language laden with cursing” alerts the interviewer that she will be working all night and that he can quote her that sometimes she hates her job. Canadian firm lawyers, it seems, are not so different from their southern counterparts (though the first-year associate standard is only 1,700 billable hours, which is modest when you look at 2,000+ hours that many big-city U.S. attorneys routinely bill). Also familiar is Debbie’s concern that she has “a lack of control over her personal…

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Are you willing to bring home the dough while your husband/partner bakes it?

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years.The New York Times had an interesting article this week about the "hostility" and difficulty many professional women now face "trying to figure out how to balance pride in their accomplishments against their perceived need to bolster the egos of the men they date." Since most firm lawyers start out with three-figure salaries, this phenomenon, assuming you buy it, would likley affect many single women lawyers trying to have a dating life in whatever time they can get away from…

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Sisters in Law

When I think about advancing the role of women in the legal profession, the women I know here in the U.S. are those that come first to mind. Sometimes I extend my attention far north into Canada. Rarely, though, do I take the time to think about how powerful a voice we--women attorneys who still have a tough professional road to hoe but at least have the undisputed right to a place on the road--might have in furthering the cause of our less fortunate sisters abroad. This article on the efforts of five women lobbying for the right to practice…

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