2019 writers in residence
The Mental Load
Although “the mental load” is a term commonly used in reference to the household management responsibilities women carry, many female lawyers also experience a “mental load” in their practice and careers. “The Mental Load” will explore the many ways that the “Type A” personality traits commonly engrained in lawyers become a double-edged sword. This column will reflect on how being highly driven, perfectionist, and competitive lend themselves to professional achievement as an attorney, but can also lead to anxiety, procrastination, imposter syndrome, control issues, and failure to find balance. As someone who used a transition from Big Law to a solo practice to reflect on her own life and find a better balance, Ms. Bowen will use her column to help women lawyers gain perspective, make positive mindset shifts, and ultimately, be more productive, confident, and courageous in their careers and personal lives.
Going Green: Growing a Cannabis Law Practice
With the recent legalization of hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill and marijuana in several states, this Kentucky girl is going green to explore legal opportunities in the cannabis industry. Evolving laws have opened the gateway to crop insurance and bank loans for farmers seeking to capitalize on the green wave and created entrepreneurial prospects for marketing and selling CBD products. In turn, this has created a need for lawyers to assist insurers, lenders, business owners, and healthcare providers who may need guidance related to the prescription of medical marijuana or CBD oil or a defense in related lawsuits. Further, the evolution of laws relating to cannabis products has raised challenges for legislators grappling with how to measure driving impairment resulting from marijuana use, and for individuals who need representation in those matters. In short, cannabis law offers a broad spectrum of opportunities for attorneys of all practices. This blog will explore several of those opportunities and chronicle the author’s journey as she attends conferences and works with a national practice team to understand the cannabis law landscape and identify the needs for legal representation therein.
Take the Work Out of Networking
Lawyers know the value of networking and the impact it can have on our careers, but sometimes not knowing where to start, who to approach, what to say, and how to follow up prevents us from even starting. “Take the Work Out of Networking” is a monthly column that covers common networking topics and offers practical, tangible take-aways that readers can implement immediately. These tools can help readers gain confidence, get over the analysis paralysis, and break through barriers and self-imposed limitations. The aim of the column is to help readers learn about networking as a female attorney on their own terms. It will cover a variety of topics and strategies, such as defining what success looks like, creating a plan of action to achieve it, navigating mindset shifts, developing solid communication strategies, and assessing the value of business development efforts.
You Can’t Have that Much Work
This column will discuss managing relationships and time as an incoming law student. If one thing is for sure, effective time management is critical to success in law school. To assist readers on this venture, the column will offer proposed study schedules and calendar templates for law school life, including everything from how much time should be sent on reading, briefing, free time, and more. In addition, it will offer tips for navigating personal and romantic relationships while in law school. Specifically, it will suggest advice for seeking support and understanding from family members, even for those who are first-generation law school attendees.
Millennial Women (Lindsay Nichols, Melanie Lazor, and Elise Hoffer)
Millennial Women in the Millennial World: the YP Perspective in Law
It's one of the hot button issues of legal practice today: most new associates are “millennials” and many senior lawyers, especially at firms, struggle to understand the working style, priorities, and goals of millennial attorneys. There's a misconception that millennials don't want to work and complain all the time. That's simply not true! Millennials are ready to roll up our sleeves and invest in ourselves and our legal careers, but we also want our voices heard, meaningful roles in our organizations, and mentorship. In addition, many millennials value increased work/life balance over a slight bump in salary. This column will give voice to the millennial perspective through the author group of three Young Professionals from Thompson Hine: Lindsay (Labor & Employment), Melanie (Business Litigation) and Elise (Marketing). Through this discourse we hope to help bridge the inter-generational gap.
Health (s)Care is not your average health and wellness column. In fact, it’s more health care than wellness, but fear not! Each month Health (s)Care will explore a discrete, relevant topic at the intersection of healthcare and law so that health care isn’t so . . . well, scary. Readers can expect a special focus on issues impacting women and aspiring lawyers as well as expert interviews that break down more complex topics. Ultimately, Health (s)Care seeks to inform and uplift women to better understand the health care industry and to take an active role in managing their health.
The House Rules
The House Rules is intended for women in-house attorneys, or those who aim to practice in an in-house environment. From finding and engaging unconventional mentors to maintaining relationships with internal clients, in-house attorneys often have different day-to-day obstacles, perspectives, and approaches to practice as compared to our peers. While the specific aim of this column is to provide an avenue to identify certain questions, quandaries, and topics that are germane to women in-house counsel, it may also offer insights to benefit any female attorney or professional. Although many articles about female lawyers don’t focus on the experience of in-house lawyers, readers will benefit from the author’s decade of in-house experience and efforts to seek out guidance and opportunities along the way.
Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession
This column will explore the challenges of bringing blue-collar roots to the legal profession. As a first-generation lawyer raised in the rust belt, the author experienced sensitivity about her upbringing and the ways in which she perceived herself different from her more economically privileged classmates during law school and upon entering the legal profession. This column will share how the author and other women lawyer were able to overcome struggles, such as “survivor’s guilt” and “impostor syndrome,” and learned to embrace their unique identities.
Chicken or the Egg: Why Can't We Retain Our Female and Minority Lawyers?
Numerous articles and studies make the business case for diversity clear. As a result, many large corporate clients now demand diversity from the law firms they employ. Despite this, female and minority lawyers still leave law firm life in bigger numbers than their male and white counterparts. Are law firms not doing enough or is something else happening? While definitive answers may be hard to find, this column can explain why it’s author, as a female minority lawyer practicing for over ten years in both small firms and in BigLaw, has contemplated leaving and why she hasn’t left yet. For the author, it’s all about perspective and this column will help you understand what that perspective is all about.