Dear Are We Catching Up: This question is such an important one for women in the practice of law. While I think we have done a pretty good job over the last 10 years or so to bring attention to the need for equality, we are far from finished with this issue. Recently I came across Dylan Jackson’s “Women, Minority and LGBTQ+ Attorneys Still Struggle to Rise Within Law Firms” article which cited the 2019 Inclusion Blueprint, a collaborative study by legal diversity organizations Diversity Lab and ChIPs....read more
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Dear What’s The Trick: Planning is the key to accomplishing this goal. At the end of each week I review the next week. I look at each appointment and try to determine if there are going to be any conflicts and how I might walk the fine line to meet all my obligations including; family obligations, my client meetings, marketing events, firm administration and of course gym time. All are important priorities but some weeks, before the week even begins, I know I am in trouble. So I plan!...read more
Dear Mom to be: I took my maternity leave about four and a half years ago following the birth of my son. I was a senior associate at the time, on the partnership track. I will share here some of the things I think helped me navigate this time in my life. As I write this, I am acutely aware of the fact that there are few things in life more hotly debated than mothering – how we do it, how much of it we do, what we sacrifice in turn, and where our career fits into the picture....read more
Dear Stressed: Every day I listen to podcasts. I choose to listen to podcasts that help me understand the mechanisms of stress and the possible solutions. Of course not every person feels stress in the same way and not all solutions are cookie cutter but the most important thing I have learned to date is that we need people. We need to be able to talk to someone who will listen empathically to our issues that drive our stress. That is what we hope we can bring to Life in Law....read more
Dear LiL: In your response to Trying to Change, her question spoke to being asked to take on additional work because she does NOT have kids. The response you gave spoke to having kids and juggling work. The discrimination against employees without kids was missed. Your response should have addressed how to say no when it’s expected that those without kids have lots of time to take on work. Signed ~ Oversight
Dear Oversight: Thanks for pointing out how we could improve on our response to Trying to Change. I’d like to address it now. A child at home is certainly not the only pressure women lawyers face and one of my personal pet peeves is the mother/non-mother divide. Women, mothers or not, face unique challenges in the legal profession. Many women today have children later in their careers or not at all. Many of these women (disproportionate to their male counterparts, in my view) end up taking care of elderly parents and relatives. Many are actively involved in their communities through volunteer work and board positions. Some coach, tutor, write....read more
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