For Women in Law By Women in Law

The format of our Blog is unique. It was created as a place to ask questions and to read real-life stories to learn and grow from. Our advisors have a wonderful mix of experience and are eager to share their insights on the issues women in the profession face and the topics many do not feel comfortable broaching. Step into our Blog and learn how to enhance your career and personal – and professional – lives.

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Please note that your question will not be posted or answered directly. Each question or concern will be considered and addressed topically in a Blog post format.

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So go on, ask us a question

Dear LiL: I am a young female lawyer and feel disrespected by assistants who treat the male lawyers differently. What can I do? Signed ~ Disrespected

Dear Disrespected: I raised a similar issue with male colleagues early on in my career and was told it was “in my head” and that “everyone knows that women are harder to work with.” This response, to put it colloquially, SUCKED! It both suggested that my judgment was poor and was not constructive. Instead, consider the following:

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Dear LiL – How do you decide on the best form of childcare after returning from maternity leave? Signed ~ Undecided

Dear Undecided: I do not think there is a right or wrong answer here, and largely it will depend on your personal circumstances. I am happy to discuss my personal experience though. I am the proud mother of two young boys. After my mat leave with my first born ended, I was able to use my advocacy skills to convince my mom she should commute from the Sunshine Coast (Powell River) on a weekly basis to spend more time with her grandson. I am so incredibly thankful she agreed and I will forever be indebted to her. What is better than having your own blood look after your own child? It gave me piece of mind that when I went to work, the only stress I had, related to my work life. I had absolutely no stress about my young…

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Dear LiL – I feel like I am being judged by my bosses/co-workers when I must leave work early, or arrive late, in order to facilitate childcare / child activities. Signed ~ Judged

Dear Judged – I get it.  I have young kids at home who are involved in many afterschool activities.  It can be a real struggle to balance professional obligations with these family obligations. Before having kids, I took long lunches or worked out in the middle of the day and then returned to work and stayed until after 7 p.m.  I didn’t feel the pressure to get home to start my “second shift”. Now, I routinely come into the office late after dropping my kids off at school or rush out of the office to take one of my kids to an after-school activity.  Over time, I have learned not to be apologetic for my schedule.  I don’t hide the fact that I have kids at home.  I have obligations to my family and to my clients and colleagues.  I…

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Dear LiL: What if I don’t want to go back to the office after COVID-19? Signed ~ Happy at Home

Dear Happy at Home: I love this question! It is so relevant to each of us working remotely and feeling guilty about how much we enjoy working without a commute and all the distractions of the office. It also follows my reading an excellent article in the NY Times on this very issue. In my view, this ask of your law firm is a balancing act. After COVID-19 I expect law firms and other employers will be more open to such a request as long as you can show how this will benefit you and your relationship with your clients and other members of the firm. For example, if you can show how this arrangement will improve productivity (imagine the extra time you have to work when not travelling to and from the office) and save the travel costs and…

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Dear LiL: Do you ever get to a place of professional satisfaction or will I always be chasing something just out of reach?

Dear What’s it All About: This is a question that most of us ask ourselves daily, am I here yet? As I get older I realize the only place I can live in is the present and each day I have to find a way to like where I am at. This doesn’t mean I don’t plan for the future or take lessons from the past it simply means I need to accept where I am at today otherwise I will never be satisfied.

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