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Lawyers Club of San Diego is a specialty bar association committed to advancing the status of women in the law and society. We use this space to share articles written about Lawyers Club events and programs and items of interest to our members which are relevant to our mission. The opinions outlined in content published on the Lawyers Club of San Diego blog are those of the authors and not of Lawyers Club. All members are encouraged to participate respectfully in discussions regarding the topics posted on the blog. Guest writers are welcome. Guidelines for writers may be found on the Leadership Resources page.

 

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Perspectives from the Periphery of Family Law: "The Magic Numbers I Wish I’d Known as I Started My Own Firm"

Posted By Anna Howard, Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Magic Numbers I Wish I’d Known as I Started My Own Firm

            I started my own law firm largely because no firm was doing the types of law I wanted to practice: What I’ve come to call periphery family law and estate planning, excluding probate. Those specific interest areas spurred my curiosity about setting out on my own, but what cemented the idea was the support and encouragement of friends and mentors. One said quite plainly, “You will never regret working hard to put profits directly into your own pocket,” and she was absolutely right.

            These mentors gave me check lists and must-dos that they found from other solo practitioners who had gone before them. I looked over their lists, ignored the items that were cost-prohibitive (like hiring a full-time secretary), and got underway. I dove in based on another gem of a tip, “Get busy finding clients and doing the work, set up your systems later or you’ll never end-up taking your first case.” 

            Now in year three and with more than one hundred cases under my belt, I have been approached by newer lawyers asking me for tips. This is still a learning process and the chief piece of advice I give is to make sure you have mentors who will answer your questions and lend you their keen insight. My other chief recommendation? Know your numbers.

            80/20. This is the proportion of time you will want to allocate between working on client matters and growing your business. I heard it broken down like this:  Mondays are for working on internal-systems and administrative tasks to keep your firm organized; Tuesdays through Thursdays are devoted to client matters; Fridays are for marketing to find new leads.

            6 months. This is the length of time it took me stop using savings to support myself. I wasted considerable time mapping out monthly goals and what minimum payments I needed to stay out of the red, but back then I had no idea what my case load was going to look like. While it was important to know exactly how much I needed to earn each month to keep the lights on, I should have been more patient with myself. Give yourself six months to see where the tide takes you, and map your yearly goals and future projections only after you have done at least half-a-year of work.

            1/6s. Six slices to a pie-chart is an easy visual. This pie-in-the-sky is what I mentally picture when I am considering spending money on a form of advertising. It helps put my marketing budget (or in the beginning, my credit card charges) in some semblance of order. Many of the networking events I attended crammed social-media down my throat. I felt panicky about not posting on facebook at a high-traffic times or not blogging on Avvo. Thankfully, I calmed down and got real. We are in a referral-driven industry, and only some of lawyers’ leads are generated from social media. Luckily, word of mouth costs nothing but elbow grease and a steadfast dedication to your professional reputation. 

            Here is my pie-slice marketing budget: 1/6 on announcements to family and friends–I chose the post-card route, other friends kicked-off their solo practice with a ribbon cutting. 1/6 on online-presence and social media. 1/6 on traditional ads such as yellow pages, with and understanding that the return is low. 1/6 on bar associations and MCLEs. 1/6 on complimentary industry groups like financial advisor lunches and meetings of CPAs.  Finally, the last 1/6th of my marketing budget is devoted to a structured weekly, category-exclusive, business referral group (these include Rotary, Kiwanas, Lions, BNI, Le Tip, TEAM, and some Chamber of Commerce small-groups). Spending too much money or time in any one slice is not healthy for the overall stability of my firm.

            1 hour. I religiously devote one hour in the morning to working out or at least taking a walk around my neighborhood every morning. I also devote one hour before I go to sleep to not check my email or do anything work related. This sounds intuitive, and these precious personal hours are not easy to carve out as a solo. I’ve learned that I do a better job helping my clients if I am refreshed and alert when I am working on a case. 

            I would love to know what magic numbers help guide other veteran solo practitioners out there! Please share your tips and suggestions for other topics below!

This blog post was authored by Anna Howard. Anna Howard, improving the lives of Californian families, one well-crafted legal document at a time.

 

Tags:  LCB  Perspectives from the Periphery of Family Law  solo budget  solo firm  solo numbers  solo practice  solo time management  solo tips 

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Is Pay Secrecy the Enemy?

Posted By Anonymous , Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Is Pay Secrecy the Enemy?

 

Equal pay for women has been a hot topic recently. Equal Pay Day is marked annually (recently in April) and marks how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. The U.S. women’s soccer team made news by filing a wage discrimination lawsuit against U.S. soccer (addressed in a wonderful LCB entry by Daphne Delvaux). Because this is an election year, both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have raised this issue of wage disparity more often. Ivanka Trump even discussed equal pay for women during her speech at the Republican National Convention. The State of California addressed this issue by passing the Fair Pay Act going into effect on January 1, 2016. This law strengthened existing laws by requiring men and women to be paid equally for “substantially similar” work.

 

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that female attorneys at Farmers Insurance filed a class action lawsuit because they were getting paid significantly less than their male counterparts. One female attorney learned a male co-worker was making $185,000 while she was earning $99,000. This was true even though they had the same position and he earned his law license a year later. After facing some retaliation for complaining, this attorney quit and hired San Francisco attorney Lori Andrus to represent her in a lawsuit. Eventually a class action suit was brought on behalf of 300 Farmer’s attorneys with nearly 200 of them current employees.

 

It was learned the greatest disparity at Farmer’s Insurance occurred at higher pay levels where women were much more likely to be in a lower salary grade. This was true regardless of their bar date. Men were being promoted at higher rates “It’s not that women were being demoted,” Andrus said. “But a man would get groomed and promoted. Basically, there is male favoritism, which is probably unintentional. It’s a vestige of the good old boy network.” This matter has settled for $4,000,000. As part of the settlement, Farmers agreed to some reforms. These included increasing the number of women attorneys in its higher salary grades. The settlement also requires Farmer’s to reform its policies, including increasing the number of women attorneys in its higher salary grades.

 

The situation at Farmer’s is far from a unique one. Law firms, corporate offices, and government agencies across California operate in the same manner. These issues are usually swept under the rug or go undiscovered because of pay secrecy policies. There is also a general understanding that employees should not discuss salary with their colleagues. Those with a higher salary are likely aware of it and are going to be less willing to share the information publicly. Legally, employers cannot prevent their employees from discussing salary information. However, this could lead to additional retaliation (as in the Farmer’s case above) if the wage discrepancy issue is then raised with the employer.

 

Leave your opinion in the comments. I’d love to hear what others have to say. Is full disclosure of salary information the answer to pay discrimination? Should salary information be shared among co-workers? 

Tags:  class action  equal pay  Farmer’s Insurance lawsuit  LCB  off the beaten partner track  pay discrimination  pay secrecy  salary retaliation  U.S. Women's Soccer  wage discrepancy 

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Off the Beaten Partner Track: "Can We Have It All?"

Posted By Jillian Fairchild, Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Can We Have It All?

The question of whether work/life balance is possible is a constant one. Anne-Marie Slaughter famously determined that the answer was “no” in her article titled Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” Since the birth of my own daughter, I have been wondering more and more - is it possible to have a full-time career, children/family, and keep your sanity?

 

Women everywhere are fighting to balance work lives with home life. My own struggle has been made more difficult by the fact that I recently joined a very busy litigation defense firm. My hours have gotten longer and I am not always home by the time my daughter is asleep. On those days, my time with her is limited to the hour I see her in the morning before I drop her off at daycare. When I have to go out of town, I am frequently gone before she gets up and do not get home until after she is asleep.

 

This dilemma is not limited to women. I see some of my male colleagues also struggle for balance. My own husband faced similar issues. He is a chef who worked for 10 years before being promoted to executive chef. What he quickly learned is that his new position required working 6-7 days and 70-80 hours a week, all evenings, weekends, and holidays. Once our daughter was born, he felt he was missing everything at home. He eventually refused to work in restaurants and hotels and is now a chef in a corporate office. He works dream hours (6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) and is home in the evenings and weekends to see his family. 

 

Of course, consideration must be given to the fact that the “all” is different for everyone. Ms. Slaughter referred to having children and a high-powered career. Like her, some strive to be at the top of their profession. Others simply strive to pay their bills, but their real goal is to make time for the PTA. My husband decided that his “all” was time at home and his family was more important than the long hours that came with a more prestigious chef position.

 

It seems as though it is important to determine what your “all” is. Every person has to look at their life and determine what is most important to them. Is it spending time with your kids? Having a dream job/career? There are also financial considerations impacting these decisions, including daycare and student loan debt. The “all” is a deeply personal decision that is different for everyone and will likely change over time. 

This blog post was authored by Jillian Fairchild

 

Tags:  Ann-Marie Slaughter  having it all  LCB  off the beaten partner track  work-life balance 

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Off the Beaten Partner Track: "Building Confidence Through Posture"

Posted By Jillian Fairchild, Monday, August 1, 2016
Building Confidence Through Posture

Taking control of your body language is not just about posing in a powerful way. It’s about the fact that we pose in a powerless way much more often than we think – and we need to change that.

 

               -Amy Cuddy

 

We can all use a power boost from time to time and attorneys are no different. We all know that when we feel more confident, it shows. We have a spring in our step. We stand up a little taller and laugh a little louder. But what if we can create this feeling just by improving our posture?

 

There is research that shows that expansive posture can affect not only how others perceive us, but also how we feel about ourselves. If you haven’t watched the TED Talk by Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy on youtube.com, it is definitely worth checking out

 

I also recently finished Ms. Cuddy’s book “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” which expands on this same topic. This book explains how your posture can be used to increase personal power. Nonverbal expressions of power are so hardwired that we instinctively throw our arms up in an open V when we win a race. This is true regardless of cultural background, gender, or whether we have seen anyone else do this. Because we naturally expand our bodies when we feel powerful, do we also naturally feel powerful when we expand our bodies? The answer is yes!

 

Standing in a “Wonder Woman” position or power posing for two minutes can alter our brain chemistry. The altered chemistry causes a hormonal shift that decreases anxiety and improves the ability to deal with stress. This affects the way you do your job and how you interact with other people. This can be especially helpful when you have a big event coming up, such as a job interview or an important deposition/court hearing.

 

The way we bend over to look at our smart phones and our small devices is also affecting our posture and, in turn, our personal power. This is obvious when we think about it, i.e., hunching down to look at a smart phone screen creates an inward stance as opposed to a more powerful expansive stance. This can be overcome by taking a few minutes to set up your work station to elevate your chair just enough so that you won’t be looking downward for extended periods of time. It is also helpful to avoid hunching over small screens for too long. It is important to put the devices away and expand our bodies as often as possible.

 

 

I have been using the power pose and have been trying to improve my own posture. I recently started working at a new firm. The strategy came at a pivotal time in my own life since day to day confidence can be a struggle in a new position. I have found that using a power pose for two minutes in the morning can lessen my anxiety and improve my overall outlook during the day. I am also more cognizant of my posture throughout the day. My brain feels less clouded and I am able to interact with people more effectively. I am now encouraging others to take time out of their day to check their posture and use it to their advantage. I would love to hear from anyone who has tried this to hear how it is going! 

 
This blog post was authored by Jillian Fairchild 

Tags:  Amy Cuddy  confidence  LCB  off the beaten partner track  posture  power pose  Wonder Woman pose 

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Chasing the Last Wave

Posted By Molly Tami, Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The concept of “choice” runs deep throughout the three waves of feminism. During the first wave (late 19th to early 20th centuries), women fought for the legal right to make social, political and economic choices that critically affected their lives. Hard to believe that women in this country could not even vote until 1920!   Second wave feminism (1960’s continuing in the 1990’s) saw women exercising choice to work outside the home and in fields traditionally the province of men. The fight for a woman’s “right to choose” and control her reproductive rights and health also dominated during the second wave. (Women continue to battle today to preserve those hard-earned choices.)     

 

During the period of third wave feminism, (early 90’s to present), the rhetoric of “choice” arose in another context as women (predominantly professional women) struggled to deal with the “work/family conflict.” Women discovered it was not easy to have it all. The resulting “mommy wars” pitted women against each other, as conflict arose between women who chose to be homemakers versus those who chose to pursue careers. You may remember the controversy around Hillary’s statement that “I suppose I could have stayed home, baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided was to fulfill my profession.” This conflict continues to threaten feminist coalitions. (And it glosses over the fact that most women, because of financial realities, lack the choice between working and staying home to raise a family--a larger topic for another day.)        

 

Many have tried to unpack the notion of “choice” when it comes to women making decisions that affect their advancement in the legal profession.  We’ve all heard stories about women “choosing” to leave their firm or stepping off the fast track because of the pull of home/kids or because they feel too stressed out to do it all.   Professor Joan Williams and her colleagues at the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings recently published an extensive report entitled ’Opt Out’ or Pushed Out? How the Press Covers Work/Family Conflict.”  In that report, the authors analyze the “opt out” story and tell “the untold story of why women leave the workforce.” While the stories in the press pinpoint the pull of family life as the main reason women choose to quit or opt-out, Williams cites a recent study showing that 86% of women cite workplace “pushes” such as inflexible jobs. The report’s overriding conclusion?  Women quit because they encounter “maternal wall bias”- gender bias triggered by motherhood.  Such women are not freely opting out- they are being pushed out by family responsibilities discrimination.

 

Williams’ report highlights that the press invariably focuses on women after they leave the workforce and before they are divorced (in a country with a 50% divorce rate). I recently talked with a lawyer facing divorce after decades of marriage to a successful high-earning professional. She had always remained involved in her profession, but had foregone major career opportunities to support her husband in his career and serve as the primary caregiver for their children. Although she had a job at the time of the divorce proceedings, she asked for partial income equalization (i.e., spousal support) to retain her financial security. Her husband conceded that she supported him in his career and cared for their kids, but he claimed that she made the “choice” not to pursue more lucrative opportunities during their marriage. So in other words, it’s her own fault that she will be less financially secure than he after the divorce because of her “choices.”  I shared in her outrage at that assertion.     

 

So what’s the takeaway here? I say we quit talking about women making the “choice” to get off track or opt-out completely. We need to reject using the “choice” rhetoric to explain or validate (to ourselves and others) the hard decisions we make for the benefit of our families but to the detriment of our careers and economic security. When it comes to having “free choice” around career advancement, we are definitely still “chasing the last wave.” Let’s resolve to catch it rather than drown in it.      

This blog post was authored by Molly Tami



Tags:  career  choice  discrimination  feminism  feminist  gender  last wave  LCB  legal profession  opt-out 

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Perfection in the Imperfection: "Self-Compassion"

Posted By Siobhan Strott, Monday, July 25, 2016
Self-Compassion

I have been feeling it lately. The continuous inner dialogue that, usually a low hum, has reached a deafening scream. You know the feeling. Constantly deciding what gets your attention when a million things are vying for it. Some days/weeks/months, I feel like I’ve got this working mom gig handled. Other times, when every aspect of my life seems to demand my immediate attention, I feel like I’m dropping all of the balls at once.

Before becoming a mother, I poured my energy into my education and later my career. My source of pride was in getting good grades in school and positive reviews at work. Now having a husband and two young children who also deserve the best of me, it’s been a bit of a juggling act to maintain all the areas of my life with that same, limited amount of energy. 

I know you have heard it before: balance. But what does it mean? What do you do when you are preparing for trial, your husband is traveling, and you have a sick child?  It means you do your best with the resources you have. Sometimes work may get neglected and sometimes your family may feel neglected because the truth of it is, you can’t be everything to everyone at the same time.

I have been beating myself up lately. I haven’t made any big mistakes, I just feel like my overall performance has been lacking. I’m either at the office late or taking work home while my kids watch a little too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, or I’m leaving early to run to this pediatrician appointment or that school show while I have emails piling up and phone calls not returned.

I recently saw an article in The Atlantic titled, Why Self-Compassion Works Better Than Self-Esteemby Olga Khazan. The author of the article interviews Kristin Neff, a psychology professor at the University of Texas and author of the book, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. In the interview, Ms. Neff discusses the pitfalls of focusing on self-esteem, most notably, that to build our own self-esteem, it comes at the cost of putting others down. Instead, she advises, “treating yourself with the same kind of kindness, care, compassion, as you would treat those you care about – your good friends, your loved ones.”

Since reading the article, I have been keeping the notion of self-compassion at the forefront of my inner dialogue. Now that doesn’t mean I give myself a pass for poor work. To me, it means I acknowledge the current situation for exactly what it is and sincerely examine my role, without judgment. 


The thing about life is, it’s messy and imperfect and we are all imperfect humans (as much as we try to deny it). Imperfection has been a difficult lesson for me to internalize and self-compassion is a fairly new concept for me. Going forward, I plan to dig deeper into my definition of self-compassion and I urge you to do the same.  After all, we are all imperfect humans trying to get through this life as best we can. Maybe self-compassion can turn into compassion for each other.

This blog was authored by Siobhan Strott


Tags:  balance  inner strength  insecurity  LCB  perfection in the imperfection  self compassion  self esteem  working mom 

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Guest Blog: "Consider the numbers, but let the stories move you"

Posted By Angelica Sciencio, Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, July 19, 2016
I have always strolled peacefully at the intersection of white and black, foreign and homegrown, poor and prosperous. I have heard about many injustices but experienced few.  So like you, I usually scroll through my news feed glancing over lives lost, vocalized racism, masked xenophobia and just plain bigotry. I usually feel sad but somewhat detached from that reality, so I shrug and move on to the puppy videos. But not today.

Today, I cried. I saw the video of Philando Castile bleeding in front of his girlfriend, a child, a cop, and a camera phone. I read about the protests, police officers getting shot and I felt extreme sadness. But what took me over the edge to tears were the excusatory comments from my “friended”, the news headlines, the opportunistic political advances and above all, my own inaction.

I thought about posting #blacklivesmatter on my feed, but I wondered if people would think I was playing victim. You see, I am a foreign-born-woman-of-mixed-race.  My black father was a policeman, who was murdered by a white guy.

Despite that drama, I have always lived in this perpetual middle of the road that has shielded me from extremes. I am black enough to have been made fun of for my hair and to prevent closet-racist friends from using slurs in my presence, but not too black to be stopped and frisked for no reason, to be thrown in jail for minor violations or to be shot in my car. I am foreign enough to have worked long hours at various undesirable jobs for minimum wage and will probably forever mess up my prepositions, but I am not too foreign to make people anxious when I board a plane or to be called a terrorist because of the way I dress or the language I speak. I am poor enough to get my yoga classes on Groupon and to buy dog food on sale, but not too poor to be chastised for using government assistance to feed myself and my family.  I am womanly enough to have been called “doll” and “love” by former male bosses, to have been told to smile more times then I can count, but not a woman who was prevented from getting an education and trying to succeed in a male-dominated profession. And thank heavens I am straight for that I have always been allowed to love and marry (and subsequently divorce) whoever I damned pleased. Don’t get me wrong: it hasn’t been easy, but it has been possible.

My point is: I am part of pretty much every minority group out there, and I don’t even understand what they go through. But I try. When (sometimes unwillingly) I enter into discrimination discussions with more privileged, sheltered friends, I feel the need to formulate arguments based on statistics, logical reasoning and contradictions by the other side. But maybe we shouldn’t have to bring up the numbers to convince. Perhaps, we should just listen and give the other side the benefit of the doubt. 

If you have been blessed with opportunities to succeed, and are tempted to believe that everyone in the world has had the same, do yourself a favor lest you sound like a fool: consider the historical oppression of certain people, the widespread institutional discrimination of certain groups and most importantly, listen to the stories. Then, concoct and implement your own moral affirmative action: give those who have traditionally had less (money, opportunities, freedom, respect, rights) just a little extra love and support.  If we shoot for equity, not equality, we might not need hashtags to shine a light on systemic racism and other inequities. For now, however, #blacklivesmatter, #equalpay, #reproductiverights, #stopbullying, #loveislove. 


This post was authored by Angelica Sciencio, an Immigration Attorney at Law Office of Angelica Sciencio and co-chair of the Diverse Women’s Committee. 

 

Tags:  advocacy  discrimination  diverse women's committee  diversity  guest blogger  LCB  race  social media 

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Trial by Fire: "What's the issue, hun?"

Posted By Mallory Holt, Monday, July 18, 2016
Updated: Monday, July 18, 2016

 

"What's the issue, hun?"

It goes without saying that first year associates often find themselves in situations they are unsure how to handle. Some are expected, like the hesitation that comes with meeting and conferring at your first deposition. Others are not, such as finding yourself off balance because you lack the proper response—or any response at all—to an older (and presumably wiser) attorney’s disrespectful commentary. When I have encountered these scenarios, the disparity in years of practice between us complicates the situation and my ability to address the conduct.

 

During a recent phone call to opposing counsel I was repeatedly and exclusively addressed as “hun.” Having never been an “I am woman, hear me roar” type of gal, I was taken aback both by the fact that someone was addressing me in such a disrespectful manner and that it offended me as much as it did. Needless to say, I could not think of the appropriate response during that phone call.

 

To help develop an approach for addressing similar situations in the future, I reached out to strong female attorneys who have mentored me in the past. I sought their advice on whether these issues are worth addressing and, if so, how to go about it. Their guidance yielded the following considerations:

 

  • These scenarios should be addressed professionally, remembering that our legal community is very small. Do not make a scene, reprimand them in public, or become overly confrontational. Politely tell them they can address you by your last name, and similarly, never address opposing counsel by their first name unless invited to do so.
  • Keep your client’s best interest in mind at all times. Will correcting the situation put you at ease so that you can more effectively represent your client? Or, will confronting the issue distract you from the task at hand? Choose the course of conduct that will serve to advance your efforts in the case.
  • Recognize that the comment may be an attempt to bully, rather than a truly sexist remark. In an effort to assert dominance or to control a situation, disrespectful remarks may be made based on sex, age, experience, or appearance. If opposing counsel is trying to get under your skin and throw you off your game, confronting the issue may validate their efforts and encourage continued remarks.
  • There is no categorical “strong” response. Commitment to effective representation is the “strong” response. This may come in the form of addressing the remark or allowing it to roll off your back, unacknowledged. 

 

While the “appropriate” response will be a personal, case-by-case determination, I feel prepared to more confidently confront these circumstances with these tips to guide my way.


This blog post was authored by Mallory Holt

Tags:  associate  disrespect  feminism  feminist  lawyer  LCB  professionalism  trial by fire  young attorney 

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Off the Beaten Partner Track

Posted By Jillian Fairchild, Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, July 13, 2016

It’s no secret that there are significantly fewer female partners in law firms than their male counterparts. According to the American Bar Association, women make up approximately 50% of law school enrollment and more than half of the J.D.s that are eventually awarded. When women start out as associates they make up about 44.7% of the attorneys in private practice. However, women only make up 21.5% of the partners and 18% of the equity partners in law firms.

 

Staying on the partner track becomes infinitely more difficult when there aren’t very many role models to look to as examples. This is especially true when you plan on having children. At my last two law firms, there were two women partners and only one of them had children. I have worked at law firms where no one in a management position had children at all. When there are so few women in leadership roles at law firms, it is difficult to picture yourself successfully rising to that level. When I started at my current firm, I made sure that there were several women at the firm in general and women in partnership roles.

 

I have also encountered circumstances where some women associates take a backseat after having children. When I asked why this was the case, I was told that I could have this too if I wanted to make less money and go on the “mommy track”. Just referring to this choice as the “mommy track” was offensive to me. These women associates are frequently putting in the same time and effort. This is especially true when their cases have out-of-town appearances and pending trial dates.

 

Women should not have to decide between the “mommy track” and the partnership track. Men also have children, but no one ever asks them if they want to go on the “daddy track”. It is expected that if men have children that they will continue along the partner track after the baby is born. Some measure of flexibility in work hours would also be helpful. We are lucky enough to work in a profession in which work can be done after hours and from home. Women (and all) attorneys should be able to take advantage of this.

 

This would be very clear if there were more women in positions of authority at law firms. The confidence of women in their ability to reach that level would grow. Women attorneys would have someone to look toward as an example. Overall, and perhaps most importantly, there would be more confidence in the legal community that women can succeed and thrive in leadership positions

This blog post was authored by Jillian Fairchild

Tags:  LCB  motherhood  off the beaten partner track  partner track  partners  partnership  partnership diversity  women dropping out 

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Student's Corner: "Networking 101: Teamwork"

Posted By Courtney Strange, Monday, July 11, 2016
Updated: Monday, July 11, 2016

Networking 101: Teamwork

Unfamiliar. Uncomfortable. Unnerving. Three words law students often use to describe “networking.” Overcoming those hurdles requires time, a rather limited resource. Luckily, Lawyers Club is intentionally structured to guide attorneys and law students over and around hurdles such as these, that inhibit the advancement of women in law and society. Personally, I have learned that taking full advantage of being a Lawyers Club member requires teamwork. In fact, it has been clear to me from day one that each attorney or judge I interact with remembers being in my shoes. That familiarity seems to lead Lawyers Club members to do what they can to help students like me achieve my individual goals.

 

I wasn’t even a law student when I found myself standing alone in the corner of the lobby outside the ballroom at the U.S. Grant, awaiting the start of the Equal Pay Day luncheon. There, I met a recent law grad holding her brand new baby girl. We bonded over our mutual awkward feelings—I wasn’t even completely sure I was allowed to be at this event. But, we both had enough courage to show up, Lawyers Club welcomed us with open arms, and we fell right into place at our respective stages in the journey to becoming the lawyer we each want to be.

 

This woman, (and each woman and man I met in this organization since that first luncheon), has become part of my “team,” whether they realize it or not. I am constantly blown away with the amazing opportunities I have been offered, and how close I am to realizing a decade-long dream. I look forward to the day when I can celebrate with my “team” and share stories about how each individual played a key role in my success. I also very much enjoy sharing my experience with my fellow classmates. For example, I recently introduced a new friend and classmate to “members of my team” at the Red, White, and Brew. He is a charming individual who came up to me before class and said, “I need to network. I hear you’re the person to talk to.” He mingled with attendees as easily as I knew he would, but being at his first networking event, he was incredibly grateful to have me and another friend as a networking team as we moved about the room. Hurdles leaped, together.

 

So, thanks, team! Law students: Go find your “team.” All: Got a story about your “team?”


This blog post was authored by Courtney Strange


Tags:  law student  LCB  networking  student's corner  team 

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2/13/2020
Women of Color Reception-- sign in to register!

2/20/2020
Bench Bar Luncheon-- NEW VENUE! Westin Gaslamp

2/28/2020
COC's Spring Read-In

3/5/2020
2020 Red, White & Brew

3/19/2020
Save the Date! GOOD Guys MCLE and Networking Happy Hour

Lawyers Club of San Diego

402 West Broadway, Suite 1260
San Diego CA 92101
619-595-0650

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