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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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A Resolution Focused on Progressional Growth

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President's Perspective, Friday, January 3, 2020
Updated: Friday, January 3, 2020

As we begin the new year, we all contemplate resolutions to improve our personal health or well-being. Every year we promise to lose weight, improve our physical fitness, or simply keep better contact with friends. As we attempt to part the Red Sea of our responsibilities to achieve these goals, in about a month, the impending flood of our professional and familial responsibilities eventually wipes out our hopes for self-improvement.

This year, I challenge you to make a resolution focused on professional growth. As you know, women are substantially underrepresented in leadership positions in the legal profession and are paid less for the same work as men. In order to change these inequities, we need to “lean in” and take steps to improve outcomes for women. Therefore, I challenge you to commit to take your practice to the next level.

To achieve this goal your resolution should be concrete and tailored to your practice. You may wish to grow your book of business, obtain a promotion, open your own practice, or join the bench. The goal need not be achievable in one year; however, you should establish benchmarks that can be achieved throughout the year. For example, you may commit to obtain two potential client referrals each month or serve as second chair on a jury trial.

Next, you should create an action plan by listing the steps you will undertake to achieve those goals. If it is a promotion you seek, then plan how you will develop the skills necessary to apply and find an advocate to champion your achievements. In the private practice, create a plan on how to improve your recognition in your firm and in the community. Brainstorm how to best advocate for yourself. Obtain a leadership position in a local organization. Attend local events and concentrate on creating referral sources. Learn about opportunities to speak at seminars or write an article for a local periodical.

Do not just make a mental pledge to yourself, instead write it down or make a poster board (feel free to be creative). Writing down your professional goal and action plan provides you with a concrete reminder of your commitment to professional growth. It also serves as a tool to measure your progress throughout the year and an opportunity to recommit yourself to the task. By focusing on professional growth, we can begin to change the paradigm. Do you accept the challenge?

 

 

-Article first published in LC News,January 2020

 

Elvira Cortez practices business and commercial litigation and employment defense at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and is the 2019-2020 president of Lawyers Club.

 

Tags:  achievement  challenge  community  goals  growth  legal profession  Professional  referral challenge  resolutions 

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Women Must Network

Posted By Elvira Cortez: A President's Perspective, Thursday, October 31, 2019

Networking skills play an integral role in women’s advancement in the legal profession. While many find networking to be tedious and awkward, networking can lead to referrals sources, new job opportunities, or even a promotion. Although women may generally be seen as more social than men, according to a 2018 Women in the Workplace report by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org, women network less than men. Instead of making networking a chore or an awkward attempt to obtain business from strangers, women should work on making connections and building relationships with people. To make the experience more engaging, find something in common with the other person that is interesting to talk about (not the law).


Networking is not just for private practice -- women in public agencies benefit as well. The same Women in Workplace report found that employees who interact regularly with leaders within their workplace are more likely to ask for and receive promotions, stay at their organizations, and aspire to be leaders. Since all attorneys benefit, JOIN US and put your networking skills to work at the Taste of North County Networking Mixer.

 

Elvira Cortez practices business and commercial litigation and employment defense at Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP and is the 2019-2020 president of Lawyers Club.

 

 

Tags:  advancement  book of business  connections  job opportunities  leaders  Lean In  legal profession  networking  promotions  referral challenge  referrals  women  workplace 

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