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Summary of Ms.JD at Susan Cartier-Liebel’s Site

by Carolyn Elefant on April 1, 2007 · 6 comments

in Legal Profession Trends, Work/Life Balance & Women

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I can’t add anything except a big “me too!” to Susan Cartier-Liebel’s exhaustive summary of the recent Ms. JD conference held at Yale Law School yesterday.  The conference gave me a chance to finally meet Susan and reconnect with Lisa Solomon, Brandy Karl and, briefly, Cathy Kirkman whom I’d met previously.

[Update] Lisa Solomon has also posted some of her impressions from the conference here.

My thoughts on women in the legal profession are too complex to digest in a single post.  I agreed with one of the panelists who suggested that we can’t expect much on the law firm front until family structures change and women no longer presumptively play the role of the primary caretaker for children.  I also disagree with the proposition voiced on a couple of panels that women can’t “run from inequality” at large firms or the entire big law institution will be left as a bastion of outdated, old boys’ clubs.  At a time when law firms are losing associates, both male and female, in droves  (associate retention numbers are absymal), why aren’t unhappy male lawyers urged to stay on and turn law firms into cheerier, more supportive environments?

I don’t have much more to say right now, but if you’re a female attorney, visit the Ms. JD site where you can share your experiences, and read those of others in the profession.

  • http://www.Kre8tivelaw.com Andrea Riccio

    This post and a recent one (“Does work-life balance mean we need to settle for a B+?”) hit on a few key issues. The key to being a successful lawyer, parent and spouse is firstly not to key on balance but key on flexibility – both at work and at home. Secondly, don’t focus on time, but priorities. Flexibility gives you the ability to focus on your priorities, whether at home or at work, when they arise.
    Thirdly, build truly supportive environments at work and at home where you can be confident that there are people behind you to fill in the gaps when priorities take you away from work or home.
    You are absolutely right that you will never achieve work-life balance/synergy and deliver A+ legal services without making changes at home as well as at work.

  • http://www.Kre8tivelaw.com Andrea Riccio

    This post and a recent one (“Does work-life balance mean we need to settle for a B+?”) hit on a few key issues. The key to being a successful lawyer, parent and spouse is firstly not to key on balance but key on flexibility – both at work and at home. Secondly, don’t focus on time, but priorities. Flexibility gives you the ability to focus on your priorities, whether at home or at work, when they arise.
    Thirdly, build truly supportive environments at work and at home where you can be confident that there are people behind you to fill in the gaps when priorities take you away from work or home.
    You are absolutely right that you will never achieve work-life balance/synergy and deliver A+ legal services without making changes at home as well as at work.

  • cal

    That is true, but the quality of life issue isn’t really limited to time allocation or flexibility. The nature of legal work adetracts from the other aspects of your life. I’ve switched to part time and still find the job more aggressive in its demands than it ought to be.
    This explains it well, but is not for the faint hearted – http://www.philalawyer.net. I wouldn’t read it at work.
    The feeling of being overwhelmed never goes away.

  • cal

    That is true, but the quality of life issue isn’t really limited to time allocation or flexibility. The nature of legal work adetracts from the other aspects of your life. I’ve switched to part time and still find the job more aggressive in its demands than it ought to be.
    This explains it well, but is not for the faint hearted – http://www.philalawyer.net. I wouldn’t read it at work.
    The feeling of being overwhelmed never goes away.

  • http://loan-payday-qualification.quadrodvd.com InenomynC

    Bourne is totaly worth extra dollar then Rush Hour 3! I think 3rd part rearly as interesting as the first! But this was great!

  • http://loan-payday-qualification.quadrodvd.com InenomynC

    Bourne is totaly worth extra dollar then Rush Hour 3! I think 3rd part rearly as interesting as the first! But this was great!

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