Grim Statistics on Recent Law School Grads and Jobs

First, before we dive into the grim statistics, let me encourage you to watch the VP debate tonight.  Your vote is a privilege, so you should use it.  But, you need to cast an educated vote, and one of the ways to do that is to watch the debates.  Really watch them and listen carefully—-not while you are texting or checking e-mail.  It will be time well spent.

Now, for the grim statistics.  Check out the link below that digs deep and looks behind the recent stats about legal jobs added since September.

You will not need a black coffee to keep you awake after reading this.  But, stay tuned because someone else probably will interpret these same statistics differently.  Someone else may take the cup-half-full approach.

However, we all can agree that this is a critical issue for the profession, and something needs to be done.  Calling all law associations, especially the ABA.  What do you intend to do about this?  The ostrich approach is not working.

So, what do you think?  Where does the responsibility lie?  Is this truly a crisis or is it a necessary process to improve affordable legal services in America.

How has it affected you?

Let me hear from you!


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Thought For The Day

We are far more liable to catch the vices than the virtues of our associates.

Denis Diderot

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The Having It All—Or Not—Debate Rekindled

If you are familiar with the Best Friends at the Bar project—-as in read the books or heard me speak or read my web site and blogs, you know that “Having It All—Or Not” is a major theme of my message.  It is at the heart of the “balance or no balance” debate and it has gotten a lot of attention, especially since the Anne Marie Slaughter article in the July/ August edition of Atlantic Magazine.   That article—the one that got 800,000 hits on-line in the first two days after it went viral on the web and propelled the issues of work-life challenges for women in the workforce into the national dialogue—is still a topic of discussion for women around the country, if not the world.  Some commenters, like Professor Slaughter, opine that women professionals with home and family responsibilities cannot have it all, and some people, like me, think that they can have it all, just not all at the same time.  For us, it is all in the definition of “all.”  Following that logic, you can have some of it all of the time, all of it some of the time, but it is the rare woman lawyer who can have all of it all of the time.  Over the course of a long career, things seem to even out, and I would have to say that I have had it all and still do.  If you read my bio on my web site, you will understand that I did not have it all all of the time.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, seem to hold similar opinions.  I recommend the article by David Gergen in the September 30, 2012 edition of Parade Magazine based on his recent interview with Justice O’Connor and also the recent interview of Christine Lagarde by Andre Mitchell of MSNBC at

Now, there is more discussion on “having it all” coming your way.  If you are in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, you will not want to miss the Washington Women’s Weekly event next week.  Washington Women’s Weekly Executive Leadership Series presents “What Every Woman Needs to Know: Is the New Normal Not “Having it All”?   It promises to be a lively debate about what may be called the “New Normal” and how it can be reconciled with negotiating what we deserve in our careers and balancing it with our personal lives.  The reception, luncheon, panel presentation and discussion will feature three distinguished panelists with three unique perspectives:
Teresa Bozzelli, President of Sapient Government Services;
Diane Zanetti, Senior Vice President at Citibank; and
Allison Abner, Emmy Award-winning Writer and Producer.

Be there on Monday, October 15, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm, at The Westin Georgetown Hotel located at 2350 M Street, NW, Washington, DC .

So, tell me what you think about this issue—-whether you go to the Washington Women’s Weekly event or not.  Can women—-particularly women lawyers— have it all?  What is “having it all” ?  How can women get the most out of their careers and also the most out of their personal lives? (If you are having trouble with this last one, read my new book, Best Friends at the Bar:  The New Balance for Today’s Woman Lawyer, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, July 2012.  Or, even if you are not having trouble with the question, read it anyway!  You will be happy you did.)

Don’t know about you, but I am going straight to the Washington Women’s Weekly web site at and signing up right now.  Hope to see you there!

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Thought For The Day

Winning isn’t everything, but wanting to win is.

Vince Lombardi


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Thought For the Day

Do not follow where the path may lead.
Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In honor of today’s Ms. JD She Leads Conference at Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, DC.   I will be participating in the conference, and I hope to see many of your there.

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Thought For the Day

It is foolish to fear what you cannot avoid.
(Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes—for those Latin scholar among you!

Publius Syrus

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Women In Construction Rock!

Yesterday I was included in a program at the Women In Construction (WIC) Annual Conference in Washington, DC.  It was a great day, and there was a lot on the program that complements the Best Friends at the Bar project.

Maybe that is because I started as a construction lawyer more than 30 years ago, and that is where I experienced many of the things that I write about and speak about today.  Being a woman construction lawyer in the late 1970’s—when there were precious few of us—taught us a lot about supporting each other, learning to fit into a man’s world, and the value of a sense of humor.  Those subjects were addressed in the conference yesterday, especially when the video interview of Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, by Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, was played.  You might remember that I blogged about that interview last week.

That many years ago, when there were so few women in construction law, you could hear the glass ceiling shatter, and we rejoiced together when it did.  It was a great practice, and if I hadn’t needed a flexible schedule to care for children and keep the home fires burning, I probably would still be in it.  However, according to the leadership in most firms at that time, litigation required a full-time schedule.  Funny… there are many women litigators on part-time schedules, but 30 years ago, it was not a sign of the time.  So, I transitioned my practice to other interesting things, but, to this day, I never drive over a bridge or see a construction crane without getting a thrill from the old days.

Some of you are scratching your heads and wondering what construction law is all about.  Let me help you with that.  Construction lawyers represent owners, prime contractors, subcontractors, sureties, engineers and architects on projects from residential housing developments to huge government infrastructure projects.  Some of the projects I worked on were subway construction projects—mass transit was in its early stages then—road construction projects and a fascinating Corps of Engineers project that involved building a really big and really cool earthfill dam and reservoir in Northern California.  The client on that project was one of the largest design/build firms in the world, and I was the first woman lawyer to work on one of their projects.  Yes, hard hat, suit, stockings and heals can be a fashion statement—at least in those days.  It was exciting work!

Well, even though I moved on to other things, a few of my colleagues from those early days are still moving that practice forward—-and very well, I might add.  One of them, Barbara Werther, partner at Ober|Kaler, founded the Women in Construction Conference in 2006, and it is a big success.  She is a leader in the field of construction law, and she puts together an impressive array of lawyers, owners, lenders, engineers, contractors and consultants each year for a highly professional conference.

Hats off—-hard hats, that is!— to the women construction lawyers who are still shaking things up in one of the last bastions of male dominance.  They do it so well!

If you are interested in construction law, keep your eyes open for the Women in Construction Conference next year.  See you there!

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Thought For The Day

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.

Francis Bacon

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