Thought For The Day

“Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?”

Sun Tzu

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Thought For The Day

“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.”

William Arthur Ward

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Thought For The Day

“The best preparation for tomorrow is to do today’s work superbly well.”

Sir William Osler

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FBA Conference on Women in Law Is a Great Success

Last week I was in New Orleans participating in the Federal Bar Association (FBA) Conference on Women in Law.  I loved meeting so many remarkable women lawyers and judges — almost as much as I enjoyed the sights and sounds and FOOD.  It was a wonderful trip … but I digress!

The membership in the Federal Bar Association consists of lawyers who practice before the US Federal Courts.  The New Orleans chapter of the FBA is the most active chapter in the country, and it was obvious how cooperative and congenial the members are.  What a refreshing experience for those of us who practice and have practiced in more impersonal bar association settings.  I guess everything is “easy” in The Big Easy.

I participated as a speaker on a panel addressing the art of negotiation and effective business communications and self-advocacy.  My fellow panelists were Big Law women lawyers and a former US Attorney, who is now the Chief of Staff at Tulane University.  We all had anecdotes and advice for young women lawyers on stepping up negotiation skills, especially when negotiating for work you want, an increase in salary and/or responsibilities, or coveted committee assignments.  There is a lot of room for improvement in the area of self-advocacy for women lawyers, and honing those skills is critical to advancing career goals.

I also enjoyed the other panels, particularly the one focused on the advice of women federal judges for young lawyers practicing in their courtrooms.  Their advice was invaluable, and it was interesting to observe the different courtroom management styles in this group of very impressive jurists.  I got to know two of them a bit, and I came away pleased that the women lawyers who practice in their courts have such strong role models.

The panel of in-house general counsels was like hearing an echo in the room.  I was so pleased to have them hit the issues affecting the advancement of women lawyers “straight on” and acknowledge the important role that in-house counsel have in improving the career paths of women lawyers in law firms.  As clients, they have the leverage to get the attention of law firm leadership and management on these subjects, and they need to use that influence.

The final panel was devoted to the alarming issue of human trafficking and included the comments of a sex trafficking survivor.   There were not many dry eyes in the room after hearing her heart-wrenching story.  I hope that some of you will consider becoming a part of the enforcement against the perpetrators of these crimes.  These victims are young and helpless and alone.  They need your help.

So, hats off to The Big Easy and its warm and welcoming people.  And thanks to the FBA for including me in the program.

Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Practice Advice, Young Lawyer | Comment

Women Lawyers to Benefit from a New Policy Announced by ATL

Yesterday’s Washington Post included a letter from David Lat, founder and managing editor of Above the Law (ATL).  I rely on ATL as a legal news website to keep me up to date on happenings in the legal profession and to keep you informed about them as well.  David Lat, Elie Mystal and Staci Zaretsky do a fine job of reporting the news in an industry where there is always a lot of it to sift through.  They even have mentioned me and Best Friends at the Bar on a couple of occasions, and I appreciated the shout-outs.

David Lat’s letter was announcing a change in policy at ATL.  The policy involves comments that readers can post on the website about the reported news articles.  It seems those comments have gotten out of control, and Lat says that “Above the Law was overtaken by on-line jerks” and that negative reader comments are “ruining the Internet.”  He describes, at some length, how commenters have sunk to the depths of offensive dialogue, including racial and gender slurs.  As a result, ATL will no longer include a comment section to engage readers with new content.

This did not come as a big surprise to me.  I always have been bothered by the kinds of readers’ comments posted on ATL, and my concern escalated recently with reference to an ATL feature blog, “The Pink Ghetto.”  I wrote about it in a January 20, 2016 blog where I questioned whether the gender offenses in legal workplaces reported in the comments to “The Pink Ghetto” were true — or whether those comments represented ATL readers having some fun with exaggeration and creative writing.  There is no accountability for anonymous comments, and they can provide false information and lead to unreliable influence, especially on young women in the first phases of their careers.

So, I am glad that ATL has made this decision and has followed other leading news services that have abandoned comments from readers.  I also am glad that I alerted my readers to this months ago.  It is important to be a critical reader, and I will always try to be that for you.



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Thought For The Day

“What lies behind us, and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Women Lawyers as Negotiators

Today I am on my way to the Federal Bar Association Women In Law Conference in New Orleans.  Tomorrow, I will be a panelist addressing the subject of women lawyers as negotiators.  We will talk about how women lawyers fall short in advocating for themselves, and we will give some tips on bringing your “A Game” to that effort.   It is an important career advancement technique, and I will address it with you again after the conference.

Cheers from the Big Easy!

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Thought For The Day

“The soul is the truth of who we are.”

Marianne Williamson

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