Thought For The Week: Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. Jack Layton

Thought For The Day | Comment

Hot Off the Press: New Article Published in the ABA Journal

Here is the link to my article that was published in the ABA Journal today.

It is a retrospective on the Best Friends at the Bar project over a decade of work, and it includes discussion of the failure of law firms to adequately address the issues facing millennial lawyers in the same way that law firms have failed to adequately address the issues facing women lawyers — and the high cost of that lack of due diligence in terms of attrition and lost talent.

I hope that you will enjoy it and find it thought-provoking.


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

How is COVID-19 Affecting the July Bar Exam?

So what about the July Bar Exams amid COVID-19?

Here is some information about what is being considered if July Bar Exams cannot go forward for reasons related to coronavirus and COVID-19. You will see there the options being considered. Some are not so good, and others are better. But one may be missing altogether.

It seems to me that the option for “emergency diploma privilege-plus” is the best option and could work — with one caveat. I agree that “diploma privilege” might be a good idea to meet the needs of Spring 2020 law graduates to enter the workforce as soon as possible, but I would add the requirement for passage of the February 2021 Bar Exam to that option. That should be a lot more workable than fashioning CLEs and additional requirements to effectively address competency.

I also am not so impressed with comparing the needs of the current situation to the Wisconsin diploma privilege program. As someone who hails from the great state of Wisconsin, I am very familiar with that program, which treats all of the graduates of the two Wisconsin law schools equally. Any graduate of one of those law schools has the privilege to practice in Wisconsin without passing a bar exam.

But that equal treatment is not the case with the currently proposed emergency diploma privilege-plus. As proof, I think about all of you from ABA-accredited law schools around the country who have suffered through bar exams to prove your competency to practice. Giving a waiver for bar exam passage to the soon-to-be graduates would be considered by many of you as inequitable. I understand, and I think that result can be and should be avoided.

In this regard, let me share a personal story that might help drive this point home.

When my husband graduated from law school in 1977 and passed the Michigan Bar Exam, he was able to waive into the DC Bar with evidence that he had passed a state bar exam. That waive in provision worked very well for him.

Two years later, when I graduated from law school in 1979 and passed the Virginia Bar Exam, the rules for licensing in DC had changed. The waive in privilege was gone. To be licensed to practice in DC, you had to write and pass the DC Bar Exam. Period.

My law firm had offices in both VA and DC and wanted its lawyers to be licensed in both jurisdictions. So, after passing the July Virginia Bar Exam, I had to write and pass the February DC Bar Exam. In other words, put up with all of the long hours, confusion and incoming traffic as a first-year associate and study for, write and pass another bar exam at the same time. Period.

Believe me, I never have forgotten the unequal treatment for me as a Johnny-Come-Too Lately to take advantage of what had been available only two years earlier. Never! Especially when DC changed the rules again two years later and reinstated the waiver privilege — which still is available today. My son, who is licensed in Tennessee, just took advantage of it and is now licensed in DC, too. 

And, yes, the unfairness of the situation still comes up in family conversation today, and I always play the victim in those fun discussions. Sorry, but I am flawed!

So, I can anticipate your concerns — and the resentment they could become. And I know that result should be avoided.



Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment

Thought For The Week: Character is revealed in crisis. UNKNOWN

Career Counselors, Thought For The Day | Comment

Why Would You Risk It?

Today I am frustrated with some of you.  Particularly the millennials among you and especially the Gen Z-ers.  And this is unusual for me, as you know, because I am generally very supportive of young people.  I even wrote a book about millennial lawyers and what you want from employers, supervisors and managers.  In other words, I have had your collective back.

But, if you are on Bourbon Street celebrating spring break from colleges, universities and law schools and congregating and socializing in close quarters, you are not living up to my expectations.  You also are not meeting the expectations of healthcare officials and government leaders across this country who are trying desperately to control the spread of coronavirus or COVID-19 as we know it today.  We know it all too well.

If you are on the beaches of Florida, partying in close proximity to others, I have the same response to you.  Why would you risk it?  Not just for the older people you might infect if you come in contact with the virus, but, as we now know, why would you risk it for yourself?  Why would you turn a blind eye to your own health and to your responsibility as a member of a society that is threatened in a way that most of you never have experienced before?

Yes, some of you were around during 9-11, and it was bad.  Very bad.  But it also was not a nation-wide problem.  For the most part, the threat was centralized in a few spots on the East Coast, most memorably New York City, and, yes, it was unimaginably bad there.

The difference, however, is that most of us could not do a thing to help when 9-11  happened.  We were powerless.  But that is not true of the threat posed by COVID-19.  There is a lot that you can do to help your communities, and the simplest thing you can do is be smart.  Stop thinking about yourselves and your pleasure and start paying attention to the threat indicators and doing what you are told.

Primarily, practice social distancing.  Be part of the solution to “flatten the curve” and do not risk becoming part of the problem.  Be respectful of yourself and your fellow men and women.  Stay out of large crowds and off the beaches.

Here is an article that lays it out for you — up to date information that busts the myth about young people not being vulnerable to the coronavirus.  It reports on young people right here in our country who are positive for the virus and are now in ICUs battling for their lives.  Young people like many of you — who are definitely at risk.

For many of you, this is preaching to the choir.  I know this.  It is because you are not just young. You are smart, too.  But I also know that all of you have plenty of other young people, many younger than yourselves, in your spheres of influence who need to read this and have this information.

Be the generations that I always have looked to for guidance on how to educate and even protect older people like me.  It was you who inspired me to start the Best Friends at the Bar project, and it is you who continue to inspire me more than a decade later.

Currently our children have my husband and me under involuntary house arrest.  Wear a mask!  Wash your hands and clean all surface a hundred times a day!  Drink water constantly — at room temperature!  Shelter in place!

Because we are really old and feeble, right?  NOT!  Because they care.  And you do, too.

Show it and spread the word.  Younger people will listen to other younger people.  What they tend to discount from older generations will become real to them if they hear it from a cool, young person like you.  So, just do it!

Thanks and God bless.


Career Counselors, Law School Educators, Law Students, Lifestyle, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | 1 Comment

A Musical Message Celebrating Women’s History Month

These are challenging times for all of us.  Thus, we need to seek out reasons to celebrate and sources of joy every day.  During March, Women’s History Month, one such cause for celebration just came my way, and I want to share it with you.

This musical message of solidarity should put a jump in your step.  There is so much here to remind us of the pride we take in ourselves and each other as women.  So, sink back in your easy chair and have a listen.

Below are portions of the official release information about the “Yes I Can” video for you to share with all the wonderful women in your life and the men who love and appreciate them.  You go, girls!!!!!!!!!! 

NASHVILLE, TENN. – (March 6, 2020) – The official video for recent single, “Yes I Can,” was released today in support of and honoring strong women for their contributions to history, culture and society such as Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride during Women’s History Month by Country music artist and songwriter, Corinne Cook.  “Yes I Can” was penned by songwriters Hugh James Hardman, Rick Mathews and Steve Belkin. The video was produced and directed by Nina Baldridge. The video was premiered exclusively on The Heartland Network Country Music Today and is available on YouTube and Corinne’s Artist Page on Facebook.

Women’s History Month is celebrated throughout the month of March, commemorating and encouraging the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. The American Women’s History Initiative amplifies women’s voices to honor the past, inform the present and inspire the future. The stories deepen our understanding of women’s contributions to America and the world, showing how far women have advanced and how we as a country value equality and the contributions of all our citizens.

“When I was sent this song, it resonated with me personally as I always follow my heart and strive to be a strong example to my children and fellow women,” shared Corinne Cook. “Serving four years in the Air Force and now making my dreams come true as a Country music artist and songwriter, I hope to show my children they can do anything they put their mind to.”

“Yes I Can” is available on all digital platforms Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Music and more here.


Career Counselors, Law Students, Lifestyle, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We all look forward to this day each year. We love to celebrate our own Irish heritages and those of anyone else. If we don’t have it in our blood lines, we are happy to borrow from those who do. My husband’s family emigrated from Ireland, and that is quite enough for me to support the wearing of the green.

This year, however, we need to celebrate differently. We need to stay put and resisting the urge to visit our favorite Irish pubs and restaurants. There is a quintessential Irish pub right here in my village, but I have to sit tight and take my own advice. These are times for sacrifice on so many levels, and common sense and science needs to inform our decisions.

So, be creative. Use that food coloring stored in your pantry and color your hair green if it makes you feel better. Color your dog green if it amuses you more. Go out into your backyard and look for a four-leafed clover in the emerging grass. Drink a Guinness. Whatever it takes to help you to celebrate and bring comfort to you and your family.

BUT, hunker down and listen to the medical community. Lives may depend on it.

God bless all of you.


Lifestyle | Comment

Thought For The Week: Braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear. Paulo Coelho

Thought For The Day | Comment