Thought For The Week: “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.” Louisa May Alcott

Tomorrow is the start of Women’s History Month.  We celebrate Women’s History Month to remind ourselves of the accomplishments of women throughout the years to our culture and society.

From science to politics, it’s is a chance to reflect on the trailblazing women who lead the way for change, including those we are surrounded by in our current society.

Let us honor them, appreciate them and support them.

Career Counselors, Thought For The Day | Comment

Here’s a Role Model You Need to Meet

Note: In the UK legal system, a barrister’s chambers or barristers’ chambers are the rooms used by a barrister or a group of barristers. The singular refers to the use by a sole practitioner whereas the plural refers to a group of barristers who, while technically acting as sole practitioners, share costs and expenses for office overheads. The concept of barristers’ chambers is commonly thought of as a law firm.

Read here about Poonam Melwani, a barrister in the UK. Her story will inspire you and give you confidence that you, too, can have it all — at least much of the time. As she notes in the article:

My advice to women and primary care-givers is yes, you can have it all. But there will be some compromises and there will be challenging times. And along the way, you will have many moments of self-doubt and probably tears, wondering whether you are as good at your job as a male that doesn’t have to juggle as much. That’s fine. Its normal to have what I call wobble moments and imposter syndrome.

I don’t know about you, but I would love to meet this remarkable woman. She embodies the talent, stature and concern for the women lawyers who follow that I respect so much. She is no “Queen Bee”, who pulls up the ladder once she has made it to the top.

She is reaching a hand down and serving as a role model and mentor. Bravo!

Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Lifestyle, Practice Advice, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comments Off on Here’s a Role Model You Need to Meet

Thought For The Week: “Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant.” Joan Didion

Thought For The Day | Comment

Update on the “Back to the Office” Debate

The pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into law practice models, especially those in law firms. Many firms have allowed employees and members to work from home since 2020 when the pandemic hit, and things have pretty much been in limbo since. Many law firm leaders and managers have returned to the office by this time, but the same has not been true for associates, who have gotten used to the more relaxed working from home conditions. And some sources have argued that the high profits reported by firms while most of their work forces have been working from home undercuts the importance of mandating returns to the office.

That argument was pretty much put to rest last week when Reuters reported that Kirkland & Ellis, one of the world’s largest and most profitable law firms, announced that employees will be expected to work from the office three days a week beginning in late March. Commenters are calling it the “Kirkland Model” and expect that it will become the norm in large firm practice and spur a return-to-the-office policy in coming weeks and months. They also cite government roll-backs of mask mandates and the decline in Omicron cases as providing firms with political cover to mandate return of employees to the office.

To date, Ropes & Gray has joined Kirkland in this effort with a return-to-work policy starting March 1. It is expected that law firms will cite both written and unwritten policies that in-office practices foster teamwork and ensure employee face time with supervisors and managers.

However, the other side of this argument is represented by Quinn Emanuel, which prefers the work-from-home model because it differentiates that firm from competitors. How those expectations will hold up to the competition remains to be seen.

Time will tell. Stay tuned.

Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law Students, Lifestyle, Practice Advice, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comments Off on Update on the “Back to the Office” Debate

Thought For The Week: “True love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Thought For The Day | Comment

Is “Broken” Big Law Finally Being Exposed?

Here is a piece from Above The Law that includes information about a law firm incentive program and the sentiments of a law firm leader about restructuring his boutique law firm to avoid the pitfalls of Big Law. He says it very well.

Our incentive program originated from the dissatisfaction with the class system, and the focus on billable hour requirements in Big Law. We want people to have skin in the game, which makes them more invested in the firm and their overall success and career.

A lot of people are realizing that money doesn’t buy happiness. It’s about sharing purpose, learning and growing professionally, and participating in work that challenges you. And life outside of work is important too, because a happy life means being on your game at work.

— Ryan Tyz, founder of Tyz Law Group, a Northern California-based litigation and intellectual property boutique, commenting on why his firm has moved away from the “broken” Biglaw model to carve out its own path. Tyz has adopted a profit-sharing model where attorneys will be eligible to receive compensation based on the firm’s month-to-month successes.

And, yes, I do understand the difference between boutique law firms and Big Law. But I believe that the sentiments expressed by this law firm leader have broader application than just large law firms.

At least I hope so. Only time will tell whether and when the wisdom expressed above will seep into the culture of Big Law. For the sake of all young lawyer, I hope the answers are yes and soon.

Career Counselors, Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Lifestyle, Practice Advice, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comments Off on Is “Broken” Big Law Finally Being Exposed?

Thought For The Week: “Patience is also a form of action.” Auguste Rodin

Thought For The Day | Comment