Posted on March 24, 2023
My article titled “Practical Skills Young Attorneys Must Master To Be Happier” posted at Law360 yesterday. I hope you can access it through your Law360 subscription service.
The article includes discussion of some of the strategies for success that are included in my new book, New Lawyer Launch: The Handbook for Young Lawyers (Full Court Press, 2023). Like all the books in the Best Friends at the Bar series, the book is available on Amazon Books.
Do yourself a favor and start your legal career aware of the challenges and how to handle them. Read New Lawyer Launch and recommend it widely. It is truly a game changer.
That is the message that I delivered to a group of law students at GT Law today when I attended an alumni program. Those law students did not miss a beat and rushed to their phones to place book orders. They understand what they need to do to be competitive in summer associate programs and as young lawyers after graduation. You need that, too!
Posted on March 22, 2023
I have never been a fan of the LSAT. Fortunately, I cannot remember my own experience with the law school admission test. But I know that it is a huge impediment for many law school applicants. The very fact that the LSAT has only proven to predict success for the first semester of law school should be proof enough that it has to go.
I know many excellent lawyers who did not score particularly well on the LSAT. Some of them are just bad test takers, some of them were disadvantaged in their educational experiences, and others of them have documented learning disabilities and different styles of learning. None of those situations necessarily equate to a lack of ability.
So, let’s give it up. Surely it will increase the work of law school admission deans and staffs because making the piles of “yes,” “no,” and “maybe” will become more difficult and require different ways of evaluating competency and promise of success. But it will be worth it. The time has come.
Here’s a more comprehensive discussion of why.
Posted on March 16, 2023
In recognition of International Women Day, here are some tips from accomplished women lawyers across “The Pond.” As you will see, the challenges for women lawyers extends beyond national borders.
And, yes, as you can see from one of the readers comments, there is an International Men’s Day. Although I find it tiresome that it has to come to that kind of competition. The reason that you may not have heard about International Men’s Day is probably because men don’t see the need to band together and celebrate each other as much as women do. I guess that is what happens when you are always in the power position.
We need to do something about that. And that is the point of the article.
Enjoy the read. There is something in it for everyone.
Posted on March 8, 2023
Read this article about one of the world’s largest law firms and efforts to advance women lawyers. Sounds good, right? Mentoring, shadowing, helping them gain the skills to climb the ladder and generate profits. That’s the way to help women professionals — or so it seems.
Another way to look at it is that programs like this are missing the point — if that is all the firms have to offer. And too often it is. What about flexible hours? What about on-site childcare? What about equal pay for equal work? What about all of the things that help to make the lives of women lawyers, who also continue to be the primary caretakers of their children, easier? So that their brains are not fried and they can excel at being mentors and shadows.
It is not that mentoring and shadowing is not important. It is. But it also is one of the easiest things for employers to provide and does not cost them a lot of money.
I don’t know about you, but I want to see law firms and other legal employers put their money where their mouths are. The truth is that there continues to be a huge talent drain for women lawyers because they are exhausted, strung out, burned out. There is simply not enough time in the work week to manage childcare, respond to the demands of the office, travel for client needs, be responsive to schools and homework … and the list goes on and on and on.
Women lawyers need REAL HELP. Let’s get serious about what that help is.
Posted on March 1, 2023
It has been a roller coaster in Biglaw for the last few years. Hiring frenzies, signing bonuses and unprecedented activity on the lateral partner scene. Young lawyers got used to being contacted by head hunters and being in the driver’s seat. Whether that was a good thing or a bad thing, we know that it was a real thing. We also know that most good things eventually come to an end.
And that end may be now. According to an article on Above The Law, Biglaw’s hiring fenzy is over and signing bonuses have evaporated. Add that to the new reality about the value of “in the office” time, and the result might be a shock to young lawyers who have been practicing from their couches and got used to being paid handsomely for it.
But it is not all doom and gloom. The projection is that Biglaw is getting back to a pre-COVID normal for the lateral market at least, and the pace has returned to steady not frenzied. Read more of the conversation, as originally seen on the American Lawyer.
Having reasonable expectations is especially important as the pendulum swings in Biglaw. Being informed is key.