I am so proud of my law alma mater, Georgetown Law. Of course, I am proud for many reasons, but this week I am particularly proud after attending the Women’s Forum held at the law school last Friday and hosted by some of my favorite folks there. The Alumni Career Services Director Marilyn Tucker, the Director of Alumni Affairs Matt Calise, and Associate Director of Alumni Affairs Sarah Myksin, joined forces and their considerable talents to produce a highly informative and successful Women’s Forum that is back by popular demand after four years. Those of us who attended are lobbying for it as an annual event.
Although all of the day-long program was impressive, including the panelists and speakers, one particular part stood out for me as valuable to all of you law students and prospective law students. Hearing that US News and World Report ranks Georgetown Law as #1 in clinical programs was music to my ears, and then hearing about all of the practicum courses that Georgetown Law has added to its curriculum to produce practice-ready graduates was the cherry on the top of the sundae for me.
Many of you will recall my former blogs about the importance of practicum and the excellent work that leaders like Professor Bill Henderson of Indiana University Law and others are doing to forward this agenda. Little did I know that my own law school offers 31 clinics and also practicum courses on topics like Administrative/Regulatory Law, Business, Criminal, Education/Research, Environment, Family Law, Federal Legislation, Gender, Government, Health/Healthcare, Human Rights, Immigration, International and Public Interest. In addition, there are an array of upperclass practicum course offerings. These all were reported by Associate Dean Deborah Epstein, who has been instrumental in developing these programs.
It will not surprise you to know that I would like to see a clinical or practicum offering on Challenges to Women in the Law at Georgetown Law and law schools across the country. Rest assured that I am working on it. As you know, I believe that all young women law students need a reality check about the challenges in their futures and help in overcoming those challenges. Even though it is not your mother’s law practice, it also is not clear sailing. That is why I have written my second book, Best Friends at the Bar: The New Balance for Today’s Woman Lawyer, to give all of you a leg up. That book will hit the book stores and be available for sale on line and from my web site in July, and I hope you will help yourself by getting a copy for you and your friends.
Balance is the key to happiness, and there is so much in both of my books to help you achieve that balance. Each formula for balance will be different, but having your own plan and creating your own definition of success and your own balance are critical to career satisfaction and success.
So get started! Take advantage of the Best Friends at the Bar books and programs like the Women’s Forum offered at Georgetown Law to become really savvy about your future. There is more to success in the law than top grades in contracts and torts, and there are increasingly more people out there to help you. It is up to you to find them.