I just read a book that you all need to know about —- to read and to recommend to all of the lawyers in your lives. By “all” I mean both the female lawyers and the male lawyers in your orbits.
The book, My Mom the Lawyer, by Louisville, KY lawyer/mom Michelle Browning Coughlin, hits all the marks of my own Best Friends at the Bar project for women lawyers. Like me, Michelle and her project, Mothers Esquire, are devoted to increasing retention and promotion rates for women lawyers. And, like me, Ms. Coughlin also extends her project to male lawyers, who are parents and caregivers.
Here is a description of Mothers Esquire from the website:
We are Moms. We are Lawyers. We are Master-Negotiators and Multi-Taskers — at work and at home. We are the Equity Partners at the office and the Team Coach at school. We drive mini-vans to depositions and to carpool line. We read briefs by day and Goodnight Moon by night. And we are bringing women together to Disrupt the “Motherhood Penalty” in our profession.
My Mom the Lawyer is written for young children to explain what mommy does when she is not acting like mommy to them. A book like this could have been written by me for my children and some day can be written by my daughter for her children. That is the way it is these days — mommy the lawyer and grandma the lawyer — but that does not make it easy for young children to understand. This book makes it easier.
There are examples of law student moms, law partner moms, trial lawyer moms, transactional lawyer moms, in-house counsel moms, solo practitioner moms, politician/legislator moms, remote office lawyer moms, law professor moms, and moms who are judges. It’s all there.
Other themes include the leadership potential of women lawyers, the importance of childcare/parenting sharing, the reasons why home time sometimes becomes office time, and the pains of relocation for job reasons. Even very young children can get a sense of what lawyer/moms do.
Diversity is one of the strengths of this book. The lawyer moms and their children are from diverse cultural backgrounds, and the simple but vibrant illustrations underscore the messages of diversity.
Congratulations to Michelle Browning Coughlin for the book. I enjoyed the read. So will you and your children.
Information for book purchase can be found on the Mothers Esquire website.