I hope many of you were able to hear at least some of the three-day World Forum for Women in the Law that was produced by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and offered last week for the first time, virtually of course. However, I understand the time commitments of law school and law practice, so I am using this blog to bring some highlights of that conference to you over the next few weeks.
The Forum, titled “Women, Power and Disrupting the Status Quo,” was the best conference for women lawyers that I have experienced during my practice and in the more than 15 years since as an advocate for women lawyers. I was gratified to hear the subjects that I have been addressing for so long through Best Friends at the Bar in a fresh new setting and from the perspective of an impressive array of women lawyers. What I found were passionate and authentic voices baring their soles for the advantage of other women, a truly invaluable strategy for amplifying the messages to reach as many women lawyers as possible.
If the names Valerie Jarrett, Vivia Chen, and Joyce White Vance are familiar to you through their remarkable careers and on-line media, then you already will understand the quality of the information and experiences shared by those women lawyers and other Forum participants from the US and around the world — including federal judges and prosecutors, law school professors and deans, law firm leaders and managers, and in-house counsel of companies with household names. This was three days of both validation of our worth as women lawyers and powerful mentoring. Egos were set aside and helping hands were extended in the most sincere and refreshing manner.
My future blogs on the Forum will include discussions of what makes a good leader, the Imposter Syndrome, advice to young women lawyers, board readiness, and cultivating allies and building a power base. But first, I want to share some of my favorite quotes from the program.
“When the perfect plan fails, the adventure begins.”
“You must have the ability to deal with rejection and then go right back at it.”
“Everyone needs role models. It is hard to be what you cannot see.”
“Don’t be a spectator in your own life. Don’t let others make decisions for you.”
“Women must believe that they are entitled to power.”
“Women lawyers need to develop their own brands as thought leaders.”
“Equality for women cannot be a dream. It must become a reality.”
“Pay attention to the work in front of you, but be aware of the world around you.”
“If they won’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair,” quoting the Honorable Shirley Chisholm.
“Take that leap. Fly. Women run the world and they also can run the law profession.”
I hope your interest is piqued, and I look forward to sharing more with you. By all means, look for this Forum to be offered again next year and SIGN UP when it is. You will be happy that you did.