Becoming a parent is itself a reason to want a more flexible schedule, but the need is particularly acute in our house during the legislative session, as I become the primary child shuttler, feeder, and bedtime-regimen enforcer. When I first assumed this role in the previous legislative session, I did so with the best of intentions. I lasted one week.
At my firm job, the path to “success” was well-defined. Bust your hump, bill a ton of hours, do good work, and after 8 or 9 or 10 years, you reach the brass ring that is partnership. After a couple of years on this track, though, my wife and I had our first child. I struggled with how best to reconcile my personal goal of spending as much quality time as possible with my growing family, with my professional goal of “succeeding” in a big firm. I did some soul searching, and I came out of it with a new, personal definition of “success.”
Jennifer Garner made news when she accepted an award at Elle Magazine’s Women in Hollywood event last week and spoke about the double standard between working mothers and working fathers in Hollywood, in a way that is reflected in our industry as well.
Should women wear pantyhose when appearing in court? Vote in our poll and tell us what you think.
A few months ago, I read an article entitled “The Importance of a Woman’s Image in the Workplace” that was published in Legal Ink Magazine by William Cane. Mr. Cane states that, “if you are a professional—like a CPA, investment counselor, or attorney—you are going to be judged on the basis of your appearance everyday by clients, colleagues and decision makers.” I do agree with this statement; however, I don’t agree with much else in Cane’s article.
It’s Monday morning…trial day! You awake and quietly move about the house in the early morning hours running your opening statements through your head. You know every file, every deposition, and every witness statement. You are ready. You approach your closet for your battle gear. What are you going to wear?
Just realized I have been wearing one navy and one black shoe all day long, including to a new client meeting. Awesome. I totally blame the kids in the picture even though I can't rationalize how they are at fault. Happy Friday!
Interesting article from Above the Law yesterday: A federal judge refused to grant a continuance of an immigration hearing finding that the solo practitioner's maternity leave was not “good cause” sufficient to warrant a continuance. Georgia lawyer Stacy M. Ehrisman-Mickle was forced to attend the hearing with her infant child because Judge J. Dan Pelletier, Sr. refused to approve her motion for a continuance even though she had given birth just a few weeks before. The motion for continuance even included a letter from her physician recommending the leave. The attorney has since filed a formal complaint against the judge, noting not only the failure to grant the continuance but the judge's treatment of her at the hearing. Here’s a brief excerpt from her complaint, which is available in full at Above the Law: I was forced to bring my weeks old daughter with me as day care centers do…
The decision to be a working mom is incredibly personal. I will never forget February 13, 2008, the day I got to hold my baby for the first time. He looked up at me and all was right with the world. I will also never forget February 16, 2008 – the day I realized that being a parent was HARD and much more demanding than any client I had ever encountered.
When I was a young girl, it never occurred that I shouldn’t want to be a lawyer. Being a girl didn’t make me feel any less able or likely to be successful in a career as a lawyer. While men still dominated the profession, growing up in the 1980s there were enough pop culture references to women lawyers to make it seem like a reasonable aspiration. Thank you Claire Huxtable and Christine from Night Court! In college I excelled and never considered that my gender might play a role in my success. I was a student, defined more by my affinity toward language (and procrastination), than my ability (or inability) to apply eyeliner on the shuttle bus from my dorm to class. In law school, the girls I went to school with were excelling, and were clearly represented among the top ranks of our class, whether by their grades, leadership on law review or advocacy competitions.