I’m Sorry to Say This but We Need to Stop Saying I’m Sorry

I’m Sorry to Say this but We Need to Stop Saying I’m SorryPlease welcome back guest writer and attorney, Christen Morgan, to talk about the ways that women find themselves apologizing more than they need to in the workplace and knowing when to really say I’m sorry.

If you walk through the halls of many office environments, you can almost count on hearing the buzz and the ding of all the office machinery and stationery. If you listen even closer, you’re bound to hear the clicks and the clacks of shoes tapping through the hallways and the whirrs and creeks of portable chairs and office doors. Amongst all these familiar sounds, it maybe difficult to make out the defined statements within the conversations of passersby. However, pay close enough attention to these conversations and I’m sure the words “I’m sorry,” will emerge as a frequent repeated utterance. Whether, it’s an apologetic employee who is sorry for messing up an assignment, a supervisor who’s sorry for sending out the email request that she had every intention to send or the nervous intern who’s sorry for spilling coffee on the floor in the mere presence of others, “I’m sorry”, is the uniform verbal tick of many human beings. Furthermore, and, I hate to say this, but the words I’m sorry are even more of a verbal tick for women. [Read more…]

Losing the Fear of Being Stereotyped: Surviving as a Young Woman in a Position of Authority

Losing the Fear of Being Stereotyped: Surviving as a Young Woman in a Position of AuthorityPlease welcome our guest writer this week to discuss an issue than many women in positions of power in the workplace can experience – a fear of being stereotyped in a certain way.

“You need to look and sound intimidating and scary.” That was one of the most popular versions of advice I received when I accepted a position of authority as lead litigation counsel at a law firm at 26 years old.

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Tips to Boost Your Confidence and Release your Inner Extrovert to Speak Up in Class

Tips to Boost Your Confidence and Release your Inner Extrovert to Speak Up in ClassThis week we welcome back Christen Morgan to discuss some ideas for speaking up more in class – even if you’re a natural introvert!

There’s no doubt in my mind that one of the utmost fears that wrangles many law students is the fear of speaking up in class. If you’re an extrovert, this task may be a no brainer for you, but if you’re an introvert, the mere thought of engaging in the Socratic method may give you literal nightmares. Speaking from experience, I can tell you firsthand that being an introvert added an entire layer of stress to my first year of law school. [Read more…]

Three Things I Would Have Done Differently for Bar Prep

Three things I would have done differently during bar prepPlease welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan, an attorney, to discuss her bar preparation and some changes she might make reflecting back on the experience.

I can’t believe it has almost been two years since I sat for the bar exam. It’s unbelievable that an experience that was so intensive in my life is beginning to become a little vague. However, as the exam date pulls closer for February exam-takers, I can’t help but reflect on my bar prep experience. Although I’m grateful for my success on the exam, there are still so many things that I wish I had done differently. These “what ifs” run the gamut from stressing less, exercising more and discovering Emmanuel’s MBE questions a lot earlier in the process. Now I know you would be reading all day if I ran through every single thing that I would change about my bar prep process. However, I did want to run through at least three of these things to hopefully lend a helping hand to any preppers currently in bar prep land. [Read more…]

Public Speaking Tips from a Work in Progress

Public Speaking TipsPlease welcome back Jennifer Warren, attorney and Academic Achievement Coordinator at Oklahoma City University School of Law, to discuss how to work on your public speaking skills – something she’s personally been working on since law school.

Like most law schools, the second semester of my first year legal research and writing course involved a class wide moot court competition where I had to make an appellate argument based on a current legal issue. I found myself looking forward to the competition. Although I still had many moments of self-doubt, by the second semester of law school I felt like I had started to find my footing, at least academically. I had done well during the first semester and was keeping up in my current courses. I hoped that with the right amount of practice and preparation I would do just fine during the moot court assignment. So I prepared, and I practiced, and I prepared some more. My scheduled day arrived, I presented my argument, and…it was terrible! I spoke too quietly and too quickly, I forgot key points, I stuttered, I looked at my notes too frequently – I made pretty much every public speaking mistake out there. Despite what I thought was a sufficient amount of preparation, I had done miserably. [Read more…]

Could Stereotype Threat be Impacting Your Academic Performance?

Stereotype Threat - What it is and How to Minimize it

Please welcome back Jennifer Warren, attorney and Academic Achievement Coordinator at Oklahoma City University School of Law, to talk about how stereotype threat could be impacting your academic performance in law school.

Despite the strides towards equality and fair treatment that have been made over the last decades, negative academic stereotypes about women still exist. While on the surface you may dismiss these stereotypes as utter nonsense deriving from outdated beliefs, they could still be subconsciously affecting your academic performance through a psychological occurrence known as stereotype threat.

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Which of Your Selves Comes Forward as a Lawyer?

Double faced lawyerPlease welcome Kate McGuinness back to talk about how career (and life) plans might evolve to reveal different “selves,” and how to handle this situation when it occurs.

Without further ado…here’s Kate!

I have several different selves rattling around inside. No, I’m not suggesting multiple personality disorder. I’m alluding to the varied interests and aptitudes that have led to different careers over time.

My nurturing, playful self became an elementary school teacher. She was followed by the brainy, kick-ass self who became a lawyer. Then the creative, reclusive self came forward to write my legal thriller Terminal Ambition. Now the compassionate, wise self is stepping up as a coach to guide clients through growth and change.

Just as Harry Potter discovered that he had a “good self” and a “bad self,” each of us has many selves.
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“Lean In” to What?

Shangri-LaI’ll withhold judgment on Sheryl Sandberg’s book until I actually read it, but the impending publication seems to have reignited an old debate:

How much should we collectively worry about the dismal retention rates for women (and minorities) in large law firms?

Does it matter if these firms remain bastions of the old white guys? And, if it matters, is it okay to pressure people to stick around, even if they’d rather bail out and reclaim a little “me” time? (Or, I don’t know, get a full night’s sleep every now and then?)

To certain ears, it’s heretical for me to say this, but I just can’t work up too much angst about the fact that women are leaving BigLaw in droves. Why wouldn’t they?

Let’s look at the facts:

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Rejecting the Male Definitions of Success

Susan Smith BlakelyWhat rules are you playing by in your life and your career? Today we’re delighted to welcome back Susan Smith Blakely, author of the Best Friends at the Bar book series, to discuss a provocative question: Do you need to change your definition of success so it’s less “male” to truly succeed?

Rejecting the male definitions of success may seem radical for some young women lawyers. However, for those young women lawyers who desire to have children and play significant roles in the upbringing of those children, the traditional male definitions of success probably will not work.

The direct path to the corner office that men typically aspire to is likely to come up against some real obstacles when babies and business are on collision course.

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Fun and Inspiration at the Ms. JD Conference – She Leads!

Ms. JD - She LeadsA special guest report from Lee Burgess about the wonderful Ms. JD conference!

This past Friday, I had the privilege of attending the Ms. JD conference in Washington, DC, aptly titled, She Leads. This was my first Ms. JD conference and it was a fantastic experience. So fantastic, that I wanted to share my thoughts with all of you so you could share in my excitement.

The conference was hosted by American University College of Law. What a great location for such an event, because of the school’s commitment to the study of women and the law. Turns out that the school was even founded by two pioneering women over 100 years ago. What a great story (you can learn more about it here). American University Washington College of Law

The room was stuffed with law students and attorneys — all eager to meet each other, network and learn from each other.

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