Monday, April 21, 2008


PAR Conference in DC on May 15th

The Project for Attorney Retention will host a conference next month designed to help law firms attract, retain, and advance women lawyers:

Positioning Law Firms for Long-Term Success:
New Strategies for Advancing Women Lawyers

May 15, 2008
Marvin Center, Third Floor Ballroom
George Washington University
800 21st Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

Despite best intentions and a variety of women’s initiatives, legal employers are still having a difficult time retaining and promoting women lawyers. This conference will provide legal employers with innovative, proven strategies for advancing women lawyers and, ultimately, strengthening their organizations for the future.


9:00 Registration and coffee

9:30 Welcome

9:35 Keynote: Why Women’s Initiatives Fail and What To Do About It (Joan Williams)

10:00 Successful Women, Successful Firms: Eleven Practical Strategies for Recruiting, Retaining, and Advancing Women Lawyers (Cynthia Calvert, Linda Chanow, and Consuela Pinto)

11:00 Break

11:15 A View from the Road Ahead: Innovations from Accounting Firms for Law Firms to Adopt Now (Patti Yoder, Mid-Atlantic People Team Leader, Ernst & Young LLP; Lisa A. Madden, Partner, Corporate Group (former Managing Partner, Washington National Tax Office), KPMG)

12:15 Lunch: sandwich buffet

1:15 Building a Culture of Inclusiveness: A View from Inside a Firm (Ellen Ostrow, Founder and Principal, Lawyers Life Coach LLC; Karen Hansen, Esq., Chair, Diversity Committee, Beveridge and Diamond, P.C.)

1:45 Measuring for a Purpose: What Law Firms Can't Afford to Ignore (M.J. Tocci, President, Fulcrum Advisors)

2:15 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow: Advancing Women through Succession Planning (Ida Abbott, President, Ida Abbott Consulting LLC)

2:45 Break

3:00: Refining Law Firm Culture to Support Flexibility (Jeannine Rupp, Principal, Armonia LLC)

3:30 The Client’s Perspective on Women Lawyers in Law Firms (Hinton J. Lucas, Jr., Associate General Counsel and Chief Administrative Counsel, Dupont; Miguel R. Rivera, Sr., Associate General Counsel, Wal-Mart)

4:15 This is How We Do It: Law firm representatives discuss their successful strategies (Roundtable discussions)

4:50 Closing Remarks (Joan Williams)

Reception 5:00 – 6:00

Fee: $149

Online registration available on the PAR website.

Questions? Contact us at conference at pardc dot org.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


PAR and Ms. JD Announce Essay Contest Winners

PAR and Ms. JD held an essay contest, asking entrants to provide a response to lawyers who may view young lawyers today who want some time outside the office as lacking in ambition.

The winning essays can be read on Ms. JD's website.

Here's an excerpt from the press release about the winners:

New York, NY – Fifty-four passionate and well-written entries were received by work/life balance advocates Ms. JD and the Project for Attorney Retention (PAR) in the first-ever essay contest co-sponsored by the two groups. The assigned topic was one that has received much press as of late: bridging the seemingly expansive divide between Baby Boomer partners and Gen-Y/Millennial young lawyers. It asked entrants essentially to explain why Millennials, who place a premium on work/life balance are not merely slackers. In short, it asked Gen-Y to explain persuasively their rationale for work/life balance—a balance that may very well have been sacrificed by their senior colleagues.

PAR’s team of work-life balance experts judged the entries based on their creativity, originality, and viability, and Co-Directors Cynthia Thomas Calvert and Joan C. Williams selected and ranked the top three. First prize was awarded to Lori Johnson, who attends University of Mississippi. Ms. JD awarded her $1,000.

Regarding Ms. Johnson’s essay, Williams said, "We were impressed at the high level of interest among Millennials in reaching out to Baby Boomers to seek common ground in serving clients – and lawyers – better. The winning essay brings concrete life experience in the accounting profession to bear in offering some concrete solutions to the legal profession, based on the experience in another personal service profession."

The second place essay was written jointly by Davida Brook and Andrew Bruck of Stanford Law School. Third place was awarded to Sabrina Ursaner of New York University School of Law. Jodi Rosenberg, who is a mother of three and of counsel at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP in New Jersey, earned an Honorable Mention. The winning essays are posted on the Ms. JD website.

Natalie Hiott-Levine, Assistant Director of PAR, said the two organizations hope to make the essay contest an annual event. "Today’s young lawyers are thinking about and experiencing work/life issues differently than the last generation. Essay contests such as this one give these experiences a voice and afford us meaningful insight into the evolution of the profession and its professionals,” she said.

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