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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