Tag - blog

Women in law

We may not be quite as glamorous as our movie counterparts, but myself and Billy (my chihuahua) could be likened Elle and Bruiser in some ways!
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Equality for women in careers is constantly being discussed in the media.
Just this week the BBC reported that the International Labour Organization (ILO) found a substantial, and unjustified, gender pay gap. It claims that women ‘may be better educated or work harder than men’ yet are paid much less. Here’s the link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30340870

Take a look at Lady Justice Hallett’s comments from last year for the Telegraph. She highlights the 2012 Council of Europe report’s findings which place Britian as the worst in Europe for employing female judges.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/10078243/Law-firms-have-unconscious-bias-that-stops-women-from-getting-promoted-says-senior-City-lawyer.html

Yet the number of female law students seems promising: women make up 62.4% of students accepted onto law undergraduate courses (Law Society, 2014). Perhaps there’s been a significant shift in the trend against women in law in the last year? Or perhaps it will just take time for this higher proportion of women to translate into the highest legal positions?

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Social media, anecdotes and questions…

I don’t know about you but sometimes I really struggle to think of questions to ask at firms that I’m interviewing with. There’s such a vast knowledge base to research before you actually go in for the interview itself, that occasionally I draw a blank because I feel like I already know the firm and associates without having even entered the premises. (Please note: there’s a fine line between researching and stalking!)

So where do you do your research? Google is the obvious choice of search engine. The power of Google is almighty! But you will also need to think outside of the box, research online news sites, follow the partners on LinkedIn, connect on Twitter, read the firm’s blog (if they have one), newspaper articles, do the full works and it will help you be more prepared! It’s also become more and more important to have a social media presence online, so start making accounts but always remember to keep them professional! The law firm I worked at in New York would Google search any candidates that applied, digging for dirt and inappropriate pictures, so I know first-hand that it happens.

Last month I actually had the partner of a law firm I applied to send me a friendship request on Facebook only an hour after I had sent them my application. It’s a difficult situation to determine: on one hand the partner is doing his research on you and you wouldn’t want him to make a pre-determination about you based on Facebook pictures or comments you’ve made in the past. BUT, you also don’t want to hinder yourself from getting an interview! The way I dealt with it was to explain to an associate (who had emailed me to say they were considering my application, and had mentioned the partner’s Facebook request) that I was grateful for the request but that I use Twitter and LinkedIn in a professional capacity, and not Facebook. It was a risk that I took by doing this but I had to stick to my guns, although I am sure that some of you may read this and disagree. But I still don’t regret my decision and I think that’s the important thing.

So I also wanted to extend the offer to all of you who read mine, Greg’s, Liam’s and Mark’s blogs, that should you have any questions at all feel free to ask me. You can comment on any of my posts or tweet me here. I would love to have more interaction with all of you or even if there are any topics you’d like me to discuss then please do get in touch and let me know!