Your Voice

Fear-fueled silence, power imbalance perpetuate bad behavior at law firms

Survey data is at its most useful when it shines a light on the daily challenges that play out in the workplace. Recently, the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts (WBA) released findings from its survey of behaviors in law offices. The report, Survey of Workplace Conduct and Behaviors in Law Firms, reveals how the combination of silence and the imbalance of power perpetuate negative behaviors at work.


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Time for the legal industry to speak out for the rule of law

The rule of law is under siege and it’s incoming on all sides.

The judiciary, the Department of Justice, the intelligence community, and the State Department have all been rebuked repeatedly, undermining their legal and moral authorities. Our electoral process has been compromised and efforts to investigate the culprits, circumstances, and motives of the perpetrators have been resisted even as the intelligence community is in unanimous agreement that all signs point to Russian interference.



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'What It Takes' article gives false picture of female trial lawyers

On Aug. 6, ABAJournal.com posted an article, "Showing anger can backfire for female lawyers, studies say; law prof suggests 'gender judo' response," which quotes from an article in The Atlantic. The following is a response to assertions in that Atlantic magazine article.


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An open letter to potential law students: Know the truth

With the recent news that some BigLaw starting salaries are rising to $190,000, it’s no wonder that law school continues to be a top destination for recent college graduates. However, the truth behind those starting salaries—and given the volatility of the legal job market and the effects of globalization and technology on the business of law—should give one pause before taking out $200,000 in school loans.


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Should you ask judges if they are familiar with your case?

I was in a conversation with some other litigators when this question came up: What’s the most polite way to ask judges whether they’re familiar with the briefs or would they prefer if I summarize the facts and issues for them at oral arguments?

Well, I wasn’t going to pretend…



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Does the adoption of the uniform bar exam foreshadow uniform regulation?

We have reached a tipping point—finally—on the admission of attorneys to the practice of law in this country. In 2018, several state supreme courts, including Illinois with more than 94,000 registered attorneys, announced that they would adopt the Uniform Bar Exam. Thirty-three jurisdictions have now adopted the UBE. Only a handful of them also require a state-specific component as a requirement of admission.


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Can law students improve contracts drafted by accomplished lawyers?

The answer to this question begins with a story from many years ago.


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Being smart isn't as admirable as you may think

There are certain things that matter more to me than I care to admit. Chief among them have been my accomplishments when compared to my peer group and how I am perceived by others. Along these lines, I used to place a lot of value in being described as smart.



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Remembering RFK and the lawyers' committee he inspired

Fifty years ago this month, one of the most significant voices of our time was silenced by an assassin’s bullet. Robert F. Kennedy’s passionate advocacy on behalf of the poor and dispossessed was born of his belief in the inherent dignity and worth of all human beings.


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It's not the associate salaries, it's the human skills that challenge law firms

Earlier this month, New York-based Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy announced it will increase its associate salaries across the board by $10,000 to $15,000—a starting salary of $190,000 for those fresh out of law school. What followed was an outcry in the legal media and reports that unhappy clients…



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