As Laura Leopard‘s team at Leopard Solutions was analyzing the 2021 law firm lateral movement data, a glaring statistic stood out. There were a lot of women attorneys leaving AmLaw200 firms, and were not coming back like their male counterparts were. As with any good data expert, Laura worked with her team to find out the reasoning behind this trend. The results of that study were released earlier this summer in Leopard Solution’s “Women Leaving Law” report.
We sit down with Laura to discuss statistics that show that some 64% of women lawyers who leave AmLaw200 firms don’t come back to those firms, some 60% of male attorneys don’t either. And while many might think that the reasons for women not returning are part of the “Shecession” of the pandemic, the survey shows that is not the primary reason. The actual reasons involve things like law firm culture, lack of lateral recruiting of women, uneven promotions, and lack of flexibility needed to retain women in the legal workforce.
The report does give eleven processes that law firms can implement to help recruit and retain women. We go through each of those, one by one to learn more.
AALL Crystal Ball Question
We have a familiar voice joining us this week as Bob Ambrogi answers our Crystal Ball Question and discusses the path he predicts state legal regulatory sandboxes are going to take over the next few years.

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Links Mentioned:
Contact Us:
Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert
Voicemail: 713-487-7270
Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com
Transcript


Continue Reading 11 Steps Law Firms Can Take to Stop “Women Leaving Law” – Laura Leopard (TGIR Ep. 170)

We bring on a fellow legal industry podcaster this week to talk about the launching of her brand new podcast, The Portia Project. M.C. Sungaila is a shareholder at Buchalter in California and she noticed that while there were a number of female judges making it onto the trial court bench, there were still a small number at the appellate level. This motivated her to seek out a platform for those judges who were at the appellate level to share their stories and perhaps encourage others to seek out similar roles. M.C. discusses how her original idea of creating a book on the topic morphed into the podcast platform as a result of not just the length of time it takes to compile a book, but also because she quickly discovered that being able to actually hear these stories told in first-person had more of an emotional effect than the printed page could convey.

M.C. shares how the experiences of women joining the judiciary changed over the past few decades. How the challenges shifted from the 70s and 80s into the past couple of decades. That the barriers shifted from obvious issues to more subtle obstacles. She also notes how there is a theme among these stories of women trailblazers in particular areas of legal practice, only to be supplanted by their male counterparts once those areas of practice become more prestigious. It is this type of shared storytelling experience that makes podcasting such a popular platform and M.C.’s Portia Project brings these important stories to life. We hope you enjoy this discussion as much as we did.

Crystal Ball Question

While we may be back to a more “regular” style of podcast episode this week, we still have some recordings from LegalWeek that we are going to share for a few more episodes. We asked a number of attendees our Crystal Ball question of “what significant changes do you see in the legal industry over the next five years?” This week, David Bartolone from Wolters Kluwer sat down at the microphone in New York and gave us his projection on the role APIs will play in the near future.

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Contact Us

Twitter: @gebauerm or @glambert

Voicemail: 713-487-7270

Email: geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com

Music: Jerry David DeCicca

Transcript


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 151 – M.C. Sungaila and The Portia Project Podcast

The i.WILL professional networking forum is a culmination of Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP’s CIO, Andrea Markstrom’s passion for empowering women. i.WILL (Inspiring Women Igniting Leadership & Learning) works to connect, professional women across different industries and leverage this network to help give these women the guidance to build upon their leadership skills. i.WILL now has a foothold in New York, New Jersey, Minneapolis, Fort Lauderdale, and (with Marlene’s help) soon coming to Houston. There are over 400 members within the network and growing. Andrea discusses the three pillars of the organization of Networking Events, Giving Back and Paying Forward, and the Grant Fund called i.WILL Accelerate. Andrea puts it best when she describes the mission in that, “We are strong women. We are smart women. We have experience. We all have a story to share, and we can learn from each other.”
To learn more about i.WILL, contact Andrea via LinkedIn and she can get you on the mailing list. There is an upcoming event called the Board Boot Camp in coordination with The Fourth Floor.

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Information Inspirations
While we talk about the value of Data Scientists, it could be Social Scientists like Dr. Zeynep Tufekci who are really the best situated to understand how information (or “the truth”) needs to be exposed to the public. Trying to manipulate the truth because you’re afraid that the public might do something bad with it, is actually not a good idea. (See Dr. Tufekci’s keynote at the 2015 CALI Conference)
What can you do with professionals like Firefighters who have open work schedules? Perhaps a version of the gig economy might leverage them into a B2B model. David Heim-Buck is trying that very thing with his new start-up, Hidrent.


Continue Reading The Geek in Review Ep. 84 – Andrea Markstrom and the i.WILL Forum. Women Empowering Women

While we could talk all day with the husband and wife team of Andie Kramer and Al Harris about being BigLaw Partners, it is their work on women’s conflicts and bias in the workplace which brings them on the show today. Andie and Al recently released their second book, It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace: Women’s Conflict at Work and the Bias That Built It. And we jump in with both feet to discuss how the workplace environment, even at law firms (or maybe, especially at law firms), is designed to place women in adversarial roles against one another. Andie and Al have mentored women, conducted speaking consultations, and have written books on the subject of gender communications for over 30 years. Because they bring both the female and male perspectives into this very difficult conversation, they pack a one-two punch for their audiences and definitely grab their attention. When we asked Al Harris how important it was for him to bring in men into this conversation, his answer was, “in a word… VERY!”
We take a deep dive into the issue of gender bias in the workplace, and the environment which contributes to that very bias. You can learn more about Andie Kramer and Al Harris, including a question guide to their books, at their website, andieandal.com. Definitely check out the website after you listen to this week’s interview!

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What Does Your Family Think You Do??
We have one more story this week about a family member who thinks that being a library manager is a glorified file clerk job. We imagined that Thanksgiving that year was a little awkward. If you have a story to share, leave us a message at 713-487-7270 or email us your story at geekinreviewpodcast@gmail.com.

Information Inspirations

Come on men… it’s 2019!!
The Pence Rule of a man not being alone with a woman in the workplace, or attending a social event with alcohol without having a man’s wife present is affecting work environments, including law firms. American Lawyer senior columnist, Vivia Chen’s article, #MeToo Backlash Is Not Going Away, shows how men are less likely to work in one-on-one situations with women at a higher rate in 2019, than in 2016. This is having a significant effect on the ability for women to have equal access to opportunities and advancement. Vivia puts it best when she says “Considering it’s 2019, it’s frick’n unbelievable.” We couldn’t agree more.


Continue Reading The Geek In Review Ep. 52 – Andie Kramer and Al Harris on Their New Book, It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace

By Lisa Salazar (@Lihsa)

A UK study, Elastic Generation: The Female Edit, offers some refreshing insight into a woman’s perspective on advertising.

Conducted by J Walter Thompson Intelligence, 248 UK women aged 53-72 were surveyed. For comparison,  276 UK men were surveyed, as well.

When women push back on patronizing and stereotypes in marketing and advertising

Marketing to women

Identifying this group of females as the “elastic generation”, the report comes to this pivotal conclusion:

The two words women choose to describe advertising aimed at them? ‘Patronising’ and ‘stereotyped’. As a result, 72% say they pay no heed to advertising. Nine out of ten say they would just like to be treated as a person, not a stereotype. Elastic Generation, p. 3.

I would surmise that this general feeling floats all the way across the pond.


Continue Reading When women push back on stereotypes in marketing and advertising