Women in Law

Take the time to check in on your friends and colleagues during this time.

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Be cognizant of the fact that for many black attorneys, we are one of few at our place of work. I am glad that people are reaching out, especially partners, but the amount of contact that I've had this week, on top of a heavy workload, and the general stress that I feel over the current situation has made it difficult to balance my reactions. I think it's fine to let people know that you care, but be patient with the fact that they might not respond right away or they might only respond briefly. We do see it and we do care about it, but a lot of us are just trying to navigate the day-to-day right now and we can't always be eloquent. Also one good way to reach out is to offer concrete action. One partner told me that he would donate $500 to a cause of my choice. I'm not saying you have to do that, but I think it's helpful to say things like "if there is something you want to change at the firm, I want to back you up." Especially partners. Finally, only reach out if you actually care. We know who our allies are and we know who's doing it for public image. If you really care about us then be here for us once the news cycle moves on. Shut down conversations that are full of dog whistles. Real recognizes real.

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How do I do this appropriately?

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You can let them know you're thinking of them and ask if there's anything you can do to help with their workload if you have capacity to do so. If you offer to listen, then listen. Don't place a burden on them to explain systemic racism to you or to offload any shame you might feel about what's going on.

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