What do you think is your biggest struggle being a woman in our profession? What repercussions has being a lawyer had in your personal life?

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Was going to apply to a new job. Then got pregnant. Men don’t have this problem.


Managing work expectations and availability during time off (including after-hours during the week) is so much harder as a woman. I feel like my personal time and vacation time isn’t nearly as respected as my male colleagues


Working exclusively for male partners who either aren't comfortable working with women, or who are comfortable making me do a ton of work, but won't invest anything in my development/mentoring/etc.


My self confidence has taken a hit and it was not super high to begin with. I am really lucky that my firm is very respectful and made up mostly of women! However, I still have, at least, monthly experiences where a client, opposing counsel or opposing party won’t take me seriously, talk down to me or even just treat me like subhuman. I wish I didn’t take it personally, but I do. I do wish my boss would have my back a little more in those situations, but he’s a man and I just truly believe he doesn’t get it. (That bums me out, but it doesn’t cause me to doubt myself)


Stress on marriage and family life. To be fair, I married a military man, so between deployments and law work, both careers impact it. But the biggest thing has been that planning a family has been so much harder than I expected. We were married younger and planned on having our first child around 30. I’m 32 now and at this point, I’m just hopeful to have a child before 35. It feels like by taking time off for maternity leave I will be setting myself back career wise.


Constantly having to evaluate and adjust my tone and approach when giving legal opinions or negotiating with (usually older) men has been exhausting.

A deferential approach (“I hear what you are saying and will take another look”), resulted in criticism by a client who said I seemed unsure of myself. Conversely, a confident approach resulted in a few vague client and opposing counsel complaints that I was “rude,” “argumentative,” “abrasive,” etc. None of the complainers actually gave examples of what I said that was rude or argumentative, so it’s impossible for me to incorporate that sort of feedback.

None of my male colleagues seem to get this sort of feedback. It is always the women that need to work to avoid vague “personality” feedback or find creative ways to prove their competence without seeming overconfident or [negative trait here].

A few calls to management by disgruntled clients can have a tangible impact on one’s career, so this isn’t something that’s easy to ignore. I hope with time this starts to go away, but lately I am getting less and less optimistic.


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