On October 29, 2014, the Women’s Lawyer Section of the Santa Clara County Bar Association — led by co-chairs Lori Costanzo and Linda MacLeod — held its “2nd Annual From Having It All to Leaning In: Career Advancement, Work-Life Balance, and the Realities of Being a Lawyer in the 21st Century" Seminar. This year's event, held at Cooley LLP in Palo Alto, was well attended with approximately 75 dynamic female lawyers — including judges (sitting and retired), mediators, corporate advisors, in-house counsel, professors, equity and non-equity partners, sole practitioners, authors, and associates—present. We started off with a cocktail hour where attendees were able to mingle and network in a relaxed setting. Pat Gillette, a well-known leader in the area of the advancement of female lawyers, was our keynote speaker. She sang the old Virginia Slims tune to introduce her speech about what she considers to be the “New Feminism.” She urged attendees to affirmatively engage men in the conversation — and the movement — to get women lawyers into more leadership positions at their law firms, companies and universities. She was simply “mahvelous.” You can see some of her keynote below.
Seminar participants then broke out into one of four groups lead by female experts where timely articles, materials and books on women’s issues authored by Ida Abbott, Jean Williams, Barbara Bryant, Judge Erica Yew, Lori Andrus, and Dr. Michelle Rhyu were provided and discussed. The groups were: (1) Sponsorship/Mentorship and Equal Pay Issues; (2) Obstacles to Leadership and How to Overcome them; (3) Rainmaking—Regardless of Firm Size; and (3) Work/Life Balance.
Each breakout session generated spirited and personal discussion in a small group setting. All participants then gathered together again and reported back what they learned regarding their specific topics. The event provided much-needed discussion and education for female lawyers of all ages and backgrounds.
Look for this annual event again in 2015.