ABA Journal

Your Voice

On Better Terms: What should we do with 'nonlawyer'?

"Nonlawyer" means someone who isn’t a lawyer. But for years, many have found the word objectionable.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

My career approach could have killed me

In 1982, as a healthy 29-year-old with a brand-new JD, I joined a Washington, D.C., law firm handling class action tort litigation. Workdays there were fast and furious. Sixty-hour work weeks were the norm, but I was young and hungry, the work was stimulating and I leaned in.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

Three Scary Letters: Big. Law. ALS.

It’s strange how three little letters can cause so much angst, even if you know nothing about them. As a veteran aviator, I pride myself on my resiliency, flexibility and confidence. But it would be untruthful to say transitioning from over a decade of active duty flying to a legal…



  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

Creating Space at the Table: Succeeding as a female in the still-male-dominated field of law

Growing up far from the big city in Delmar, New York, I did not know many lawyers, and I certainly knew of no lawyers to emulate. Back then I would have never dreamt of becoming a managing partner in a successful law firm. But here I am, thanks to the sound advice from mentors who saw my potential and helped me forge my way.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

Identifying and eliminating implicit bias toward psychiatric disabilities in the legal profession

“Don’t let it happen again.” When I heard the statement, my body melted into my chair as I sat staring toward the screen in our Zoom meeting. Shock spread through my body for several moments—no words came. I was petrified and let waves of shame and disbelief flow through my body.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

Fill the 'Justice Gap': Victims of domestic violence need your pro bono legal help

I’ll never forget sitting in professor Sarah Buel’s Domestic Violence and the Law class at the University of Texas School of Law, as she shared her iconic article: Fifty Obstacles to Leaving, a.k.a., Why Abuse Victims Stay.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

A look at Paul Hastings' viral 'no exceptions, no excuses' presentation missteps

There’s a saying, usually attributed to journalist Michael Kinsley, that in politics, a gaffe is when you inadvertently say something you believe but didn’t mean to disclose—maybe that taxes need to be raised or Social Security benefits trimmed.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

Law schools should take on students' mental health and substance use from day one

The legal profession has a drinking problem. Whether we like to admit it or not, students are often socialized into a drinking culture in law school, if not before. From where I sit as a law school dean, law students and members of the legal profession continue to struggle with mental health issues for which substance use can be a contributing factor.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

The curious case of why lawyers are not called 'doctor'

I have been a practicing lawyer since 1988, and I’m acutely aware of the interesting and curious dance that attorneys have with how to be addressed professionally, particularly in academic settings. It never occurred to me, however, that lawyers would use the title "Dr." until a few years after graduating from law school, when I accepted an adjunct position at a local college while also practicing law.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

Law schools face an inflection point with diversity, equity and inclusion

In recent years, there has been a rise in law students heckling speakers. In 2018, I was shouted down at the CUNY Law School in New York. In 2022, Ilya Shapiro was shouted down at the law school formerly known as Hastings. And more recently, Judge Stuart Kyle Duncan of the Fifth Circuit was shouted down at Stanford Law School.


  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Print

Read more ...