Perspectives: A Magazine for and about Women Lawyers
Perspectives - A Magazine for and About Women LawyersWomen on Capitol Hill See Light Shining on a Long List
Spring 2009
Vol. 17, No. 4
Women on Capitol Hill See Light Shining on a Long List
by Cynthia L. Cooper
The 111th Congress wasted no time addressing women's issues. On January 6, 2009, the first day that the nation's newly elected representatives convened in the Capitol, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. While workers erected presidential inauguration scaffolding outside on the Mall, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also worked hard. She had declared at a December forum with Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) at Hunter College in New York that legislation of importance to women would be of primary concern to her. "We will put these issues forth," Pelosi said. ( continue reading)

Sign of the Times:
Will Corporate Budget Restraints Affect In-House Diversity Initiatives?

by Hannah Hayes
While the economy continues on a downward spiral, job security in the corporate world is shaky at best, and soon-to-be graduates preparing to launch their legal career wonder what opportunities exist after law school. What's more, in these uncertain times, corporate budget constraints have nudged aside important issues such as job parity, retention, work/life balance, and diversity in the legal workplace. Even though diversity no longer is the politically correct buzzword that it was in the 1990s, it is good business sense in today's global economy and multicultural marketplace. ( continue reading)

Eliminating Barriers to Women's Advancement:
Focus on the Performance Evaluation Process
by Consuela A. Pinto
Women lawyers are entering the pipeline in significant numbers, but few are emerging as leaders in their law firms. Hidden gender bias is the blockage that makes it virtually impossible for women to break through the glass ceiling in law firms. Although gender bias is subtle, its effect can be minimized by reducing the blockage in the pipeline. The keys to reducing its impact on partnership decisions are two fold—(1) raise awareness about bias so that it can be recognized and (2) design a bias-free evaluation process. The performance review process is a critical point of impact because it is the primary professional development tool. ( continue reading)

Careers: The Supreme Generalists -
General Counsels Keep Their Departments Going—Even in Tough Times
by Ann Farmer
While it's often said that the buck stops with the general counsel, these days that also means stretching the buck. As much as ever, a general counsel's job requires a savvy blend of legal and business acumen. General counsels are responsible for providing comprehensive, long-range legal advice. But they must also be adept at belt-tightening. And they are expected to spot trends and issues before they become problems. ( continue reading)

Chair's Message
Accelerating Change by Leveraging Our Influence
by Bobbi Liebenberg
Valuing Civil Rights and Liberties: From Queens to the Federal Bench
by Nancy Gertner
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