Perspectives: A Magazine for and about Women Lawyers
Short Takes
Spring 2010

Women Owners of Law Firms Sought for New CWP Book

The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession is developing a new book entitled The Road to Independence: A Woman's Guide to Forming Her Own Law Firm. This volume will contain a collection of letters (four double-spaced pages maximum) focusing on the experiences, challenges, and opportunities of women-owned law firms.

The Commission is seeking women who have formed their own firms--whether as a solo, with other women, or with men. It is not necessary that the women currently be owners of their firms. The book's primary audience is women who are thinking about starting their own law firms as well as those who already have taken that step.

If you are interested in offering your insight into these important issues--or you know someone who has started her own firm--please send name/contact information to Barbara Leff, Commission on Women communications and publications manager, at leffb@staff. A first round of invitation letters were sent in early April.

For more information about the book and the procedures for submitting letters, visit

Lauren Stiller Rikleen Receives Women of Justice Award

Lauren Stiller Rikleen, founder and executive director of the Bowditch Institute for Women's Success and a senior partner of Bowditch & Dewey, LLP, in Framingham, Massachusetts, is one of the 2009 recipients of the Women of Justice Award presented by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. This award celebrates women who have made great strides in the fields of law, justice, and advocacy. Rikleen is the author of Ending the Gauntlet: Removing Barriers to Women's Success in the Law, a member of the ABA Board of Governors, and a past member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Ninth Circuit Grants Class Certification in Wal-Mart Case

On April 26, 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a 6--5 decision ruled that hundreds of thousands of current and former Wal-Mart female employees who have worked at Wal-Mart stores at any time since June 2001 are entitled to proceed with their nationwide class action lawsuit charging gender discrimination in compensation and promotions by Wal-Mart and its subsidiary, Sam's Club. The class in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. can seek lost pay and injunctive relief for women employed by Wal-Mart since June 8, 2001, when the suit was originally filed. The Ninth Circuit sent the case back to the district court to determine whether women who were employed prior to that date may be part of the class and whether the class can seek punitive damages. The class is estimated to be more than 1.5 million women, making it the largest civil rights class action in history.


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  In This Issue
Are Young Women Turning Their Backs on Law School?

Recession Places Law School Reform in the Eye of the Storm

Practical Education for Every Stage of Your Career

Law School Placement Offices Broaden Horizons

Post-Transition in the Profession

Chair's Message


Short Takes

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Commission Chair
Bobbi Liebenberg

Editorial Board
Ann M. Courtney, Chair
Leslie M. Altman
Phyllis Horn Epstein
Kristen Galles
Karen Lockwood
Alyson Dodi Meiselman
Lynn Hecht Schafran
Macarena Tamayo-Calabrese
Patricia Timmons-Goodson

Commission Staff
Veronica M. Muñoz, Director
Alia Graham
Beverly Henderson
Barbara Leff
Melissa Wood

ABA Publishing Editor
Jane Harper-Alport

ABA Publishing Designer
Amanda Draper

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