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DTCI: Kick off your heels with the new Women in the Law Division

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McComberAn article came across my desk the other day about the recently published report by the National Association of Women Lawyers regarding the retention and promotion of women in law firms. This report was of special interest to me since I had recently left a law firm for an in-house counsel position – something I have observed my contemporaries doing for some time.

This report concluded that not much has changed for women in the top 200 law firms since NAWL first started tracking this information eight years ago. Compensation, leadership roles, rainmaking, and equity partnership remain stagnant for women. The greatest percentage of women hold the lowest positions in law firms (associates and staff attorneys) while the lowest percentage of women hold the highest positions in law firms (equity partner). “This year’s results reinforce that women in private practice continue to face barriers to reaching the highest positions in their firms – as equity partners and members of governance committees,” said Stephanie Scharf, report author, past president of the NAWL Foundation and a partner at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC. While the number of female law students has consistently been equal to or slightly greater than the number of male law students, women are grossly underrepresented in the leadership positions in law firms. The ultimate question is what are we as a legal community going to do about this?

While there is no right or wrong answer, mentoring and networking can go a long way in helping women feel like they are not alone in their personal and professional lives. DTCI wants to make this even easier by expanding the available network of strong and successful women lawyers. DTCI has created the Women in the Law Division, and I am honored to serve as the division’s first chairperson. This new division will help women network, mentor, be mentored, market and address the ever-present work/life balance issues they face in all stages of their professional lives. Our events are designed to allow members to speak freely regarding the professional and personal obstacles they face as women in the legal profession.

Please join us for the division’s kickoff event April 17 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Osteria Pronto in the JW Marriott located at 10 S. West Street in Indianapolis. The event features a panel discussion with Judge Heather Welch of Marion Superior Court, Julia Gelanis of Frost Brown Todd LLC, and Michele Calderon Johns of Indiana University Health and Indiana University Health Risk Retention Group. These women will share the secrets of their success, how they have thrived in the practice of law, and the valuable lessons they learned along the way. The event will offer networking opportunities beginning at 11 a.m. and a panel discussion after a delicious family-style lunch. The cost is $50 per person and registration is available now at www.dtci.org.

Join us as a member of this new division and kick off your heels at our inaugural luncheon on April 17. Let’s see what we can do to change the statistics.•

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Ms. McOmber is an attorney with Indiana University Health Risk Retention Group. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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