Ms. Nelson preferred over Ms. Mehalik

March 26, 2012
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According to a recent study, lawyers who have easier to pronounce names are favored at work.

A study out of Australia used field data on 500 lawyers in the U.S. to take a look at how names influence impression formation and decision making in the workplace. Researchers also looked at how names impact elections.

Turns out, if I were a lawyer, my married name – Nelson – would give me a better shot at a promotion than my maiden name – Mehalik. I always got a kick out of hearing people trying to say my last name.

Attorneys with more pronounceable names rose more quickly to superior positions in the firm. The researches say the ease of saying one’s name was the driving factor, not the length or cultural origins.

Turns out, politicians with simple-to-say last names also are favored in elections.

What do you think about the study? At your own firm or office, do the people in charge have simple to pronounce names?

 

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  • The Name Game
    Jennifer, First, I thought you were two people, so I am glad to have that straightened out.

    I can tell when a call is from South Bend because they get my name right on the first try.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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