The NYSBA Sponsors Panel of Men Opining on Women’s “Strengths and Weaknesses” as Lawyers

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[Update here, as of  1/17/2010]

The New York State Bar Association holds its Annual Meeting January 25-30, 2010 in New York City.   The Committee on Women in the Law is sponsoring a program called “Weathering Tough Times: Strategic Planning for Your Practice.” The agenda appears after the jump.   It includes an 11:00 a.m. panel entitled, “Their Point of View: Tips From the Other Side,” in which “[a] distinguished panel of gentlemen from the legal field will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of women in the areas of communication, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, organization, and women’s overall management of their legal work.”

I call for all members of the NYSBA to boycott this panel discussion. Yes, the speakers have a right to speak, but we don’t have to go and listen.   Men have been telling us FOR YEARS how we don’t measure up.   To have a panel of men, endorsed by the New York State Bar Association, discussing our “strengths and weaknesses,” is a regression and an insult to all women in the legal profession.

-Bridget Crawford

Weathering Tough Times:
Strategic Planning For Your Practice

Committee Chair, Taa R. Grays, Esq.
New York City

Program Chairs
Earamichia Nake Brown, Esq.
Bronx, NY

Anna S. Park, Esq.
New York City

Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on your legal practice.     We are practicing in a changing world.   Re-evaluate yourself, assess your skills and learn to transform your legal experience and knowledge to rejuvenate your career and push the boundaries of your success.

9:00 a.m. – 9:25 a.m.
Registration

9:25 a.m. – 9:35 a.m.
Opening Remarks

What’s Our Problem:   Current Issues Facing Women
Women lawyers are practicing in a changing legal market where competition is tougher and expectations are higher.   Whether you are currently in or are looking to re-enter the legal field, you should be prepared to reassess and sharpen your lawyerly skills.   A panel of expert women attorneys will provide guidance on essential skills necessary for women to be successful attorneys and counsel to their clients.

9:35 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
How to build credibility in your practice, develop expertise, and manage other’s perceptions of you.

10:00 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.
How to build and grow a solo practice.

10:25 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.
Legal skills, including legal analysis and problem solving, brief writing, oral argument, counseling and negotiation skills.

Panelists:
Katherine Frink-Hamlett, President, Frink-Hamlett Legal Solutions, Inc.

Angela S. Barker, Law Offices of Angela Barker and Associates

Terri A. Mazur, Partner, Mayer Brown, LLP

Moderator:
Anna Park, Esq., Zeichner Ellman & Krause LLP

11:00 a.m. – 11:50 p.m.
Their Point of View: Tips From the Other Side

A distinguished panel of gentlemen from the legal field will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of women in the areas of communication, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, organization, and women’s overall management of their legal work.

11:50 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
The panel will give specific skill building advice as to what women should be doing to strengthen their practice in the above-mentioned areas.

Panelists:
Zachary Carter, Partner, New York Trial Department Head, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

Carey R. Dunne, Partner, Litigation Department, Davis, Polk & Wardwell, LLP

James B. Carlson, Partner, Mayer Brown, LLP

Moderator:
Earamichia Brown, Esq., Director of Intake and Intelligence, MTA Office of the Inspector General

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Luncheon
Presentation of the Kay Crawford Murray Award

1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Reviewing the Newly Revised Ethics Rules
Join us as we test your recognition and resolution of ethical dilemmas through improvisation and educate you on the changes in the Rules of Ethics.

Panelist:
Gary A. Munneke, Professor, Pace Law School

Moderator/Participant:
Elke M. Stoiber, Associate, Certilman Balin, Adler & Hyman, LLP

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10 Responses to The NYSBA Sponsors Panel of Men Opining on Women’s “Strengths and Weaknesses” as Lawyers

  1. Barbara Burke says:

    Ironically, the panel discussion is being held under the heading of the Edith Spivack Symposium. Spivack herself was a pioneer for women in New York law and achieved many “firsts” as a female attorney.

    Perhaps the NYSBA Committee on Women should consider replacing the distinguished gentlemen with a panel discussion on consciousness-raising and its relevance today.

  2. David S. Cohen says:

    Are we in the 1920s?

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  4. stephaniewickouski says:

    A boycott isn’t strong enough – unless all the women boycott paying their bar dues, that is!! The NYSBA should pull the program completely. Or better yet – ask them to send around a program description exactly like the last one, only changing “gentlemen” to “ladies”, and “women” to “men”. Or, better still, change “gentlemen” to “whites” and “women” to “blacks”. The reaction to the former would be comical, to the latter, explosive. I am somewhere between comical and explosive.

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  6. ninakraut says:

    My mother — a 70+ year member of the NY State Bar — was a 1936 graduate of NYU Law. She was among the top 5 in her graduating night school class. A professor recommended her to White & Case. Their response: they had their quota of women and Jews. She went on to a stellar career, first in NYC as Tax Editor at the Research Institute of America, where she worked with Leo Cherne and was, for a time, Bill Casey’s boss, and then in Dutchess County where she started the Dutchess County Legal Aid Society in about 1950. Discrimination of one kind or another dogged her for a good chunk of time, but she pressed on. She was a wonderful mentor, not only to me, but to a hoard of other young women who wanted to be lawyers. She died 3 years ago, at age 98. I can feel her in my bones, turning over in her grave at this outlandish, outrageous panel of the NYState Bar, an organization she truly loved, but one which, I think, she’d be appalled at today.

  7. Barbara Burke says:

    Thanks for posting the above. We – law students, especially – need to hear these stories, simply to be reminded of the many courageous women who paved the way for us. We stand on their shoulders.

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