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Author Topic: you go girl!  (Read 12650 times)

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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2007, 02:13:46 PM »
http://www.abanet.org/journal/redesign/04fsolo.html

Roxanne Conlin
Roxanne Conlin & Associates, Des Moines, Iowa
Secrets:
• Use part-time and contract lawyers
• Create a happy work environment
• Work referral networks

Roxanne Conlin, 62, is a grandmother five times over who boasts of being the “most senior civil rights lawyer in Iowa.”

In fact, in 1969, she was among the first to try a case under the state’s civil rights act, and she was the second woman ever to become a U.S. attorney.

In 1982, she lost a close race for governor of Iowa, and she was the first female president of the former Asso­ciation of Trial Lawyers of America. She also conquered alcoholism, which she was forced to face after being arrested for a DUI in 1992.

Today, the firm she runs, Roxanne Conlin & Asso­ciates, has generated more than $1 million in revenue for longer than Conlin can remember—“many, many years,” she says.


Her firm focuses on “representing people who are hurt,” which means plaintiffs and sometimes classes of plaintiffs, in matters involving primarily discrimination, employment, medical malpractice, personal injury and products liability.

Conlin’s staff expands and contracts based on the firm’s workload. She typically has a nonlawyer staff of six, but that ballooned to 12 while she was at trial on a months-long class action that settled in February against Microsoft (the terms of the settlement haven’t been disclosed, but plaintiffs experts estimated $329 million in damages).

She has one part-time associate but also hired an­other two temporary attorneys.

They were former clerks at Conlin’s firm whose time as employees ended once the trial ended, and they handled “whatever the crisis of the moment” was, she says.

She rounds out the staff with six part-time law clerks who work 20 hours per week while attending law school and during summers.


SUPPORT YOUR STAFF

Though Conlin and her employees work hard, she tries to create an atmosphere that encourages people to come to work and perform at their peak. Which is why the office is friendly to both babies and pets. “Usually, we have a full-time baby at the office,” she says. “Right now it’s Ty, my receptionist’s son, who just learned to crawl.”

Conlin says the policy has probably helped reduce staff turnover. Her part-time associate has worked for her 14 years, and her administrative staffers have stayed as long as 30 years. “No one has ever left voluntarily,” she says.

The firm also has a saltwater fish tank, two office cats, frequent litters of foster kittens and a stuffed Santa bear collection. There’s even an aviary—an idea that came to Conlin when she saw one in the lobby of a hospital she was suing.

“I believe we’re the only law office with an aviary,” she says. And if that’s not enough, employees can bring their pets with them to work.

Conlin has found that animals in the office are a win-win situation, pleasing staff and also clients. The animals show clients that “we care about living things and about homeless animals, as well as others in need,” Con­lin says. And the occasional publicity has been nice, too—the firm was recently profiled on a TV newscast for fostering kittens.

Many of Conlin’s cases are referrals from other lawyers throughout the country, with whom she shares the responsibility for the case and the fee. She says she doesn’t market herself to other attorneys and attributes the referrals to her visibility—and “probably adequate verdicts.”

Conlin will likely be accepting referrals for years to come. Though she and her husband of 43 years enjoy their grandchildren and foster kittens at home, too,
vacations away from the legal profession “aren’t really a priority for me,” she says.

“Most of the time, I love my life and my practice and don’t need to get away.”
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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2007, 03:17:34 PM »
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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2007, 04:48:41 PM »

http://www.myshingle.com/my_shingle/2005/05/you_never_know_.html

    Also making a major career change from big-firm life is Andrea Wirum, 49, who is in the process of leaving 900-attorney Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman to start her own practice in San Francisco as a Chapter 11 bankruptcy trustee and a mediator. Wirum served as a member of the firm's managing board during the merger between Pillsbury Winthrop, originally based in San Francisco, and 335-attorney Shaw Pittman in Washington, and supported the deal, she said. But the time has come to hang her own shingle.

    "You reach a point in life where you want to give something else a try," she said.
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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2007, 12:02:53 PM »
http://happyfeminist.typepad.com/

just a (law) gal and her blog...
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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2007, 04:20:20 PM »
http://anonymouslawyer.blogspot.com/2004_04_01_archive.html


I gave up religion when I became a corporate lawyer, but Jesus rising from the dead reminds me of an interview story where a student I'd already written off somehow turned the interview around and miraculously got an offer. In celebration of Easter, the story:

The gutsiest hire I ever made. The girl was from a top school, and had sailed through fine in the on-campus interview, and we gave her the callback. I was her first interview of the day, and she comes in -- and almost immediately her cell phone rings. She takes the phone out of her pocket and looks at who's calling. "I need to take this call," she says. I look at her funny. She ignores me, and answers her phone. I can only assume it was her boyfriend on the other end:

"The test came back positive. I'm pregnant," she said. I heard nothing on the other end. "Yes, I'm absolutely certain." I heard screaming coming through the phone. "It's your fault too, jackass." More screaming. "I can't talk now. I'm in the middle of an interview." More screaming. "Go to hell." Calmly she folds up her phone and puts it back in her pocket. "I'm sorry about that," she says.

I had no idea what to say. So I just conducted the interview like nothing happened, knowing there was absolutely no way she was getting an offer, but not knowing what else to do at that point. And, frankly, she blew me away. She knew exactly why she wanted to work here, she had taken all the right classes, had all the right experience, great grades, articulate, funny... and by the end of the interview, she was actually winning me over, although I couldn't believe it.

Finally, as the time was almost up, she looked me straight in the eye and said, "I want to apologize for what happened before. Obviously I have a personal issue I'm dealing with, and it's all just happened, and I know that taking the call, and my language on the call, was completely inappropriate. And I'm sure I've completely blown my chances here, but I do want you to know that's not like me, and I know that if you gave me the chance I'd absolutely demonstrate why I belong here, and you wouldn't regret it." And she said it with such conviction, and her interview had gone so well... that I said nothing to anyone else. And the other interview reports were glowing. And so, despite what happened, I gave her an offer.

She's been here ever since, and is one of my best associates.
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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #35 on: April 20, 2007, 05:25:45 PM »

hmmmm, not sure if i approve of the nerdification of women...


What's this about? 
Teach For America*Chicago

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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2007, 05:29:26 PM »

hmmmm, not sure if i approve of the nerdification of women...


What's this about? 

if youve ever worked in an IT dept, its just a bunch of nerds.

lets not do that to our women...
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bridget

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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2007, 07:48:55 PM »
ah, I get it.  you're trying to provoke the feminists.  ok.
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Re: you go girl!
« Reply #38 on: May 01, 2007, 08:41:27 AM »
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18399649/site/newsweek/

Interview With a Former Fat Girl
In a new book that pulls no punches, Lisa Delaney describes how she changed her life, dropped 70 pounds and kept the weight off. All about the 'mint-chocolate chip incident.'
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Do you really believe in free speech, or just in speech you agree with?