Women Lawyers Transition to More Satisfying Careers
Even in the best of times, the law can make for a difficult career. These days, a combination of various economic conditions and lifestyle factors are prompting many women lawyers to make changes in their careers and to find better opportunities for themselves.
- Carolyn Elefant, who left the law firm where she had been employed to start her own successful solo practice and become a well-known blogger and book author who now provides much useful information to other lawyers who are in solo practice or considering moving to it;
- Sari Gabay-Rafiy, a partner in the two-lawyer firm of Gabay-Rafiy & Bowler LLP, who has created a successful network of women lawyers who refer business to one another, to address the challenges female lawyers face when they operate solo practices or small firms;
- Maia Spilman, the executive vice president of business and legal affairs for a digital distribution company called INgrooves, who combines the benefits of a position as in-house counsel with an independent law practice that she operates in her spare time;
- Amy Hinzmann, whose career began in private practice, then led her to a job as in-house counsel at Merrill Lynch, and eventually to her current position: vice president of discovery strategy for DiscoverReady, a company that manages the document review process and provides services to manage electronic discovery; and
- Jessica Porter, a college art history major, turned lawyer, turned proprietor and curator of Raandesk Gallery, a virtual online art gallery, who also markets art works directly to lawyers.
These women share their stories and affirm that there are many ways to have a successful career in the law; private practice at a law firm is just one of several options. Their success will motivate and inspire all lawyers--women and men--who are exploring possible changes in their careers with a clear message: You can alter your legal career path and find a situation that offers you work that you find more satisfying. It's possible; the five lawyers mentioned above have done it.
By Steve Imparl, guest blogger