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“It’s okay to look over your shoulder, just don’t stare.”

February 9, 2015

“It’s okay to look over your shoulder, just don’t stare.” Wise words from our January speaker, Judge Annette Rizzo (ret.), who is careful to explain that, for her, “ret.” means retooled, not retired.
As we begin a new year and have an opportunity to embrace new ideas, habits and, yes, even those semi-dreaded resolutions, many in our audience found themselves struck by Judge Rizzo’s opening words.
One woman said that it reminded her of the time she spent worrying about past mistakes or even dissecting past decisions. She resolved to stop “staring over her shoulder” and to start reminding herself that, although mistakes were inevitable, they were rare and often repairable.
Another attendee believed that the phrase touched on her tendency to do things the way she had always done them, fearing that trying a new method would lead to failure. Yet another felt that Judge Rizzo’s words reflected her tendency to spend the morning in a flurry while at home worrying about work, only to arrive at work and spend much of her morning worrying about her home life.

How much time do we, as women in the profession, spend looking over our shoulders? How often do we talk ourselves out of exploring a world outside of our comfort zones because we are busy staring over our shoulders? And, more importantly, how can we resist the temptation to stare over our shoulders?

The answer will be different for everyone, but a starting point was delivered with Judge Rizzo’s closing words, “go the extra mile, the road isn’t crowded.” It’s impossible to move forward if you’re holding yourself back by obsessing over the past; nor can you look ahead if you are staring over your shoulder.
Judge Rizzo’s words struck different chords with different people, but her message to all of us is the same: look forward, there are better things ahead.

Remembering 9.11. Where were you?

September 9, 2011

Growing up, I remember people talking about where they were when they learned that President Kennedy had been assassinated, or when Elvis had died.  For my generation, the September 11 terrorist attacks is one of the moments in life most of us will never forget where we were, who we were with, or how the rest of that tragic day played out.  As we approach the ten-year anniversary of the attacks, I have thought a lot about what I was doing and how I felt on September 11.   

When I arrived at work that morning, one of the partners of the small firm I was working for told me the news as I stepped off the elevator.  Everyone in the office was huddled around the firm’s one television to see the latest developments, watching in disbelief, and eager to hear more about the missing planes.  The same planes that later slammed into the Pentagon and the field in Stonycreek, Pennsylvania.  I was in shock, but strangely, I don’t remember crying.  At least not at work.  In fact, my day played out relatively normally, with depositions in the afternoon.  Of course, I was glued to the television that night, when I do remember crying and feeling so much pain for the loss of life, and anger that something so horrifying could happen here.  Little did I realize then that the world would never be the same again.     

Where were you when you learned of the attacks on 9.11? 

Post by: Stacy N. Lilly, Esq.

Task Force School Supply Fundraiser to Help Students in Need

August 16, 2011

It’s back-to-school time, and the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Public Service Task Force is hosting its Fourth Annual School Supply Fundraiser Happy Hour on Thursday, August 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Public House.  Drink specials will be available. 

The Task Force will be collecting school supplies to be donated to Ellwood Elementary, located in the East Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia.  Needed supplies include school bags, rulers, calculators, composition books, folders, pens, pencils, highlighters, scissors, glue, paper, crayons and markers.        

This happy hour is open to anyone interested in helping the students of Ellwood Elementary.  Join the Task Force, make a difference for some students in need, and help make this the most successful School Supply Fundraiser yet!

For more information, please contact Michelle Wexler at

Post by: Stacy N. Lilly, Esq.

Announcing the Women in the Profession Newsletter

July 12, 2011

We are happy to present the inaugural issue of the Women in the Profession Newsletter, featuring content by Kathleen Creamer, Jane Leslie Dalton, JoAnne Epps, Maria Feeley, Sayde Ladov, Judge Sandra Mazer Moss, and Kathleen Wilkinson. Read it here!

Register TODAY for the 2011 PA Conference for Women!

July 6, 2011

The PA Conference for Women will be Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. The Conference features women’s rights pioneer Gloria Steinem, “Ugly Betty” actress America Ferrera, President and CEO of CARE USA, Helene Gayle, former Olympic athlete and WNBA player Marion Jones, life coach and O, The Oprah Magazine and columnist Martha Beck.

This year’s theme, Live Fearlessly!, encourages women to conquer the challenges of their daily life and boldly transform into the woman they want to become. The Conference features motivational keynote speeches, engaging workshops and panel discussions that cover a vast range of topics specifically designed for women, including healthcare, leadership, managing change, finding work life balance and personal finance.

Register online at using this supporting organization promotional code: PACP24.

The price you pay is $125 and includes access to all keynotes and sessions, Career Pavilion, Health & Wellness Pavilion and Exhibit Hall.

To learn more about the eighth annual Pennsylvania Conference for Women, visit


June 8, 2011

The Women in the Profession Committee has been a supporter of the Pennsylvania Conference for Women since its inception in 2004.  The Conference has grown over the years to attract more than 5,000 attendees annually.  The Conference features dozens of renowned speakers who will share inspirational stories and lead seminars on the issues that matter to women, and offers incredible opportunities for networking, professional development, and personal growth. The Conference alternates between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia each year.  The 2011 Conference will be held on October 25, 2011 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.  For more information, visit:  I hope to see you there!

Hose or No Hose? What’s in Your Office Dress Code?

May 4, 2011

Maybe because it’s spring, and many people are anxious to put away their winter jackets in favor of cooler attire, but the office dress code has raised its ugly head in the news recently, including in this ABA piece, which discusses a UK firm policy banning stilettos and requesting that female employees brush their hair.

The concept of an office dress code is inherently gender based.  Men wear suits.  Or khakis and a polo on casual Friday.  There’s typically not an issue of a male associate showing too much skin, or wearing something too tight or short.  It’s not that simple for women.

I am no fashionista by any stretch of the imagination.  Yet, I once authored a firm’s dress code.  Not by choice, but because my managing partner asked me to.  It was no easy task.  There were a few items that were obviously taboo – midriff tops, flip flops, and shorts come to mind – but many things fell into a grey area.  The length of skirts.  The style of sandals.  What about skorts?  Pantyhose?  Do we have to wear pantyhose?  Thankfully, no.  But I have since been surprised to learn that in many non-legal office settings, hose are not optional – even in the summer.  And those cute open-toed sandals?  Nope.  Overall, I think law firms strive to maintain a professional setting, but most do not veto fashion or self-expression altogether.  But, I could be wrong.

Are there any surprises in your office dress code?

Post by: Stacy N. Lilly, Esq.


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