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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 https://www.event-registration.biz/pawc/introduction.asp 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 http://www.paconferenceforwomen.org.

PENNSYLVANIA CONFERENCE FOR WOMEN

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:   http://www.paconferenceforwomen.org/  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.

The Unconventional Road to Success

April 7, 2011

I recently attended a panel discussion hosted by the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society entitled “The Unconventional Road to Success.”  The panel consisted of four prominent African-American women, mostly from the Philadelphia media.  They shared their personal stories of success and were quick to point out there is no roadmap or guide to follow on the way to success.  Though they were not attorneys, I found that much of the advice they offered applied equally to those of us practicing law, and wanted to share some pearls from the discussion:   

Mentoring.  The panelists encouraged everyone not only to seek out mentors, but to also be available to mentor others.  They reminded us that mentoring comes in all shapes and sizes and may be as simple as finding a person who you respect and admire, and observing how they deal with certain situations, obstacles, or mistakes.

Perseverance.  If you have the right talent, experience or idea, don’t take no for an answer.  Keep asking, keep trying.  You may hear many “no’s” before you find the “yes” you are looking for. 

Confidence.  Unfortunately, there may be preconceived notions about you based upon your gender, age, or ethnicity.  One way to overcome these prejudices is to exude confidence.  Of course, this may take considerable effort as you are developing your business, but will become easier as you become more comfortable in your “business” shoes.

Patience.  Sometimes you have to start at the bottom if you want to advance to the top.  This might mean taking a position that does not pay well or is not in an ideal location.  However, you will be recognized for your hard work and dedication.  Hang in there. 

Post by: Stacy N. Lilly, Esq.

Outside Interests To Get Business You Don’t Need To Play Golf

April 1, 2011

There are many different ways of business generation. I have always found that outside interests are a great way to meet new people and potentially get business at the same time. Like many of my female friends, I do not play golf, but have other interests that enable me to meet and connect with many different types of  people just as well. Many of these people have become my good friends as well as clients.
Both running and books are two interests of mine, so a book club and running club were easy picks for my first clubs to join. Although business generation was not what I originally anticipated when I joined these clubs, it became a consequence of the diverse and positive relationships I formed with people in the groups. As a solo female practitioner, I discovered that since I am completely dependent upon myself for my contacts, combining getting business with doing something I enjoyed made sense. Even though I did not fully realize how much business I would get at the time I joined the clubs.
Although I might want to take up golf at some point, now I can look to my many outside interests and find something that I am already doing as a great source of both personal satisfaction and business contacts.

WIP Helps Disadvantaged Women Dress for Success

March 12, 2011

It’s almost spring! Time to clean out your closets and donate your new or gently used professional shoes to support Dress for Success Philadelphia

The WIP Committee is collecting new and gently used shoes at its March 29 meeting to support Dress for Success Philadelphia

Dress for Success is a global non-profit organization with 113 affiliates in nine countries. Together, they have served more than 550,000 around the world since 1997.  Its mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Dress for Success Philadelphia opened its doors on July 1, 2008 to a waiting community.  It has become the second largest suiting affiliate in the world, following closely on the heels of New York City’s flagship office.  To date, Dress for Success Philadelphia has suited more than 6,000 low income women who are trying to emerge from poverty – and to provide better futures for themselves and their families.

The Dress for Success programs transition women towards self-sufficiency by addressing their social and economic needs in relation to work, home and community.  Each woman is a success story:  she has gone from unemployment to economic independence.  The on-site Career Center helps clients receive individual assistance with resume writing, mock interviewing techniques, writing cover and thank you letters and online job search skills.  For clients who have successfully obtained employment, the Professional Women’s Group provides networking opportunities and additional skills training, mentoring and professional development through a series of classes, lectures and seminars led by local professionals.

To learn more about Dress for Success, please visit www.dressforsuccess.org/philadelphia.  For more information about the WIP Shoe Drive, please contact Stacy Lilly at stacy.lilly@thelillylawoffice.com

 Post by:  Stacy N. Lilly, Esq.

Diversity Plays Role In Selection of Class Counsel

March 10, 2011

 

The Honorable Harold Baer, Unites States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, is serious about diversity and making it know from the bench. 

On Monday, Judge Baer certified a class action and made clear that diversity played a role in his assignment of class counsel:

“Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll, PLLC has the experience, knowledge, commitment and record of work on this case to merit appointment as Class Counsel. See Rehns Decl. Ex. B; Lehman Bros., 232 F.R.D. at 182. Defendants have not argued otherwise. In considering other matter pertinent to counsel’s ability to fairly and adequately represent the class, as I have noted in previous opinions, diversity is a factor of central importance. See In re J.P. Morgan Chase Cash Balance Litig., 242 F.R.D. 265, 277 (S.D.N.Y. 2007). Cohen Milstein has helped to satisfy the Court’s concerns by its note that it was recognized as one of the top law offices in Washington D.C. for diversity efforts. While I recognize that many or all of the proposed class members may be institutional investors, it should be clear to all that their investments were made on behalf of people of diverse gender, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds. That said, Cohen Milstein is encouraged to staff the case accordingly. See J.P. Morgan Cash Balance Litig., 242 F.R.D. at 277.”

http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=In%20FDCO%2020110307787.xml&docbase=CSLWAR3-2007-CURR  

This is not the first time Judge Baer has taken action from the bench to promote diversity in the profession.  Last September, Judge Baer instructed lead counsel in a class action against Gildan Activewear, to “make every effort” to have at least one woman and one minority working on the case.

Some have criticized the judge’s actions, arguing that he is improperly using the bench to promote his personal agenda.  It will be interesting to see whether other judges will follow his lead, and how champions of diversity will react to Judge Baer’s non-apologetic and no nonsense approach to promoting diversity within the profession.