In Balance, Education, Time management, women on March 9, 2013 at 9:31 pm
What’s new doll? *
Welcome to Amicae Curiae, a blog for ‘Girlfriends of the Court’. The blog was intended to discuss the role of women in the law, in legal education, as students, as academics, and within the legal profession, and we also discuss other issues. There are many posts on a variety of topics relating to legal life throughout this blog, but here is a quick guide to our most popular ones. Read on… Read the rest of this entry »
In Advocacy, Barristers, Career, Education, Hegemony, maternity, Solicitors, women on December 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm
What do we have to do to make a difference? *
Nearly twenty years ago, the Australian Law Reform Commission, in its report “Equality before the Law: Women’s Equality (ALRC Report 69 Part 2)” examined the place of Women in the Legal Profession, and said
Women make up 50% of law school graduates, and 25% of the legal profession as a whole. However, women leave the profession at a much higher rate than men, and they are clustered in the lower ranks of the profession. [footnotes omitted]
Fast forward two decades and the VEOHRC has released its latest report into research on women in the law, entitled Changing the rules: The experiences of female lawyers in Victoria. This report focused on discrimination, sexual harassment and the accommodation of parental and carer responsibilities. Read the rest of this entry »
In Diversity, Judiciary, Solicitors, women on October 24, 2012 at 8:11 am
The gender card, so we’re told, has been played by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. In the context of contemporary debate about sexism in public life, I’ve had a few interesting conversations lately about issues concerning women. These conversations have been with educated men with whom I usually enjoy excellent interaction. I have to say though that their thoughts about sexism and women in the context of the discussions we have had, did surprise me. Mostly, it seems to me that not just in the public sphere but also more broadly, so many men (and some women) can’t (or won’t) see the issues as so many women experience them.
I have asked myself whether, perhaps, I misunderstand my own experiences. That the current public debate about sexism has it seems captured the imagination of so many women indicates that I am not alone. In addition, there is a lot of evidence, including scholarly study, that would back me up. Why is it then, that the way that women experience sexism is not acknowledged?
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In Balance, higher education, legal education, women on June 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm
Ana felt it was time to stretch her academic wings
When the southern hemisphere winter sets in and the days are short and bleak, its time to start planning to get out of the doldrums and into a conference. But how do you get a paper accepted by the convenors? And what if you are an inexperienced public speaker?
Flora Poste Writes has a very useful summary of tips and advice for those preparing to present or attend at a conference, and similarly the Thesis Whisperer has shared her slides on Academic Conferences: A beginners’ guide. Over at Hook & Eye Amiee Morrison (digiwonk) has a terrific post that reminds us that Conference Papers are like Movie Trailers. Her key points ~ “Hit the highlights, Show the chase scene, Simplify the plot”. That’s good advice! [read on…]
Read the rest of this entry »
In Career, fashion, Guest Post, legal education, shoes, women on April 29, 2012 at 10:32 am
Are we just reproducing the dominant paradigm? *Mattel
The Culture of Professional Dressing
There’s been a lot of talk on this blog here and here amongst others, of women’s (and some men’s) experiences as legal practitioners, in terms of what to wear. We could ask why these posts are so popular with readers. Is it because women love clothes? (I mean – you know what women are like, right?) Perhaps. However I have another theory.
It’s about culture – in particular, the dominant culture of the law. Read on. Read the rest of this entry »
In Journals, law students, legal education, Procrastination on March 22, 2012 at 12:04 pm
Don't fall into plagiarism.
Have you ever wanted a quick and dirty guide to the main principles underlying the methods and motives for correct use of footnotes and citations in Australian law?
Legal citation has been referred to as a ‘peculiar human custom’.1 It allows a writer to refer to legal and non-legal authorities clearly and consistently, so as to support the arguments made, as well as to enable a reader locate the references. The purpose of providing references is to acknowledge sources of your writing, and demonstrate the breadth and depth of your research. We set out for you here* the shortest possible instructions on Australian legal footnotes style. Read the rest of this entry »
In law students, legal education, women on February 6, 2012 at 9:01 pm
"I seek not to know the answers, but to understand the questions."
There has been a burgeoning of law schools in Australia in the last 15 years, matching a rise in demand for law degrees. Yet there has been little exploration of the expectations and aspirations of young students commencing a law degree in Australia. By contrast, a number of studies on features of professional life for practising lawyers are emerging. In particular, recent studies have shown high levels of stress, anxiety and depression among practising lawyers. In addition, there is evidence of high levels of attrition of women from private legal practice in the first few years following admission and a significant under-representation of women in the senior levels of the profession. [read on] Read the rest of this entry »
In Career, Education, Guest Post, higher education, legal education on December 16, 2011 at 9:46 pm
Early career academics - are they the pop stars of legal academia? *
Reflections of a NKOTB: my first two months as a legal academic
After ten years of study, five years of practice (including private practice and homelessness lawyering), two undergraduate degrees, three postgraduate qualifications, two children, hundreds of clients and thousands (millions?) of pages of legal documents, I came to the conclusion that I don’t want to be a lawyer. For now.
It wasn’t that I was burnt out, mistreated or jaded; I just don’t have the passion for casework at this stage of my career. But I loved the research and advocacy part of my role managing Victoria’s Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic, and the impact the law can have on society.
And so, after searching my soul, I joined the academe. Read on… Read the rest of this entry »
In Education, legal education, Meeting, women on October 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm
They say that what happens at the law conference stays at the law conference.
We all know the value of getting out of the salt mines, meeting new people and hearing new ideas. Whether its the networking, the great speakers, the time away from home and the desk, we think conferences are a wonderful opportunity to have a break from the daily grind, and experience something new.
Here are some interesting conferences that might be worth checking out. Read on: Read the rest of this entry »
In Barristers, Career, law students, legal education, Solicitors, women on July 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm
A recent article in the Australian (here) noted that there are fewer law students taking jobs in firms and more law students taking jobs in industry and commerce. The article is titled ‘Fewer graduates choosing practice …’.
Is this trend really a matter of choice or a case of taking what is available? Certainly, the article refers to AAR development director Jane Lewis who noted that
‘Growth in law firm jobs had not kept pace with the sharp increase in graduate numbers … so it made sense that a greater proportion of law graduates were being employed in the corporate sector.’
Continue reading below: Read the rest of this entry »
In Journals, Procrastination, women on May 27, 2011 at 6:13 pm
The law is serious business. Mostly. But when a kind soul (known to me only as @ReplevinforaCow) pointed me to the case below, I had a chuckle, and I thought you should chuckle with me:
The entire unabridged report of Denny v Radar Industries 1970 per J.H. GILLIS, Judge:
The appellant has attempted to distinguish the factual situation in this case from that in Renfroe v Higgins (citation omitted). He didn’t. We couldn’t. Affirmed. Costs to appellee.
Have you found a shorter, blunter judgment? If you are a journal nerd (like me) you may enjoy the World’s Greatest Law Review Article found here. Or the World’s Shortest Law Review Article here [shortest_law_review]. Keep reading by clicking the little red button below…
Like what you see? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling to the bottom of the page, or
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In Barristers, Judiciary, law, law students, Public Lecture, Solicitors, women on May 12, 2011 at 8:39 am
We're all going to Law Week!
If you are down by law, in-law, outlaw, legally blond, legal tender, below the bar, above the law or presumed innocent, you may be interested in some of the events coming up in Law Week (16-22 May) the official site is here.
All jurisdictions have law tours, open courts, seminars and a mix of serious and fun events, and most have a PILCH/Pro Bono Walk for Justice on the 16th May (see your local Public Interest Law Clearing House for details)
Survive Law blog has kindly set out their national round up for you (click here).
You can select your forum conveniens by clicking the link below.
Like what you see? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling to the bottom of the page, or follow us on twitter @amicae1.
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In Balance, Career, Employment, higher education, law students, women on May 11, 2011 at 2:13 pm
Should I have asked about the dress code in the interview?
A career in the law: be prepared…
The NSW Young Lawyers have just released a great booklet on how to ‘Survive and Thrive in your First Year of Law’ (the pdf is available from their site click here). It is full of honest advice about starting life as a law student, and then as an early career lawyer. Have a look back at our post on Depression and the Dark Side of the Law.
Amicae Curiae has asked some of our ‘girlfriends of the courts’ on their top tips* for starting out in a law career, and here are the best ones (read on):
ps like what you see? You can subscribe to this blog by scrolling to the bottom of the page, or
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In books, legal education, women on May 3, 2011 at 9:56 am
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Entries have recently closed for the University of Alabama Law School, where Harper Lee studied law, and the American Bar Association Journal for the Harper Lee prize for legal fiction.
Clearly, the entries are unlikely to match the original. Indeed, many works of fiction about lawyers are often highly compelling airport fodder. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see what comes out of the competition. Many lawyers I know yearn to write or indeed do write in their “spare” time. I also wonder how many lawyers would rank To Kill a Mocking Bird as one of their formative reading experiences.
What are your favorite or formative legal fictions (of the literary kind)?
LATE BREAKING NEWS: a signed 1st edition of To Kill A Mockingbird sold last week for $25,000 (LA Times, click here). Some people really love that book!
In Balance, Barristers, law students, Solicitors on April 5, 2011 at 9:51 am
This timed billing sheet is really getting me down.
On 5 April 2011 the Law Report (ABC Radio National) had very honest and frank discussion about alienation and depression among lawyers. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/lawreport/stories/2011/3181665.htm.
The recent study by Tani Massimiliano and Prue Vines law students also showed troubling tendencies towards depression in law students. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UNSWLRS/2009/51.html
Continued… Read the rest of this entry »
In Education, law students, legal education on April 5, 2011 at 6:52 am
For those who missed it, a legal education reality check.
So You Want To Go To Law School
A short background on David Kazzie, the video maker is at The Careerist’s site.
And another installment is now out:
Do you find this disheartening, amusing, representative of your experience? Leave us your comment.
In Education, higher education, Journals, law students, legal education, women on March 30, 2011 at 10:32 am
I have been talking to a friend about the ‘incremental disadvantage’ faced by under-represented groups in legal practice. Lots of little lost opportunities eventually add up to a big disadvantage. Interesting in this light is a study by Nancy Leong and Jennifer Mullins which finds that fewer female than male students publish case notes in US law Journals. It might not seem like an issue but scholarly publications are relevant to later employment and promotion opportunities. The authors also include some practical suggestions for addressing this issue.
See Leong, Nancy and Mullins, Jennifer, An Empirical Examination of Gender and Student Note Publication 1999-2009 (March 8, 2011). Available at SSRN:
A related link is this one from Freakenomics: “Why Don’t Female Economists Blog?” Matthew Kahn explores the disparity. http://t.co/9F2UMY9
Is the same true for Female Lawyers/Academics? What do you think?
In Balance, Career, Journals, papers, women on March 28, 2011 at 12:04 pm
Last year Victorian women lawyers released another installment in their series of practical reports on flexible work practices, “Do you Manage”. This report looks at support for flexible work practices by partners and managers. Click here.
Considerable focus on this issue is warranted given the somewhat sobering assessment of such practices in the study by Margaret Thornton and Joanne Bagust, reported in ‘The Gender Trap: Flexible Work in Corporate Legal Practice.” Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 773-811, 2007; ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 08-15.
The concern is that flexible work practices should be a real career pathway not a dead end.
In Barristers, Internships, Judiciary, law students, Opportunities, Solicitors, women on March 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm
Victorian Women Lawyers and Victorian Women Barristers invite all female second-final year Law students to participate in the 2011 Law Student Mentoring Program.
Now in its fourth year, the Program has developed into a celebrated vehicle for encouraging the next generation of female lawyers to gain valuable insights into the legal profession. This year, registration will occur online via the website: www.vwl.asn.au with registration open until 8 April. The invitation is here: 2011 Female Law Student Mentoring Program Info Flyer
In Education, higher education, law, law students, legal education, women on March 23, 2011 at 6:44 pm
The Australian Feminist Law Journal publishes critical, postmodern and feminist writing on practices of legality and justice, broadly conceived.
The Alternative Law Journal is an Australian, refereed law journal focusing on
• social justice, human rights and law reform
• critique of the legal system
• developments in alternative legal practice
• community legal education
Law in Contex is a peer-reviewed socio-legal journal, that examines key legal questions in the context of broader issues on topics such as:
- rights protection
- dispute resolution
- competition policy and law
- people with disabilities
- the judiciary
In Barristers, Career, Education, higher education, Judiciary, law, law students, legal education, Solicitors, women on March 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm
From Supergirl to Invisible Woman: The divide between student perception and professional reality in corporate legal practice by Melissa Castan and Jeannie Paterson in the Alternative Law Journal 2010
Young women are prominent and successful at Australian law schools, yet women remain under-represented in the senior echelons of the legal profession. In this article the authors examine factors affecting the attrition of young women lawyers from corporate legal practice, and make suggestions regarding the responsibilities of law firms and law schools to address this issue… (Long version here).
In Barristers, Career, law, law students, legal education, women on March 23, 2011 at 6:05 am
Welcome to Amicae Curiae, A blog discussing the role of women in the law, in legal education, as students as academics, and within the legal profession. What does Amicae Curiae mean? Literally it means girl friends of the courts. For more on what and Amicus Curae is read this.