Dallas Women Lawyers “Speed Mentor” Young Women

In an effort to grow the ranks of women in law, three Dallas law school deans and almost two dozen women lawyers recently talked up the legal profession to a group of Dallas high school women in a one-day session. 

"We wanted to, in one day, expose the high school women to different aspects of a career in the legal profession," Nicole Knox, a criminal defense lawyer and past president of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association, told Texas Lawyer.

In addition to hearing from the deans of UNT Dallas College of Law, SMU Dedman School of Law and Texas A&M University School of Law, the high school students ended their day by spending time in more intimate small groups with just a few lawyers. Knox described the approach as "speed mentoring."

During that part of the program, two to three practicing lawyers chatted about legal careers in 10- to 15-minute conversations with students, offering a range of up-close viewpoints from a variety of perspectives.

Why the big push?

Though more than half of Texas residents are female, women account for just 34 percent of the state’s lawyers, according to the 2014 Status of Women in the State Bar of Texas, the most recent report on the topic. The report doesn’t analyze what percentage of Texas equity partners are women, but the American Bar Association reports that they account for just 17 percent nationally.

Despite the impressive growth in women entering law schools, their ranks in the legal world remain pretty thin. Here’s hoping that programs such as this one can help turn the tide.

Posted: 2/29/2016 3:39:44 PM by Editor | with 0 comments

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Thanks for stopping by On the Merits, the first blog from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics. On the Merits will take a close look at significant legal stories with an eye toward addressing the legal myths and misconceptions that turn up in news stories, movies, TV programs, websites, anonymous emails and other forms of mass communications. Our goal at On the Merits is to provide readers with a thoughtful examination of what the media and others are saying about the legal profession and to apply the frequently-absent context of how the legal system actually works.

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