Feature TYLA Project

Feature TYLA Project

Lawyers Who Lunch – TYLA’s New Work-Life Balance Blog
By: Baili Rhodes

I write this article over a strong cup of coffee.  After sending a toddler off to "school" and with a newborn asleep next to me, I try to respond to a number of emails that have piled up in the first few days of my maternity leave.  In this moment, I can say that the challenges of work-life balance have never been more real to me. Thus, it brings me great excitement to introduce the TYLA Diversity Committee's feature project for this year, "Lawyers Who Lunch."

For many years, nearly 50% of the students enrolled in law school have been female.  However, the majority of attorneys in practice, particularly as partners or shareholders in law firms, continue to be male.   Despite great strides in workplace equality, female attorneys often face numerous challenges achieving success in what is still in many ways a “man’s world.”  Female attorneys face a number of issues that their male colleagues never experience, such as pregnancy, fear of being “mommy-tracked”, and whether their open-toed shoes are appropriate for the office or courtroom.  To address these challenges, the TYLA Diversity Committee is excited to introduce a blog titled “Lawyers Who Lunch.” “Lawyers Who Lunch” is designed to provide a supportive environment for female attorneys and to provide a forum for the issues and challenges that are unique to them. 

Blog posts will go live each Wednesday at noon. Six featured journalists will regularly post articles. Although many articles and blogs dealing with women’s issues focus only on working mothers, “Lawyers Who Lunch” will address the broader issues facing women in all walks of life. The featured journalists will represent a variety of experiences and ethnicities, from a solo-practitioner who is a mother of three, to a young single partner at a west Texas law firm.  Articles will also be contributed by TYLA Board Members, TYLA Diversity Committee Members, and other friends of TYLA.  Additionally, the blog will include “Friday Fun Posts” which will include funny stories, inspirational quotes, surveys, or entertaining pictures.  Once each month, a blog post will be contributed by a “Leading Lady.”  The Leading Ladies feature will contain interviews or posts authored by women in the legal field who have achieved notable success.  “Leading Ladies” may include a prior state bar president, managing partners at law firms, and judges.

It is TYLA’s hope that the blog will create a community where female attorneys can connect with one another, share experiences and advice, and give their male colleagues a glimpse into some of the challenges that they face.  The blog launches on Sept. 3, 2014.  I hope that you will stop by and lunch with us!

BAILI RHODES is an associate with West, Webb, Allbritton & Gentry, PC in College Station Texas.  She is the District 2 Director and Secretary for TYLA.   As a mom of two little ones, work-life balance is a subject near and dear to her heart.