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The John Marshall Law School

www.jmls.edu


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Lesson 17

Deciding


“Because making decisions is a part of life and leadership, a decision-making doctrine is indispensable. Below are principles from my own doctrine, which has been developed over decades of making decisions, evaluating the results, and learning from others.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT LENS.

Choose the right lens or perspective. As a law school dean, my touchstone is to make decisions that advance my school’s best interest. Stated differently, I shouldn’t advance my own interests, or the interests of any person or group, over the school’s overall interest.

Even when your choices range from “bad” to “worse,” a strong decision-making process can help you reach the best result. Identify the specific problem or question that needs to be resolved. Failing to refine the issue can result in a decision that doesn’t address the real problem.

Establish and rank criteria. Criteria might include legal and regulatory compliance, financial costs, return on investment, ability to implement, timing, employee morale, and reputational impact. Decide how you will use criteria to evaluate alternatives and define ‘success.’”


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“Block off some time for yourself…your time of reflection can be some of the most valuable time you build into your week.” from Slow It Down, by Stephanie Scarborough


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Puris Consulting

www.purisconsulting.com


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Lesson 18

Own Who You Are


“Everyone has a great story that can inspire others and drive success. Everyone’s story is just as important and impactful as the next person’s story. Without our stories, our impact and success are minimized.

My story of success starts as a 6-year-old girl in Iran. When the revolution hit Iran in 1979, we knew we were not welcome there anymore as a religious minority. We decided to leave for a short bit until the unrest died down. We packed two suitcases and flew to Indiana, thinking we’d be gone for a few weeks. We never went back to Iran.

Fast-forward a few years. I always wanted to be a securities lawyer. Two reasons: 1) I wanted to save the world, and I thought being a lawyer was the way to do so; and 2) I wrongly thought that maybe, if I was a lawyer, people would love and accept me more.”


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“Just say ‘no’ to the naysayers. They will not see the vision you see, and…It’s your responsibility to live that vision and believe in it.” from Overcoming the Obstacle of Naysayers, by Wendi Weiner


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Spread Your Sunshine™

www.spreadyoursunshine.com


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Lesson 20

Dream Beyond Perfection!


“My husband and I recently adopted a beautiful son. Wanting to be the best parents possible, the positives and negatives of our childhoods were analyzed. For me, the reflection revealed a main characteristic developed that deeply intertwined with my legal career—perfectionism. Although this attribute resulted in some pretty sweet successes – a silver lining – it also meant I was petrified of failure—a significant professional impediment.

To illuminate, during a conference addressing perfectionists’ low self-esteem, decreased self-confidence, and minimalized achievements, a story was told about a female lawyer who let perfection overrun her practice. For years, she reviewed all of her office’s work before it was finalized, the only way she could ensure perfection. Problematically, capacity limited her review capabilities, preventing her practice’s growth. Additionally, the mounting documents required around-the-clock work to the exclusion of family and friends. The lawyer was unhappy both at work and home until eventually realizing that abandoning perfection would cause professional and personal growth. She committed that moving forward, at least 10% of her daily work would be “wrong,” as dealing with the fallout from any associated mistakes was faster than perfection. The model was a success.”


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“A good workout takes one hour. That’s 4% of your day. No excuses. I had never thought about it in that way. I decided I deserved 4% of my day! I was worth it!” from The Power of Putting Yourself First, by Kristine Reed


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Consulting, Speaking, Writing

www.debbieepsteinhenry.com


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Lesson 21

Make Your Ask a Give


“Asking is uncomfortable. Many of you may be natural at developing relationships, but when it comes time to making an “ask” – whatever that ask may be – you fall short. Part of it may be a fear of failure that you ask for something that you don’t deserve, or someone else deserves it more, or you can’t deliver on it. It also may be a concern about jeopardizing relationships or trying to translate personal relationships into professional ones. Or, perhaps you are shy and not comfortable developing relationships in the first place, let alone making an ask for something that you want or need. Yet, not being able to ask – for that opportunity to represent a client, go on a pitch, or be considered for a job, promotion, leadership role or increased compensation – can impede your success. So how do you get there? Follow these tips and you should be on your way to mastering the art of the ask.”


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“Rejection is valuable. It forces me to re-examine my approach. It prevents complacency, and it pushes my boundaries.” from Pushing Past Fear and Failure, by Artie Renee Pobjecky


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Theresa A. Horton, P.A.

www.theresahorton.com


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Lesson 22

Change the Way You Change


“I offer here three mini-Lessons that work together powerfully and have helped me to craft a pleasing life.

For the first, I am indebted to Henry David Thoreau. His book Walden came out of an experiment Thoreau created to answer the question: On how little money, labor, and community can a person reasonably live? He under-took to find out by living with as much simplicity and solitude as possible for “two years and two months,” and then went back to village life.

What a difference it makes if the cause of change is curiosity! It’s so much better than “should” or “ought to” or worse, “have to.” It doesn’t matter whether these voices come from within or from outside, they still seem to deaden our joy. Instead, ask a question.”


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“Not just advice, but affirmation that so much of what we feel and have experienced has been felt and experienced by others.” – Nora Riva Bergman


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Lesson 24

Why Saying Yes Means Saying No


“Like many women, I was born and raised a people-pleaser. I wanted to be viewed as a hardworking and helpful team player, and I genuinely wanted to give back and serve others. I also had a deep burning desire to achieve as much as possible. Driven and ambitious, I never wanted to say no to an opportunity that might advance my academic or professional standing.

That means I said “yes” a lot. Looking back, it’s hard to think of any requests or opportunities I turned down during the first decade of my legal career.

As could only be expected, I eventually began to suffer from burnout and exhaustion. When it got bad enough, I sought professional advice from coaches and counselors. During this time of wanting to do more but feeling completely exhausted, I learned an invaluable lesson—that every time I said “yes,” I was also saying “no” to something or someone else.”


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“My hope is that this book will empower women lawyers to bring their whole selves to their work, to their loved ones, and to their lives.” from the Introduction, by Nora Riva Bergman


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Lesson 25

Gaslighting at Work


“I had never before asked anyone to give me a raise, but I was underpaid at my job as an attorney for a small insurance company. Not yet 30, I had three solid years of experience and had carried more than my weight, with good results. My boss was nice enough. I entered his office and made my case: I knew I had performed, and I knew that the going rate was $10,000 above my salary. What could be done to get me where I deserved to be?

My boss shook his head. “Anne, why is it that women are targeted by advertisers so much? Don’t you find it offensive that young women feel the need to spend so much more money than men because of the way they are marketed to?” I probably looked as confused as I felt. “What do you mean?” I asked.

“I just don’t think it is right that women feel like they have to shop so much that they go into debt,” he said. “It must be so hard to be a woman in this society to feel compelled to spend, spend, spend.” I was bewildered. My boss had deflected a reasonable request for a raise by suggesting that I spent too much money.”


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“It’s all about helping others – lifting them up and helping them achieve what they want to achieve.” – Nora Riva Bergman


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Moses & Singer LLP

www.mosessinger.com


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Lesson 26

Practical Essentials for Professional Success: Knowledge – Trust – Solutions


“Not so long ago, for a woman to become a lawyer was perceived by many as a symbol of success. Today, successful women lawyers are redefining professional achievement and transforming the future of lawyering. But how does the legal profession and society measure success? What can we do to sustain success? And, how do we know if we are successful at all? I think that success is what happens when women lawyers seek out and create their own unique opportunities in a way that feels right for them. We can set our individual sights and reach our professional heights—that is the modern woman lawyer’s mantra for success. It is that freedom to make professional choices that makes success as a woman lawyer so poignant.

In my professional experience, three essential ingredients – knowledge, trust, and solutions – have helped to shape my law practice as I grew my client relationships, cultivated my professional network, and built my credentials.”


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“If a woman reads this book and thinks to herself, ” That’s me,” or “If she can do that, so can I, that would be awesome.” – Nora Riva Bergman


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University of Houston Law Center

www.reneeknake.com


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Lesson 28

Becoming Visible


“As a law student walking to classes through the echoing glass and concrete halls of the University of Chicago Law School, I regularly passed the larger-than-life portrait of a grey-haired, stern looking woman in a light purple suit. She was the only woman on a wall of men. She also was the only woman on the faculty for many years, but I didn’t know that at the time. I saw the portrait, but I didn’t see myself in her.

Fast forward 10 years. As a law professor conducting research on women considered for the United States Supreme Court, I uncovered the stories of nine women shortlisted before Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female justice. One is Soia Mentschikoff, the only woman to appear on President Lyndon Johnson’s shortlist for the United States Supreme Court, the second woman ever to appear on such a list.

She became the University of Miami Law School’s first permanent female dean. It was her portrait I’d walked by as a student.”


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“Block off some time for yourself…your time of reflection can be some of the most valuable time you build into your week.” from Slow It Down, by Stephanie Scarborough


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Silly Dilly’s at The Enchanted Spot

www.sillydillys.com


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Lesson 29

The Pearl Necklace


“We are born with the potential to create our own pearl necklaces. Our pearls begin to form as we move through life experiences. When an oyster’s solitude is invaded – say by a grain of sand – it responds to the invader by secreting nacre, a light but incredibly strong mother-of-pearl substance. Over the years, the oyster diligently secretes its powerful nacre, layer upon layer, until a pearl is formed—one pearl unlike any other created in nature.

As meaningful life experiences invade our solitude, we too shape our pearls. Some enter college with nascent strands. When I entered a private women’s college, my irregularly shaped pearls were layered with nacre.

In the summer of 1977, I turned thirteen. At that time, domestic violence and child abuse laws were not meaningfully written or enforced. A summer evening encounter with a police officer created the most luminescent pearl on my strand when I witnessed the perverse allocation of power.”


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