Log in


  • Fri, May 22, 2020 12:10 PM | Sarah Hayden (Administrator)

    Written by: Samantha Stokes

    Changing office layouts, making hallways one-way, requiring masks, disinfecting the fridge, agonizing over whether to keep the communal coffee machine running: When it comes to Big Law’s eventual return to the office, nearly everything is on the table.

    Full Article

  • Fri, May 22, 2020 12:03 PM | Sarah Hayden (Administrator)

    Written by: Jordan Furlong
    Posted in: Law21

    This tenth and final installment in what became a “pandemic series” of posts isn’t a standalone entry so much as an epilogue to what I’ve written over these past six weeks. Mostly, it’s a message to the graduating law class of 2020, although it also applies to the subsequent cohorts of 2021 and 2022, and to recently called lawyers as well.

    This pandemic will be a turning point for all of us, but especially for you. A new set of external conditions beyond our control now governs everyone’s day-to-day lives and will do so for the foreseeable future. That’s the backdrop against which the first years of your legal careers will unfold. Let’s talk about what that means for you and what you can do about it.

    Full Article

  • Thu, May 21, 2020 11:07 AM | Anonymous


    Legal Recruiting Manager
    Dechert LLP

    I've really enjoyed getting to know Laura Creque in our mentor circle virtual happy hours over the past several months and hope you will too! Laura's positive spirit despite all the challenges we're going through infuses our group with a spirit of camaraderie, and inspires us to take joy in what we can (even if it's just the ability to laugh at the fact that her son has taken up random screaming since the stay-at-home-orders went into place). Read on to learn about her path to the recruiting world, Gratitude cards, taking the chances you're offered, and find out why there's no such thing as bad weather in her words below.  

    1.      How long have you been a member of WALRAA? What has been your favorite experience so far?
    I was a member before and lapsed a year or two. This year is a new experience with everything going remote due to COVID and I've really enjoyed my mentor circle meet ups on Zoom.

    2.      How has WALRAA helped you in your field?
    Being able to talk to peers and gauge what other firms are doing during the crisis has been a huge help. My global director appreciates that I am a member and have a sense of the DC market.

    3.      How did you first learn about and get started in Attorney Recruiting/Career Services?
    When I joined Dechert 10 years ago I had no clue about the law firm recruiting process and was actually working in office administration/general HR. When the recruiting coordinator left the firm there wasn't a need for a full-time recruiter in DC given the size and scope of the program and I was asked to take on the minimal (at the time) duties. Since then our summer program has grown with additional recruiting responsibilities added in DC and I have been lucky enough to progress with the position.

    4.      What is your favorite moment of your career so far?
    Our firm rolled out Gratitude cards last year and when I received one from our Chief of Talent recognizing my work and team spirit I was on cloud nine. Also, the first time I managed a Georgetown OCI hospitality suite by myself was a huge accomplishment.

    5.      What is it that challenges you most in your job?
    Trying to balance our summer program acceptances to ensure a cross-section of schools and diversity is difficult each year, but fun. We have enjoyed increased acceptance rates in DC the last 2 years, which makes balancing offer extensions even more difficult. It will be interesting to see how our offers play out post COVID.

    6.      How do you balance your career and personal life?
    I am very lucky to have an amazing partner in life. My husband does daycare drop off and pick up as mush as I do and understands the odd schedule of law firm recruiting/OCI. I also have a great director who allows me the flexibility to attend different school and daycare functions. I grew up with a working mom and I remember her always being at my school plays and presentations, so I try to do the same for my kids.

    7.      What professional goals have you set for yourself this year?
    This year I'd like to expand my network within WALRAA. Also, since we suspended our summer program I'm taking on projects with our Global Director of Professional Development and it's been interesting seeing that side of things.

    8.      What is the best professional advice you have received?
    Take the chances you're offered to learn new things and if nothing is offered, ask for it. Don't pigeon-hole yourself into one tiny field because you never know how things can change and what skills or experience might be needed down the line. I've worked with many departments at our firm now, even managing the secretaries in DC at one time, and the experience I've gained is immeasurable.

    9.      What do you like to do for fun?
    I love to walk in nature. We try to get out with the kids each weekend to some national/state/local park or trail and walk. Even in the rain! I read the book There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather when I was pregnant with my son and my husband has drunk the kool-aid. There's really no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing, so as long as you're geared up you can walk and enjoy nature any time. Maybe not in a hurricane or tornado, but any other time! I also love to read and cook. I don't bake though, it's too precise!

    10.  Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know?
    I'm obsessed with British TV and the royals but I've never been to England! It's on my bucket list, especially since my 7 year old is asking to go now too.

  • Tue, April 07, 2020 10:59 AM | Anonymous


    Legal Recruiting Coordinator
    Seyfarth Shaw LLP

    Meet Lisa Pachucki. Lisa is one of WALRAA's newest members, and already standing out as a leader on the Programming Committee. With meeting formats going virtual as of this month, we're really excited to see what Lisa and her team are putting together for us! Let's take a look at how she came to DC, what motivates her, and more in her own words below.  

    1.      How long have you been a member of WALRAA? What has been your favorite experience so far?
    I have been a WALRAA member for a little less than a year (joined July 2019) after moving from Philadelphia. My favorite experience thus far has been the experiences I have shared with my mentoring circle during our group lunch gathering and this past summer's Trivia Night. The bonds I have made through this group have been extremely helpful in transitioning to the WDC legal market. I have elected to participate in the mentoring circle program again this year and am excited to connect with additional members. I am also excited to get more involved with WALRAA and help contribute by serving as Co-Chair on the Programming Committee. 

    2.      How has WALRAA helped you in your field?
    Having and making those connections with others in my field has been invaluable. I can also appreciate how the organization combines firm and law school professionals (I came from a market where the groups were separate), as well as the broad variety of programming/opportunities offered for members to connect.

    3.      How did you first learn about and get started in Attorney Recruiting/Career Services?
    Starting my career in attorney recruiting is not something I planned but something that I sort of "fell into". I was studying business in undergrad and through Drexel University's Co-Op Program landed my first job in Attorney Recruiting. I knew nothing of the profession, but had applied to various corporations for my first internship, trying to get my foot in the door. I quickly realized recruiting was something I thoroughly enjoyed and matched my skill-sets. As an introvert, the role has also pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me grow as an individual.

    4.      What is your favorite moment of your career so far?
    This is a tough one. I keep coming back to all the connections I have made. I still keep in close contact with my former colleagues. The bonds you make throughout your career, they become more than just work colleagues and mentors, but also become your friends. I'll never forget my first Newer Professionals' Conference and look forward to my first NALP Education Conference some day.

    5.      What is it that challenges you most in your job?
    I have a regional role at my firm. I think the most challenging and one of the most rewarding parts of my role is learning the different markets that I support, as well as learning to be more of a strategic partner in the recruiting process. Additionally, this is my first exposure to partner hiring, so getting to see the differences between partner versus non-partner lateral recruiting is intriguing to me. The broad exposure and experience I gain through my current role is extremely rewarding.

    6.      How do you balance your career and personal life?
    I can be a bit of a workaholic. I generally feel uneasy if I am not being productive. Recognizing this, I have been making a stronger effort to change my mindset and let myself know it's okay to have ME time. It's important to take that time to re-energize and avoid being burnt out.

    I love going to yoga classes. It helps me to be present. I also make a stronger effort to kick habits such as looking at work emails after hours excessively and put my phone away when in the presence of others. If I do read through emails after hours, waiting to respond once I am back in office if a response is not urgent. And when in doubt, I recall something my first boss ever said, "We are not performing rocket science or brain surgery!"

    7.      What professional goals have you set for yourself this year?
    Another challenge I face is being the only recruiter in my office. It has made transitioning to a new firm, our market and DC in general, a little more difficult. One of my professional goals is to make a greater effort to introduce myself to people I do not know (whether at my firm or within WALRAA, etc.). Other professional goals include: seeking more opportunities for public speaking, continuing to learn to be a strategic partner and finally, learning to be more confident in my knowledge and capabilities and trust my gut when it comes to decision-making.

    8.      What is the best professional advice you have received?
    I echo Courtney's sentiments from last month with one addition: not to be afraid to ask questions or to ask for what you want.

    9.      What do you like to do for fun?
    I enjoy going to yoga and spending time with my family, friends and two dogs -- Duck and Koda. My pups are my fur babies -- I've become a professional photographer in sleeping dog photos. I am also a big foodie and love trying new restaurants, although have been a bit overwhelmed by how spread out the DMV area is and all the different options. If anyone has any fave restaurants/go-to spots, send them my way! I love a good brunch or happy hour. I travel every so often to the other offices I support, but would love to travel more for fun.

    10.  Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know?
    I have a musical background and studied playing the violin for a number of years. I also sing. I've been fortunate to have had a number of amazing musical experiences including: performing in the papal choir that sang for Pope Francis when he visited Philadelphia in 2015 and touring Italy playing violin with my high school orchestra alma mater. Important takeaway: it pays to have your passport always up to date!

  • Wed, March 18, 2020 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    We've all been told that even if we don’t have symptoms of Covid-19, the best thing we can do is stay home during this time. And that’s what we’re doing. But rather than social distancing, what’s actually needed is physical distancing – because we need our social connections more than ever now. So while we can’t nourish our social health by getting together in person, here are a few recommendations to keep our social connections strong.

    1.      Text at least 2 people a day. Even something as simple as “Hey, what’s up?” can do the trick.

    2.      Phone calls. Make at least one phone call a day. We connect better the more physical cues we get from one another and hearing someone else’s voice can convey much more information than a simple text message. It’s nice for us, and nice for them. We are all longing for it right now.

    3.      VIDEO CALLS!! You’ll get the most social benefit from being as close to physically present with one another as possible and video calls are the best way to maintain this contact. Seeing people’s faces and having conversations with real social cues is going to be key to staying sane. Try video chatting one person at least once a day (because you’re obviously still getting dressed and presentable for your remote work day). Some of the best places to host 1:1 video calls and their capacities: WhatsApp (4), FaceTime (32), Google Duo (8), Google Hangouts (10), Skype (50), Zoom (100), Facebook Messenger (6), Houseparty (8), and Squad.

    These are small but important things you can do daily to keep social connections strong. And should you need ideas for reasons to call besides a virtual happy hour, here are 9 of my favorites:

    1.      Start a movie club or start binge watching the same show as a few friends. Keep a group thread going to comment on what’s happening. Leave your favorite show suggestions for us all in the comments! Black Mirror on Netflix is great for interesting conversation starters.

    2.      Schedule daily meditations and hold each other accountable. Your mental health is key right now and studies have shown that nothing is better for your brain than meditating. There are apps, podcasts, and YouTube channels with guided meditations that are easy and free to access. Designate a different person each day to send out the meditation and commit to sharing your experiences.

    3.      Workout together! Do the same workout video/app/channel/activity and open a video chat together while you take the class. Or hold each other accountable by checking in after each session on the days you’ve agreed to workout.

    4.      Cook the same recipe and then do a virtual dinner party. Leave your recipe recommendations in the comments!

    5.      Post journaling prompts or table topics and then share your thoughts with each other on the subjects. Here’s a great list to get started.

    6.      Help each other clean out your closets. Try on clothes and get feedback on what you should keep or toss.

    7.      Start a virtual book club. Check in every few days and comment on the latest chapters in the book. Already reading something? Let us know what it is and why we should read it in the comments.

    8.      Learn something new and take an online class together. There are thousands of Ivy League classes available – and likely more coming soon. Also check out Coursera, General Assembly, Masterclass, or LinkedIn Learning. What do you want to learn this week?

    9.      And of course, BYOB and host a remote happy hour – or coffee club! – on a regular basis.

    Let us know what you’re planning to do to keep your spirits high and socially connected while practicing physical distancing. Hopefully in a few weeks we will all be able to get back to safely connecting with each other in person, but for now, we hope all members of walraa, their friends, coworkers, and family, stay safe, healthy, and mentally nourished. Happy connecting!

  • Tue, March 10, 2020 10:17 AM | Anonymous


    Director of Diversity & Inclusion
    Jenner & Block LLP

    Courtney Carter is a dedicated WALRAA member, and we love following her stories on Instagram. Her posts are inspiring and always positive, and she shares that same spirit with us in her answers below. Read on to hear how she discovered her professional passion, what keeps her going in her career, and more.

    1.      How long have you been a member of WALRAA? What has been your favorite experience so far?
    Since 2016. My favorite experience has probably been serving on the strategic planning committee. It has been so fun to help work on the future of WALRAA with an amazingly dedicated group. I have been able to get to know a number of WALRAA members better through this process, which is by far my favorite experience.

    2.      How has WALRAA helped you in your field?
    Having connections with other professionals is inherently helpful in the work I do. It also is great to have friendly folks to bounce ideas off of.

    3.      How did you first learn about and get started in Attorney Recruiting/Career Services?
    I have always been interested in diversity and inclusion and began working in the space back in 2012 with a job at NALP. Back when I was in law school, I had no idea jobs like mine existed and was pleasantly surprised to realize I could combine my personal and professional passions and get paid for it!

    4.      What is your favorite moment of your career so far?
    This is hard to choose but I would say those small wins - whether it is celebrating when our diverse lawyers make partner, a successful lawyers of color conference or a new diverse lawyer joining the firm. Those wins are my favorite moments by far.

    5.      What is it that challenges you most in your job?
    It is challenging to work on diversity and inclusion issues that are rooted in both systemic and individual challenges. However, I love what I do, so the challenge can be invigorating.

    6.      How do you balance your career and personal life?
    I think it's more integration rather than balance. I do check email after hours and on weekends but I also make sure to try and take vacations and trips as well. I try to do things that refresh me every week and I recognize when I need to take a work from home day if things are feeling particularly crazy.

    7.      What professional goals have you set for yourself this year?
    I always have a goal to do public speaking at conferences and other meetings and that is a goal this year as well.

    8.      What is the best professional advice you have received?
    Not to be afraid to ask for what I want.

    9.      What do you like to do for fun?
    I am an avid runner and love traveling for races. I have run ten marathons and running with friends is one of my favorite things. I also LOVE karaoke and having fun with friends. If you attend NALP this year, you will DEFINITELY see me performing karaoke on the stage. :)

    10.  Tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know?
    I am a military brat and moved every 2-4 years as a kid. As such, I attended 3 high schools in 2 states!

  • Tue, March 03, 2020 4:20 PM | Anonymous

    The 2020 Educational Conference is one week away! We can't wait to see you there, and wanted to encourage everyone to share their experiences with us and each other. Follow and share to #walraaeducationalconference on Instagram and Twitter!  

  • Wed, February 26, 2020 12:45 PM | Anonymous

    Eva Wisnik will be joining WALRAA's 2020 Educational Conference this year as a breakout speaker on March 10th. Eva is the President and Founder of the training and placement firm for lawyers, Wisnik Career Enterprises. She started her firm in 1996 and has worked with some of the top law firms in the country, placing more than 800 professionals nationwide. She recently turned her passionate focus to wellness, and just this year launched a Well-Being Program dedicated to legal professionals. We are thrilled to be one of the first groups presented with her wellness wisdom.

    Eva’s breakout session is entitled Your Well-Being: Rituals, Habits, & Tips and will be held in the afternoon on the day of the conference. If you’d like to learn more prior to the talk, Eva has a Wisdom blog that you can access via her website wisnik.com.

    See you at the Conference!

  • Thu, February 20, 2020 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    We are thrilled to have wellness consultant Tara Owens Antonipillai leading an afternoon yoga session at the 2020 Educational Conference this year. Tara specializes in law firm and corporate wellness programs, and has been a guest speaker at many firms in the DC area. A Georgetown trained attorney herself, she is astutely aware of the specific stresses attorneys face and how to mitigate the effects with stress management, mindfulness, & fitness.

    With over 20 years of study in mindfulness and meditation, Tara is a wealth of good advice on all things wellness. Below are 10 wellness event ideas for your summer program, from her most recent blog post that you can read in its entirety here

    1.      Set up a wellness/relaxation room

    2.      Grab n’go mentor/mentee lunch

    3.      Kombucha or pressed juice mocktail hour

    4.      Rooftop yoga or fitness

    5.      Scavenger hunt

    6.      Art class

    7.      5k training team and race

    8.      Moderated well-being group

    9.      In-depth workshops

    10.  Have fun!

    Get more insight on each of these ideas by reading the full article by Tara, and sign up to follow her blog and get regular wellness tips while you’re there! And don’t forget to register to join us at the 2020 Educational Conference for Tara’s yoga session and a lot more wellness centered inspiration.

    If you tried any of these ideas or can add to this list, let us know about it in the comments below.

  • Mon, February 17, 2020 1:21 PM | Anonymous

    Lawyer, Author, Mindfulness Instructor

    The first time I ever heard about implicit bias I was instantly intrigued. Finding that there was a test for it, I jumped at the opportunity to see my results. At the time I was still living in Portland, Oregon – a place that prides itself on being open minded and encouraging diversity – and I figured since I grew up there I would do fairly well on the test. I wasn’t wrong, but what was most revealing to me was that I also wasn't right. The test revealed that I did, in fact, have biases. I was until that moment completely unaware of it, and more than a little uncomfortable with the idea of something like this being hidden away from me in my head. The test makers reassured me that I was fairly normal in these characteristics, but that did little to assuage my Portland hipster ego.

    So what is implicit bias? It’s important to acknowledge that implicit bias resides in an area of our brains that is largely outside our awareness or ability to control. It is an involuntary attitude or stereotype that acts on our decisions and understandings in unconscious, out of sight, way. We don’t even know they are there. Which is why, when the Harvard test revealed it to me those many years ago, I was a bit taken aback.

    Since taking that test I’ve become much more curious, and conscious, of the ways implicit bias works and can be countered in our everyday lives. It is especially important to be aware of the impacts in recruiting, where an oversight of bias can lead to major gaps in hiring.  Which is why I’m excited to hear from the upcoming plenary speaker for the 2020 WALRAA Educational Conference, Jeena Cho.

    Jeena Cho, author of The Anxious Lawyer, will be speaking on Managing Implicit Bias Through Mindfulness at the opening lunch for the Conference, beginning at 12pm, March 10th, at the InterContinental at the Wharf. When it comes to managing bias, the more tools you can add to your toolbox, the better chance there is of creating change. Don’t miss Jeena’s talk and learn how mindfulness can help us create more room to maneuver around implicit bias.

    Want to see how you fare on implicit bias? Click here to take the Harvard sponsored test, Project Implicit, that shattered my illusions those many years ago.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software