Women in Law Institute – Session Objectives

Communicate with Impact

Speaking confidently – or not – can make or break a young lawyer’s career. The Communicate with Impact lecture will highlight verbal and nonverbal communication styles and mannerisms that may undermine a woman’s appearance of confidence and provide Women in Law Institute participants with practical strategies for communicating effectively. For instance, participants will learn ways to present research in an effective and organized manner, exhibit ownership over an assignment, ask for clarity when necessary, and respond confidently when unsure of the answer to a question. During the post-lecture breakout session, faculty practitioners will coach participants towards cleaner, tighter speech by, among other things, dropping filler words such as “um”, “uh”, and “like” and removing any upswing or questioning tone from the end of declarative sentences.

Demonstrate Your Value

Lawyers must be able to communicate the value that they add to their organizations. For many women, however, this crucial skill can present challenges. The Demonstrate Your Value lecture will provide Women in Law Institute participants with a better understanding of how to effectively identify one’s achievements, clearly and unmistakably communicate them (without “editing down” their significance), practice strategies for increasing comfort level with discussing achievements, and access and use common media outlets. Participants will learn speaking styles that self-promote: focus, succinctness, engaging and interesting dialogue, poise, balance, and seeming objectivity. During the breakouts, faculty practitioners will instruct participants to exchange the pronoun “we” for “I”, employ well-based superlatives, and make clear one’s own particular contributions to a group effort.

Build Strategic Relationships

Knowing how to ‘work a room’ will give lawyers an edge over their peers. Through the Build Strategic Relationships lecture, Women in Law Institute participants will learn methods for increasing their comfort level with networking and how to effectively and strategically interact with others at networking events. During a simulated networking reception after the lecture, faculty practitioners will critique participants on essential skills such as handshakes and exchanging business cards as well as the deeper connections that take place in networking settings: whether the participant communicated something of interest about herself, whether it was done with confidence and excitement, and whether she was able to find and engage in a topic of mutual interest with the practitioner.