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Victoria Pynchon's 'Four Magic Words for Women Lawyers'

On her She Negotiates blog, Victoria Pynchon has taken a well-deserved break from her duties of awarding the "Golden Asshole Award" (which, I repeat, is supposed to a good thing to receive) to dispense some advice for women lawyers. She writes that the Four Magic Words for Women Lawyers -- indeed, the "only four words that matter in law firm practice today" -- are the following:

Portable.
Book.
Of.
Business.

Pynchon writes that during her 25 years practicing law, while making "damn good money," she developed not a single scrap of business. Not one client of her own. Her strategy had been to do her job so well that she'd become indispensable, but she eventually learned that no lawyers are indispensable unless they have a portable book of business.

Pynchon writes that, after leaving the practice of law for her own mediation practice, she had to learn to build business for herself

one contact, one step, one networking event, one Bar Association Committee, one friend in a corporate law department at a time. You do favors for them. You like that. You’re naturally generous. You love being of service. You don’t have to learn how to play golf and take the Chairman of the Board to Pebble Beach. You can make phone calls, see how things are going, connect one friend to another, circulate someone’s resume when they’re out of work and you’re not.

Pynchon recommends networking groups such as NAWMBA for women, and says she was also able to create her own Professional Women’s Network. The key, she says, is to remember that your networking group "doesn’t have to be grand. It only has to exist." 

Pynchon concludes that women who successfully create their own portable book of business "don't need diversity and inclusivity programs. You don't need class action lawsuits or laws ensuring women get their fair share. You will be free!"

Posted by Bruce Carton on April 20, 2011 at 04:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)

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