Law firm celebrates Women's History Month

For Women’s History Month in March, Zausmer attorneys Nicole Gettler and Talitha Mahome, paralegal Brenda Schooley, and legal assistants Kathy Collings and Christine Jacobson recently participated in an internal panel discussion. This panel covered topics such as what it is like working in the legal field, motherhood, and the advice they would give other women.

To begin, Gettler and Mahome shared their views on what it is like being a female attorney. They see more women representation now, as things have changed in the legal field for women over the past 20 years. “There seem to be more female attorneys on the bench in the circuit courts nowadays,” Gettler said.

Balancing motherhood and being a full-time employee was also a topic of discussion. “Being a mother while maintaining a career is very challenging, but I also believe it is extremely important for my children to see my strength and dedication,” Jacobson said. 

As working moms, the panelists discussed the pressure they feel to be the parent that makes sacrifices if their kids need them at home. “Even though I have support from my husband, if I get a call from daycare, it’s my responsibility to get them,” Mahome said. “If they’re sick, I have to be the one who makes sacrifices and make those changes to my workday, if necessary.” 

The panelists discussed how different work environments can allow them to better balance the two aspects of their lives. “Having flexibility is key to surviving motherhood while working. Being at a firm that allows flexibility is essential since you never know when something will come up with your kids,” Gettler said.

The panelists then discussed why certain legal careers, such as being an assistant or paralegal, are more female-dominated. “I think the pay would be a deterrent; it would be difficult to support a family on a paralegal income,” Brenda said. “I think if a male, nowadays, were interested in working in law, they would go to law school to become an attorney.”

The discussion concluded with the panelists sharing advice they would give to a woman beginning her career. “You need to stand up and say something if something is wrong. Don’t keep everything inside; make sure you let people hear your opinions, let your voice be heard,” Collings said. 

Mahome shared with the group the advice she gives her daughters: “You deserve to be in the room as much as the next person. Make sure you project your confidence and your personality.”

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