The newsletter of the ISBA’s Diversity Leadership Council
The Legal Balance: Resources for women attorneys and a safe haven to discuss diverse personal and professional concerns and perspectives
This spring, a new resource, The Legal Balance, will be made available to women attorneys here in Chicago. The Legal Balance is more than an online social networking community for women attorneys. The Legal Balance contains resources for women attorneys to help them find a better work-life balance. The Legal Balance’s mission is to help with the promotion, retention and advancement of women attorneys in the legal profession and beyond by creating a safe, nurturing and supportive community replete with resources all in one spot. The community draws on the collective knowledge of its members to create a powerhouse “brain.” No matter where one is at in their career, The Legal Balance will connect its members to a diverse group of women attorneys to discuss their issues and to answer each others’ questions and concerns.
The Legal Balance will also provide tips on rainmaking, mentoring, career advancement, and job opportunities. The Legal Balance is designed to be a repository of any resource women attorney need to manage their personal and professional obligations.
How Does The Legal Balance Help Women?
The Legal Balance will provide anonymous forums to facilitate community discussions by allowing its members to ask each other those tough and some- times delicate questions. There are many online communities for women and professionals, but no community just for women attorneys who many times have special personal and professional issues because of the unique nature of the practice of law. The Legal Balance will facilitate this special sharing of information such as sharing recommendations for a fertility specialist, discussing how to negotiate a four-day work week, or how to find an advocate when close to partnership. The Legal Balance will promote solutions and sharing in a safe, positive and diverse community.
The Legal Balance also will have many contributors, including a group of successful and powerful women attorneys, such as its “Dear Jane” contributor where members can ask their questions anonymously to a well-respected Chicago com- munity leader without feeling embarrassed. Many women want to know if it is okay to date a co-worker, or should they be concerned if no one has asked them to take an expert deposition. The Legal Balance’s “Dear Jane” will work with its members to create a success strategy career game plan and to share the information to its members.
The Legal Balance will provide an events calendar to its members where the bar associations’ events will be show-cased and listed for quick review and to connect its members to the various bar association committees and resources focusing on career issues, women’s issues, mentoring opportunities and other programs geared towards women attorneys.
The Legal Balance will provide access to the Top 100 Legal Balance Leaders in its section entitled, “This is how she does it!” where The Legal Balance will show- case successful women attorney leaders in Chicago, and later the nation.
Lastly, The Legal Balance has numer- ous experts on hand to answer questions on real estate, finance, career, skin care from an Oprah show dermatologist, and even a wine expert.
The Legal Balance is designed for all women attorneys from all diverse back- grounds. Whether one is a new lawyer freshly sworn into the bar, a veteran law- yer who’s been practicing for years, an associate, in-house council, government attorney, not-for-profit lawyer, judge,
staff attorney, partner, law student, stay-at-home mom, or an attorney looking to return to the practice, The Legal Balance values the diverse community of women attorneys and will bring the community together into one safe place.
About the Founder: After practicing law for seven years, Erica Zalokar was alarmed at the attrition rate of women attorneys leaving the practice of law, and Erica realized a new passion: helping women attorneys from all backgrounds gain access to resources and to connect them in one powerful community to allow them to use their great brains, talents and resources to help others.
Prior to The Legal Balance, Erica practiced corporate litigation at numerous prestigious law firms including Eimer Stahl Klevorn & Solberg, a litigation boutique spun-off from Sidley & Austin, Ungaretti & Harris, and Williams, Montgomery & John. Erica is a 1998 graduate from Indiana University Maurer School of Law.