Alumnae Shape the Next Generation of Legal Minds
Do women still need to choose between becoming a law firm partner or having a family? How difficult is it to be accepted into law school? These were a few questions students had during the Douglass Legal Careers Exploration tour. Organized by the BOLD Center at Douglass, with funding from the Victoria Perkins DC’67 Legal Careers Exploration Fund, 18 students spent the day meeting with attorneys who are Douglass and Rutgers alumnae to learn about the range of possibilities available in the legal profession.
Maureen Montague DC’89 assisted with arranging the groups’ visit to the law offices of Lowenstein Sandler LLP (Lowenstein) in Roseland, NJ. Putting the BOLD Center in touch with the firm’s Women’s Initiative Network, students were able to tour the firm and attend two-panel sessions with women attorneys.
“It’s important that young women have an opportunity to attend these events because it provides exposure to the variety of different choices available to women in the legal profession, with an opportunity to ask questions and receive real-world advice,” said Montague. “For seasoned professionals, this is an opportunity to share their perspective and to pass along that one bit of advice which they wish someone had told them, while enjoying the excitement and eagerness of these young women.”
The panelists were selected from a range of legal practices to give students an idea of the breadth of options in the field. The first-panel session included panelist Lynda Bennett, a litigator and head of the Women’s Initiative, and Jewel Watson RLAW'10, who began her career at Lowenstein, and currently is the in-house counsel at Prudential Financial. The panel was moderated by Rinat Shangeeta ENG'04 and RLAW'15, an attorney at Lowenstein. The second panel was moderated by Ms. Montague, with panelists Natalie Kraner, head of the Public Interest division at Lowenstein, and Stacey Tyler DC’07, a real estate attorney. “As a Douglass alumna, I am a prime example of how much undergraduate women benefit from educational opportunities specifically tailored for them,” Tyler continued. “I remember how impressed I was to meet and interact with female professionals in varied career paths when I was in college, and how much it influenced my perception of what I could achieve. Now that I’m on the other side, I’m thrilled to be able to provide that kind of experience for current students.”
Douglass alumna Vicki Perkins ’67, who has had a distinguished career in corporate and commercial real estate law in metropolitan Washington D.C., established her fund at the college to give opportunities to Douglass students to learn firsthand about working in the legal field. Vicki’s Legal Careers Exploration Fund has provided support for many other law-oriented trips for Douglass students, including going to New York City to meet with Marissa Shorenstein, president of AT&T New York, visiting the law schools at New York University and Yeshiva University, and spending a fascinating morning in the chambers of Judge Freda Wolfson of the U.S. District Court for New Jersey and a Douglass alumna ’76.
For more information on how you can support Douglass students by providing internship, externships and other career development experiences, please contact Leslie Danehy, Director of the BOLD Center at Douglass at firstname.lastname@example.org.