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Description

Ida Abbott Consulting LLC

This book explains what law firms must do to retain talented women lawyers and help them become the effective leaders firms need them to be. This book also spells out what women must do if they want to become law firm leaders. It emphasizes the importance of women taking control of their careers—and shows them how to do it. The book examines the unique challenges that leadership presents for women; describes how law firm politics, structure, and culture affect leadership; and the leadership paths women can choose within that context. 

  • Guides women lawyers who are currently leaders or might want to become leaders in law firms
  • Focuses on lawyers, law firm leaders, and professional development personnel involved in diversity initiatives

West Publishing named Women on Top: The Woman’s Guide to Leadership and Power in Law Firms one of their best selling new books of 2010.

Jamie Spannhake, co-chair of the ABA’s Women Rainmakers, wrote a review of the Women on Top for Law Practice Today

"This book is a reference book of unmatched quality. This book is a “must read” for both men and women in law who think they have it right when it comes to leadership generally and more specifically leadership for women in law. My advice: Read it, digest it and then embrace it!"  – Betiayn Tursi

Table of Contents

PART I. UNIQUE CHALLENGES FOR WOMEN LEADERS

  • CHAPTER 1. BARRIERS TO WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP
    • 1:1 Introduction
  • CHAPTER 2. STEREOTYPING AND GENDER BIAS
    • 2:1 Confronting a multilayered glass ceiling
    • 2:2 Gender stereotypes, bias, and double binds
    • 2:3 Bias against women of color
    • 2:4 Sexual orientation bias
    • 2:5 Maternal wall bias
    • 2:6 Bias against part-time lawyers and resistance tofexibility
  • CHAPTER 3. AUTHENTICITY AND LEADERSHIP STYLES
    • 3:1 The importance of authenticity
  • CHAPTER 4. TRAPS THAT WOMEN SHOULD AVOID
    • 4:1 The need for strategic awareness
    • 4:2 Tokenism
    • 4:3 Always saying "yes"
    • 4:4 Being a service partner
  • CHAPTER 5. WOMEN-TO-WOMEN RELATIONSHIPS
    • 5:1 Women's expectations of women leaders
    • 5:2 Expectation of "niceness"
    • 5:3 Expectation of friendship
    • 5:4 Expectation of support for women's issues
    • 5:5 Queen Bees

PART II. LEADERSHIP IN A LAW FIRM: THE IMPORTANCE OF CONTEXT

  • CHAPTER 6. WHAT IS LEADERSHIP IN A LAW FIRM?
    • 6:1 Leadership as process
    • 6:2 Leadership is based on trust
    • 6:3 Leadership requires integrity
    • 6:4 Leadership requires professional excellence
    • 6:5 Leadership and management
    • 6:6 Leadership and power
    • 6:7 Rainmaking power
    • 6:8 Positional power
    • 6:9 Power through personal attributes
  • CHAPTER 7. SPECIAL CHALLENGES IN LEADING PARTNERS
    • 7:1 Lawyers' personality traits
    • 7:2 Attitudes toward leadership
    • 7:3 Leadership selection
    • 7:4 Need or desire to maintain a client practice
  • CHAPTER 8. HOW LAW FIRM STRUCTURE AFFECTS LEADERSHIP
    • 8:1 Comparing leadership in lawf rms and corporations
    • 8:2 Impact on leadership as lawf rms become more corporate
    • 8:3 Impact of law firm culture on women
  • CHAPTER 9. MASTERING LAW FIRM POLITICS
    • 9:1 Politics is not a dirty word
    • 9:2 Reciprocity
    • 9:3 Picking your battles
    • 9:4 The power of networks
    • 9:5 Building alliances and coalitions

PART III. BECOMING THE LEADER YOU ASPIRE TO BE

  • CHAPTER 10. INTRODUCTION
    • 10:1 ASPIRE
  • CHAPTER 11. AMBITION
    • 11:1 Acknowledge your ambitions
    • 11:2 Increase your self-awareness
    • 11:3 Articulate your values
    • 11:4 Appreciate your strengths
    • 11:5 Create your vision
  • CHAPTER 12. STRATEGY
    • 12:1 Develop a strategy for leadership success
    • 12:2 Plan for leadership
    • 12:3 Choose a leadership path: rainmaking vs. management
    • 12:4 Rainmaking
    • 12:5 Management
    • 12:6 Choose committees strategically
    • 12:7 Make yourself known as leadership material
    • 12:8 Get connected through internal networks
    • 12:9 Build and use outside networks
    • 12:10 Find mentors and champions
    • 12:11 Identify role models
    • 12:12 Acquire needed leadership knowledge and skills
    • 12:13 Practice self-management
    • 12:14 Set priorities and plan around them
    • 12:15 Delegate
    • 12:16 Juggling work and family

Appendix A

  • CHAPTER 13. PERSONAL POWER
    • 13:1 Claim your power and your pay
    • 13:2 Advocate for yourself
    • 13:3 Push your way into client opportunities
    • 13:4 Ask for clients from retiring partners
    • 13:5 Money and credit: get what you deserve
    • 13:6 Know how the compensation system works
    • 13:7 Know and be able to explain what you are worth
    • 13:8 Ask and negotiate
    • 13:9 See yourself as a leader and act the part
  • CHAPTER 14. INTERPERSONAL DYNAMICS
    • 14:1 The interpersonal nature of leadership
    • 14:2 Emotional intelligence
    • 14:3 Communication is key
    • 14:4 Dialogue, listening, and questioning
    • 14:5 Expression
    • 14:6 Building consensus
    • 14:7 Persuasion
    • 14:8 Executing strategy
    • 14:9 Confict management
    • 14:10 Managing poor performers
    • 14:11 Dealing with difcult partners
  • CHAPTER 15. RESILIENCE
    • 15:1 Leaders need to be resilient
    • 15:2 Optimism
    • 15:3 Self-confdence
    • 15:4 Smart risk-taking
    • 15:5 Inner strength
    • 15:6 Thick skin
    • 15:7 Emotional support
    • 15:8 Physical stamina
  • CHAPTER 16. EMPOWERMENT
    • 16:1 Empower other women leaders
    • 16:2 Reframe the conversation
    • 16:3 Advocate for women
    • 16:4 Make elimination of bias a priority
    • 16:5 Develop future leaders—especially women
    • 16:6 Promote succession planning
    • 16:7 Identify and nurture leaders
    • 16:8 Be a mentor to women and men
    • 16:9 Use women's initiatives to advance women and promote change
    • 16:10 Creating an uplifting future