For the 11th consecutive year, McAfee & Taft presented “Off the Record,” a cooperative effort with the University of Tulsa College of Law’s Professional Development Office, on March 4, 2020. This annual event offers female law students the opportunity to meet with successful women lawyers for an evening of networking and straight talk to discuss real-world issues and concerns not typically discussed in the classroom.
Special guests from the bench, private practice, government, public defender’s office, nonprofits and industry met with at least 50 students to share their experiences, offer candid advice, and answer questions about what they can (and should) expect from their legal careers.
For the fourth year in a row, the event was hosted by Rachel Blue, McAfee & Taft shareholder and intellectual property lawyer and a 1988 graduate of the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Rachel Baker, associate dean of professional development, University of Tulsa College of Law: “It is so important for our female law students to have an opportunity like this to work with and get a chance to know other female attorneys in the area of law that they maybe wanna practice, or learn about areas of law that they haven’t yet had an opportunity to experience. There is no other event like this anywhere where female law students can really just come in, talk to other attorneys, judges, experience professionals in all areas of the law from in house counsel to public interest, and really get a sense of things that they would want to do, things that they would not want to do, and also just what it’s really like to be a female in the legal profession.”
Melissa Revell, McAfee & Taft healthcare lawyer: “So it was fun, ’cause last year was my first year practicing law. And so I still knew a lot of the law students here. And I had several come up to me and be like, “What is really like?” They wanted to know how real is it from our experiences that we’ve had earlier, from what we’ve heard, just kinda wanted the inside scoop.”
Meghan Joiner, associate general counsel, Xcaliber International: “McAfee does a wonderful job incorporating the legal community and TU Law students in events. Rachel Blue is a fantastic attorney here, and she always puts on a good party. And the networking here is just an excellent opportunity for students and practitioners alike. There’s always a judge around or an in house counselor around, so you get different perspectives that you don’t usually get in your day to day experience with work. So meeting people who have this common love, common goal, is a good experience.”
Hannah Frosch, law student, University of Tulsa College of Law: “Oh, I was dying to ask so much this year. I think one L year, you wanna know what do I do? How do I do it? What does law school look like for a woman? In 2L year and 3L year, you’re questioning how do I get a job or how do I stand out in an interview? Or what makes me a better candidate this year? What is an actual challenging issue that you have faced in the workplace compared to a 1L year, where I’d say it’s a little safer. 2L and 3L year, you’re more exposed to women in the workplace, and you’re not willing to ask those off the record questions that you’re maybe afraid to your 1L year.”
Kelly Greenough, district judge, 14th Judicial District: “Back in my day, we had no similar opportunity to talk with women lawyers, women judges, those who’ve kind of blazed the trails ahead of today’s women law students. And it would have been so helpful to have that kind of access on the front end of your legal career to get advice and ask questions, things that may be burning in your mind that you can’t really ask in a job interview, but you’re dying to know. And so, it would’ve been really helpful to have that. And I am always thrilled to get to attend this event every year, because I think it has tremendous value for our women law students.”
Morgan, law student, University of Tulsa College of Law: “I hear everything honestly. I’ve asked, specifically, what is the work life balance for some people? I’ve asked how do you succeed in law school? How did you get to where you are today? What are the things that you did in law school that you felt propelled you into your career? One of my biggest questions is what is the one experience that you had that you can guarantee got you where you wanted to be today? That’s my biggest question. Another highlight’s you’re seeing all these women. When I was younger, I never wanted to be a lawyer. And we always saw the men on TV, yelling and screaming at each other. And it’s nice to see women that are calm tempered that wanna help other women, who are doing well, who are succeeding in their careers. It’s just a breath of fresh air honestly.”
Samanthia Marshall, McAfee & Taft labor and employment lawyer: “I would’ve love to have had an opportunity like this one tonight. As a law student, it would’ve just been a really… It’s not hyperbole, but kind of life changing perhaps, like sort of career developing changing, just to be able to talk with different types of lawyers, and also to have a female perspective, because even though a lot of our professors, at least in my law school, were female, when you get out to the working world, it was still very male dominated. So to have that opportunity would’ve been really nice and impactful. Well it’s a really fun time to visit with people that do other types of work. This evening I’ll be able to visit with people that are in house and also government attorneys, and also to be able to visit with law students, and just hear that passion. And I’m gonna go out there. Look out world, here I come. And so it’s kind of invigorating for me as well being now in my 11th year, I think.
Lyn Entzeroth, dean and professor of law, University of Tulsa College of Law: “One of the best things about being the Dean at the University of Tulsa College of Law is to see where my students are two years after they graduate, five years, 10 years. I’ve been there long enough, 15 years after they graduate, and how they create fabulous careers for themselves. So to be able to see the connection of our current students with the women lawyers here, many of whom are graduates, it’s absolutely what more could a Dean ask for? It’s absolutely fabulous.”