‘Off The Record’ event big success with women law students, lawyers
For the 10th consecutive year, McAfee & Taft presented “Off the Record,” a cooperative effort with the University of Tulsa College of Law’s Professional Development Office, on February 27, 2019. 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, 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 third year in a row, the event was hosted by Rachel Blue, McAfee & Taft shareholder and intellectual property attorney and a 1988 graduate of the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Rachel Blue, McAfee & Taft attorney and shareholder: “What’s great about this particular event is that you’ve got a panoply of women who have been through all kinds of different scenarios and you can ask them anything and you’ll be able to find an answer about how to handle it. And the wonderful thing is that you don’t have to worry about being judged when you ask those questions. No one’s judging you in a classroom, or in an interview, or in a workplace about the kinds of things that you don’t even know you don’t know.”
Christy Caves, director of professional development, University of Tulsa College of Law: “Oh I would’ve loved to have attended this event as a law student. I hope that my students learn how wonderful and welcoming our local legal community is. Many students after this event comment about how approachable the judges and attorneys are, and how welcome they feel. And it means so much to them, so I hope that they walk away with a newfound respect for different areas of law that they might be interested in practicing and new contacts and friends.”
Julie Torralba, law student, University of Tulsa College of Law: “I wanted to come tonight because a bunch of women gathering together and trying to empower each other, that is the room I want to be in. And it really is full of women who are in different areas of law and they really are amazing, and they’re the ones that inspire us to do more. So it was great.”
Cheryl Vinall Denney, McAfee & Taft attorney and shareholder: “McAfee & Taft has been hosting this event for 10 years. I know I’ve been coming for I think the last five or seven and it’s been great to see how the event has grown every year and changed and evolved. And it really now brings together a lot of different aspects of the women legal community in Tulsa and now across the state that we’re bringing people from Oklahoma City. We’ve brought some of our colleagues and some of our law students from Oklahoma City from Oklahoma City University Law School as well as from the University of Oklahoma Law School and we’re hoping to bring this event to Oklahoma City in separate events with each law school in the fall.”
Katelyn King, law student, Oklahoma City University School of Law: “I really think women getting together to empower each other in such a male-dominated area of work is very important. And so I was really excited coming from the city to see this Tulsa event and hopefully bring it to my school so that we can grow our community and not be city-city but rather be state-wide.”
Julia Forrester-Sellers, assistant general counsel, SemGroup Corporation: “Well I do get to see some of my friends which is great. I have several friends here tonight that I’ve practiced law with but I also get the opportunity to see the new women lawyers coming up through the ranks. And I feel like every generation we have to make our identity, make our place in the legal community. And so I get to see all the incoming talent and it’s exciting.”
Lyn Entzeroth, dean and professor of law, University of Tulsa College of Law: “This is key, right? This is really getting our students, our women students, to start getting out and thinking about their career. And this is really special ’cause they get to meet women lawyers, incredibly accomplished lawyers and counsel across the state, across the city, and find out about what they do. You get to sort of practice. You’re not asking for a job, you’re just getting to know someone and finding about their life, what they do, and this gives a nice, relaxed way of doing that. Plus, this is in Rachel Blue’s beautiful home. She is an incredibly gracious hostess. And I think she makes our students feel welcome and helps launch them in their career.”
Kelly Greenough, district judge, 14th Judicial District: “I keep coming back to this event annually ’cause I can’t think of any other environment where you have not only practitioners, but law students of varying levels, judges, all in the same room where they can have a candid conversation about topics of interest to us, as women, topics of interest to us as practitioners of the law, and Rachel throws a fabulous event every year, hands down.”
Janay Clougherty, assistant public defender, Tulsa County Public Defender’s Office: “I enjoyed coming to this event as a student because it gave us access to not only judges and attorneys in Tulsa, but female judges and attorneys in Tulsa that we could relate to and ask questions to that we might not be able to ask in a more formal setting. And I came back as an attorney because now my partner is in law school and I remember how it felt to not know anybody in the legal community and how much an event like this can help. So I appreciate this event then, now and always.”