It's time for the Careerist to don the gypsy earrings, slip into her red robe, and peer once again into her crystal ball to see what awaits the legal profession for the year ahead. Here are her predictions for 2014:
1. Law firms and investment banks will tout their work/life balance initiatives. Don't worry—they don't mean it. Just keep billing those 2,500 hours, and everyone will be happy.
2. Law firms will insist that they want to hire for emotional intelligence. Again, don't worry, because partners have no clue what emotional intelligence means.
3. Law firms will say that they want to hire law grads with practical skills. They don't mean that either, because a middling Harvard Law School grad will trump an honors grad from Ohio State with amazing practical skills any day.
4. The stay-at-home husband will be the latest must-have. Ambitious women will realize that the best (only) way to get ahead and have a family is to get what men have always had: a stay-at-home spouse. It's nice to have someone pick up the kids and the dry cleaning while you're climbing the corporate ladder. Plus, what's cuter than a big guy in an apron?
5. Middle-age women will still be confused about what they should wear at the office: Should they dress like Madonna, Angela Merkel, or Patti Smith? What "look" will get women ahead—sexy, dowdy, earthy? So many role models. So much confusion.
6. Women will be confused about how to negotiate for better pay/credit. Be direct and ask for what you deserve. But be careful not to come off as a shrill bitch. So be demure and forceful. Got that?
7. Women will just be confused. About everything.
8. Men will continue to be in control. While women are wrestling with cleavage/power ties, kids/career, flex-time/full-time, home cooking/takeout, etc., men will keep their eyes on their careers and rise to the top.
9. Compliance lawyers will be top sex symbols. That's because they're the only ones in this market who will have job security.
E-mail Vivia Chen: [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lawcareerist