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Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association hosts CLE on personal investment strategies

May 11, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Women's Bar Association held a CLE on investing to help female attorneys to better manage their finances on Thursday. Pictured from left is chartered financial analyst Lauren Lambert, BWBA President Michele Mirman and attorney J. Richard Supple. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Since President Michele Mirman took over the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, she has set out to help female attorneys in a holistic way which includes helping them to manage their finances.

On Thursday, the association hosted a continuing legal education seminar at the Brooklyn Supreme Court titled “Women & Money: You’ve earned it — Now what do you do with it?” during which a financial analyst and an attorney were brought in to lecture on personal finances.

“More than 50 percent of law school students are women, but when you look around only 17 percent are equity partners in law firms, 33 percent are judges,” Mirman said. “Part of it is that many of us are uncomfortable to speak up and we aren’t always the ones taking care of our finances.

“If you don’t ask for a raise, and you don’t know where your money is going, you’re starting from behind and you may never catch up,” Mirman continued.

Mirman helped to create Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. in 1991 and has been active within the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the NYS Trial Lawyers Association in recent years. She has said that over the years she has often heard women attorneys complain about their salaries and their job opportunities for decades and decided that she would help change that as president of the association.

“All year long this is what I’ve done since the first CLE — how do you get more money? How do you ask for more money? How do we negotiate?” Mirman said. “Women must take responsibility for their own life and their own money. That’s what this comes down to.”

Part of what Mirman is trying to do is to use the momentum women have gained from the #MeToo movement to inspire women attorneys. It’s not always easy, but it’s something she’s passionate about.

“We don’t even invest our own money,” she said. “Sometimes we expect our fathers and husbands to do that, or our brothers, we need to take control of our lives and move forward so that we can make more money and not have to worry at the end of our lives about how we take care of ourselves. I think that every woman who I promote to make more money and to be better helps me too. It gives me more dignity.”

For Thursday’s lecture, Mirman invited attorney J. Richard Supple and chartered financial analyst Lauren Lambert to discuss finances, both personal and how to help clients. The lecture lasted about two hours, which Lambert admitted was not enough time for everything, but she hoped that at least some women left the meeting with a different mindset.

“In working with my clients, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a woman say when I ask about their 401k, ‘Oh, I don’t know. I don’t pay attention to that, I’m not interested,’” Lambert said. “But of course they’re interested. It’s about their future and their money.”

Part of the problem, Lambert said, was that attitudes about money can be ingrained from generations. She said, for instance, that some people had to hide their jewelry when they immigrated to America which can lead to money trauma for their children decades later.

Mirman said that she hopes that the group continues to help women focus on aspects of their lives that, while not directly related to their careers, will help them decrease the wage gap between men and women in the legal community. She said she plans on continuing her efforts a year from now when she takes over as president of the NYS Trial Lawyers Academy.

“If you want to be a successful attorney, part of that is taking control of money,” Mirman said.


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