Wake Forest Law hosts ‘Grit and Growth Mindset: Advancing Women in the Law’ on Thursday, Oct. 22

About 30 women attended Wake Forest Law’s “Grit and Growth Mindset: Advancing Women in the Law” training on Oct. 22 presented by Women in Law, the Office of Career & Professional Development and the Forsyth County Women Attorneys Association in the Worrell Professional Center. The session was held as part of the second annual All-Law School Alumni Weekend (LAW).

The Grit Project, developed by the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Women in the Profession, strives to educate women lawyers about the science behind grit and growth mindset by providing the necessary means to assess and learn the traits.

Catharine Arrowood (BA ’73, JD ’76), former president of the North Carolina Bar Association, and Forsyth County District Court Judge Denise Hartsfield (JD ’91) assisted in the training at the law school. “It’s a sea change; more than 50 percent of general counsels are women now,” Arrowood said. “It’s a whole new world and it’s a great thing.”

Judge Hartsfield added that throughout her career in various government positions she has learned there is a thin line between what grit means for a woman and man. “I have received more discrimination because I am a woman than I have for being African American,” she said.

The Grit Project was created by the ABA as a way to help female lawyers reach their full potential. In 2013, a study showed that 47 percent of associates were female; however, women only make up 29 percent and 17 percent of senior leadership roles respectively, according to the ABA Commission. In a 2012 study, the results revealed that the two traits common in highly successful women include a “grit and growth mindset.”

Arrowood added outcomes from Grit training are some of the most successful she has seen. “It’s interactive and where the rubber meets the road,” she said. “I think it’s a great program.”

The OCPD provides career services and counseling for law students and alumni to help them define and clarify professional goals and connect with knowledge and resources to achieve them. Women in Law is a student-run organization that endeavors to help students identify opportunities and challenges that exist for women in the legal profession. The Forsyth County Women Attorneys Association is open to all female attorneys working or living in Forsyth County. Contact Scott for more information at scottfs@wfu.edu.

Tiffani Otey (JD ’10) said following the training that she enjoyed listening to the different perspectives from women at different points in their careers. “I would definitely recommend it.”