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Reed Smith launches women’s career forum and sacks female blogger

Today’s headline from UK’s The Lawyer summed it nicely, ‘Reed Smith launches women’s career forum and sacks female blogger.’

Reed Smith fired Denise Howell, a leading blogger, IP lawyer, and mother last week. The firm has been getting crucified in Internet discussion since then. Comments include:

Read between the lines of what Denise posted on her blog about being a mother and a lawyer in a large law firm.

…[F]irms still have a long way to go before being “flexible and creative” transcends the realm of sound bite and recruiting/retention pitch, and enters that of core value.

Reed Smith’s response to the firing’s negative reaction, per the The Lawyer article:

  • Reed Smith spokesperson: ‘Her departure had nothing to do with blogging or being a mother.’
  • Firm’s launch of its Women’s Career Advancement Workshop in the UK.
  • Reed Smith chairman Greg Jordan: ‘Reed Smith is committed to the advancement of our women lawyers.’

The best way for Reed Smith to repair this damage to its reputation is to launch a blog. Ironic.

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