The Catholic University of America


Women’s Law Caucus Hosts “Dare to Ask: Negotiating for a Higher Salary and Other Benefits”

   Print Friendly and PDF

On January 23, 2018, the CUA Women’s Law Caucus and The Office of Career and Professional Development hosted an event entitled “Dare to Ask: Negotiating for a Higher Salary and Other Benefits” with Cait Clarke '86.

Gemma Forest (2L), WLC’s VP of Networking and Professional Outreach, introduced Clarke. She is the Chief of Defender Services in the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and she dedicates her life's work to the 6th Amendment right to counsel. She also wrote Dare to Ask! The Woman's Guidebook to Successful Negotiating and has designed curriculum, managed trainings, and trained hundreds of attorneys throughout the U.S. in a variety of programs.

“We are here today to talk more about your opportunities and skill sets,” Clarke told the audience.

Clarke provided an overview of her negotiation course and discussed three big ideas for students to keep in mind during negotiations: reframing the process, controlling the process, and being prepared.

“I want to help develop your internal resourcefulness, and this can be done by reframing the process of negotiations,” she said.

She stated a negotiation should be a conversation between both parties. “Reframing a negotiation as a collaborative conversation changes the dynamics from a win-lose situation to a mutual decision between both parties.”

Clarke discussed despite the financial commitment of law school students should not be hindered from pursuing their “authentic self” during interviews. “Write down your skill sets before you go into a collaborative conversation. Think big and ask for what you want,” she said.

Lastly, she discussed the importance of preparation. “Be prepared. Talk to your professors, colleagues, and other people you trust. You have resources at Catholic University. You can even cold call a firm,” she said.
Before taking questions from the audience, Clarke reminded students to think big, create a ritual, and practice self-care. “You will be a better negotiator and collaborator because of this.”