From the blog

Ms. JD is Now Accepting Applications for Its 2017 Writers in Residence Program!

LSATs, law school studies, hectic work weeks. Sometimes we all need a creative outlet.  Whether you are pre-law, currently in law school, or a seasoned legal professional, Ms. JD may have just the opportunity for you!  Ms. JD is currently seeking applications for its 2017 Writers in Residence Program.  Started in 2010, the Writers in Residence are a select group of pre-law individuals, current law students, and legal professionals who contribute monthly articles for one year to the Ms. JD blog on a topic of their choosing. This year's Writers addressed many interesting and relatable issues facing everyone from pre-law millennials to…

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Submit your Nominations for Ms. JD Honors at #MsJDPROPEL!

Ms. JD is proud to continue honoring exceptional women and men making contributions to the advancement of women in the legal profession through Ms. JD Honors. The Ms. JD Honors Reception will take place in connection with Ms. JD’s next annual conference, #MsJDPROPEL, at Northwestern Law on March 3, 2017. The Ms. JD Honors awards will celebrate those who demonstrate passion for their careers and share that passion with other men and women. Nominations are due by Tuesday, November 15, 2016.   Below is a description of the awards and instructions for submitting nominations. Woman of Inspiration Award - To a woman who, regardless of her practice area or type of…

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Attorneys Across America: Featuring Elizabeth Fenton

From a tiny office in rural Alaska to a skyscraper in Manhattan, from The Sunshine State to The Prairie State, Ms. JD seeks to capture snapshots of successful women attorneys practicing law from sea to shining sea. Ms. JD had a few questions for Elizabeth Fenton, who is a Partner at Saul Ewing, LLP in Wilmington, Delaware.  1. Where do you practice law? I practice principally in Delaware, but I am also admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 2. Describe your legal market. What is the size of the market? How would you describe the culture? Delaware is a small…

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Kellyn McGee

Turning the Page: Weathering a Storm

Just as Kayley and I were planning to catch up, the coastal area received word that we needed to prepare for the worst as Hurricane Matthew makes it way across the Atlantic Ocean toward Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.  By the evening of October 4th, South Carolina had issued a mandatory evacuation order for its coastal cities, including Beaufort (pronounced “bew-fert”), Bluffton, and Hilton Head Island.  That evacuation order affected a good number of our students, mostly part-time, and many had plans heading north and west towards middle and north Georgia.  Early on the morning of Thursday the 6th, people in…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Become Your Own Hero—- Or Heroine For You Women Lawyers!

Did you have a super hero growing up?  I can remember the Marvel Comic Book superheroes as if it was yesterday.  For the younger among you,  GI Joe and Wonder Woman might have been your heroes, and there were many others --- something for everyone.  We admired these characters for their strength and bravery and compassionate and independent behavior.  They made us think that we could be like them --- if only a little bit.  We liked to be on the side of the super hero or super heroine because it was usually the just and right place to be. …

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Your Brain, Law School, and Law Practice:  Implicit Biases Come Out in the Open

Implicit bias is in the news and that is good news.  The recent publicity surrounding police shootings has brought that term into more conversations.  In this election season, candidates are even tossing the phrase into their debates. Let’s take a look at what it means and why it is especially important for law students and lawyers to understand it.  Here are some iconic pictures.  Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach (serving under President Kennedy) is confronting Governor George Wallace on the steps of the University of Alabama in 1963.  Wallace was refusing to allow the entry of African-American students, specifically Vivian Malone pictured here,…

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New Clerk on the Block: Learning to Manage

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a law clerk is working with law student externs. I truly enjoy guiding externs through their legal research and writing assignments, watching their skills improve over time, and serving as a mentor to help them achieve great things even after they leave our chambers. When supervised effectively, externs can also lighten the workload for law clerks. But supervising law students is also one of the most challenging parts of being a new attorney. And, unfortunately, law school doesn’t teach you how to be a good manager. In fact, it turns out that…

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Beyond the Pencil Skirt: “Can You Help Me Thrive?”

The season may be drifting from hot to cool, but the semester is just heating up. During the past several weeks, many 2L friends on Law Review and Moot Court have pulled me aside to ask to get together and talk about how to “get through” 2L year. As we cruise into the second full month of 3L year, it is a delight to spend a little time comparing our experiences. Before grabbing lunch with one such friend last week, I sent her a link to Beyond the Pencil Skirt for a preview of where I’m coming from on the issue…

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Financial Literacy by Melissa Glassman (3L at Cardozo Law School)

Last month the Ms. JD chapter of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law known as Women’s Law Initiative held an event entitled “Financial Literacy."  The Women of the organization invited Suzanne Katz, Vice President, Wealth Management Advisor at Merrill Lynch to speak to students about the importance of being financially literate.  Suzanne spoke about the many ways to be financially literate, including how to budget.  She suggested that we use our debit cards for as much as possible because they allow for all of our expenses to be tracked electronically.  It also allows us to look online at the end…

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Until Our Own Bones Break

"There are, of course, always going to be people who hook us under the sternum and pull us forward with wire until our own bones break to make us relinquish them." --"Schuyler today and the students" by Kate Angus As a 2L inching closer to my JD, I relate to this excerpt from Angus's poem. I see myself as hooked under the sternum by assignments that force me into scary situations. Sometimes I am pulled forward into new territory, quickly prepping for cases featuring questions of law completely novel to me, so that I may represent a client in a hearing in a courtroom I…

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Brand Tip #8: Creating a Memorable Brand

Once you’ve identified your goals, business strategy and uniqueness in the market and undertaken careful selection of your trademark or service mark, you’re ready to deepen the development of your brand platform and begin the process of engaging with your target audience by making yourself memorable. Becoming memorable, as you might imagine, is more than just selecting an enticing brand name. The culture, or aura, surrounding your brand is just as important. A brand aura is the cultivation of an experience. Done correctly, the cultivation of an experience can produce unbounded loyalty. Consider, for instance, the empowerment philosophy behind Nike®…

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Not fLAWless but Fearless: Accepting Your Past

There comes a time in everyone’s life where the inevitable question comes up: how much does my past matter as related to my future? Call it my mid mid-life crisis, but I’ve been pondering this question a lot lately, related to both professional and personal endeavors. How much does what I’ve done, where I’ve been, and the experiences I’ve had lend itself to the places I’m trying to go, and the person I’m trying to become? On the professional side, I’ve always asked my supervisors and been fortunate enough to receive feedback on how much my prior work experience will…

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Student to Lawyer, Stuck in the Middle: Finding a (non-traditional legal) Job – Part 4

At some point in your job search you may start to get a little desperate. This point can come because student loans come due, relatives keep asking if you have a job, or your significant other “thought you would have a job by now.” You may start to think about jobs that don’t require a J.D. or bar passage (i.e. non-traditional legal jobs). There are a lot of jobs out there that include legal aspects but you don’t need Esq. after your name to qualify. These jobs are great for many reasons. They can be great stepping stones to a…

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Laura Bladow

Ms. JD Chats Recap: So you think you want a clerkship?

On October 10th Ms. JD sat down with a panel of current and former judicial clerks for a conversation about their experiences behind the bench. Watch the recording bleow for the inside scoop on the hiring process, the benefits and potential pitfalls of clerking, the way to excel as a clerk for your judge, and so much more. In essence, the good, the bad, and the never ugly of being a clerk!   

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Susan Smith Blakely

Lawyers and Stress:  What All Lawyers—- including Women Lawyers—- Need To Know

Recently I wrote an article for Corporate Counsel magazine and its on-line blog which addressed, among several topics, the toxic cultures of law firms.  Here is some of what I said there: The truth is that we don't do the profession of law very well in America.  We ignore the lifestyles and well-being of practitioners.  The law firm culture encourages workaholic behaviors that lead to stress-related illnesses and dependencies, as confirmed by research demonstrating that lawyers suffer from alcoholism and illegal drug use at rates far higher than nonlawyers.  Divorce rates among lawyers, especially women, also appear to be higher…

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