From the blog
Heather Asher

Ms. JD Honors Awards - Nomination Deadline Extended to 11/25!

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 annual conference, "Superwomen JDs,"on Friday, February 19, 2016 at NYU School of Law. Ms. JD Honors will celebrate those who demonstrate passion for their careers and share that passion with other men and women. You can visit here to purchase a conference ticket (which includes admittance to the Ms. JD Honors Reception) or to purchase a separate Ms. JD Honors Reception ticket!  Limited early bird conference tickets…

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A Non-Practicing Lawyer Identity Reflection

This past weekend, I attended the Pennsylvania Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession Fall Annual Retreat at the beautiful Hotel Hershey (Hershey, PA). I look forward to this conference every year because it was the first organization since my activities in law school that made me feel welcomed to the profession. The women in this group are devoted to elevating women in the legal field and finding allies in doing so. I very much respect my colleagues and friends in this organization. The theme of the retreat was "Articulate Your Personal Brand," and honestly, it couldn't have come…

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Meet Melanie Gleason, an attorney (literally!) on the move in the fight for social justice

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Melanie Gleason.  Melanie is an attorney (literally!) on the move in the fight for social justice. I hope that you will enjoy hearing Melanie’s inspiring story. 1) Can you please provide a brief summary of your professional background? Before becoming a lawyer, I was a community organizer and educator. After graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, I moved to Los Angeles where I worked with inner city youth as a middle school special education teacher. The isolation of South Los Angeles and how segregated it is from the rest of…

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The Magic of Professional Gravitas

Dear Readers- We are well into November, and the holidays are just a few weeks away. As we begin to develop our lists of goals and aspirations for 2016, it's a good time to think about additional ways we can make our mark with clients and potential clients. Being memorable and indispensable are key in these efforts. To that end, I wanted to share with you an article which originally appeared in August 2014 as an installment of my "Paradigm Shift" column in The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin about the magic of professional gravitas. In this installment, I explore what gravitas is…

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3 Things My Peers And I Wish We Had Known Before Starting Law School

Ms. JD has graciously invited me to write for its law school audience. I couldn’t think of anything more topical to write about for a law school audience than the information my peers and I wish we had known before embarking on our law school journey.  My social network unanimously chose these three things as the most critical to one’s legal career. I can’t stress enough how pivotal these factors can be for one’s law school experience. With that being said, everybody who comes to law school possesses a different mindset, background, and network. What works for one person may…

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Invitation to Participate in the 2015 Ms. JD Law Review Diversity Survey

Ms. JD and New York University (NYU) Law Review invite flagship law review/journal faculty advisors, working in conjunction with flagship law review/journal editors, to participate in the 2015 Ms. JD Law Review Diversity Survey. This year, we ask that the survey be completed by Tuesday, December 15, 2015. We anticipate that this survey should take no more than 30 minutes to complete. Please click here to participate in it. Survey data will be analyzed by external statisticians who have signed a confidentiality agreement, and NYU Law Review will discuss survey results in a corresponding report via the New York University Law…

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Exciting Internship Opportunity with ACLU in Los Angeles

LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project Legal Internships (Spring and Summer Deadlines)   Since early in our affiliate’s history, protecting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and those with HIV/AIDS has been at the forefront of our litigation, legislative and advocacy efforts. Recently, we have expanded our advocacy capacity in the areas of LGBTQ rights, reproductive justice and gender equity, creating a project dedicated to these issues.In the area of LGBTQ rights, the project works to protect and expand the rights of the LGBTQ community and those with HIV/AIDS from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender…

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Office Hours with Professor Philip Lee

This week, I would like to introduce you to Philip Lee, assistant professor of law at UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. Thank you so much, Professor Lee, for contributing to Ms. JD pre-law in such a meaningful way through this interview session.  Office Hours  What first drew you to law? I wanted to be part of a profession that could help protect the most powerless and vulnerable people in our society.  I realized in college that law, at its best, could do this.   How has your career trajectory evolved to include teaching law, and why did you…

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Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup: Week ending November 20, 2015

Michelle Obama Celebrates Veterans Day With the First Female Grads of Ranger School Despite women now representing 18% of equity partners at big firms; much more can still be done to increase diversity.  Professional networking is important at every stage of a career. However, certain life events, such as pregnancy, can be a focal point for seeking out community. Sometimes you inadvertently say things that scare your colleagues into thinking something's much worse than it is. Here at 4 questions that can make you more likeable at work. Ashley Fletcher is a 2L student at Seton Hall University School of…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Look Back

Ms. JD has asked me to look back on my career and what I wish I would have known ten years ago.  What better way to do that than on this blog.  I always welcome the opportunity to participate with Ms. JD, and I was delighted to be the recipient of the Ms. JD "Sharing Her Passion" award last year.  It is a great organization for both young and more seasoned women lawyers. If I look back ten years, I wish that I would have known how gratifying it would be to use a project like Best Friends at the Bar…

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Ms. JD and White & Case LLP Present: A Conversation with White & Case Partner Jacquelyn MacLennan

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm • Live Webcast Ms. JD and White & Case LLP Present: A Conversation with White & Case Partner Jacquelyn MacLennan White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with lawyers in 39 offices in 26 countries.  On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, White & Case Partner Jacquelyn MacLennan, a prominent practitioner in the field of international law, will speak one-on-one with Ms. JD about her career via a live webcast moderated by Ms. JD’s Social Media Manager, Katie Day.  Ms. MacLennan is the Head of White & Case’s Global Pro Bono Practice and is also a member of the…

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Mommy, Esq.: Torn

There is a flier on my fridge that makes me feel guilty every time I look at it. It is an invitation from C’s school to come read to his class. I haven’t signed up yet because I am not in the position these days to leave the office for a couple hours on a random weekday. I’d love to read to C’s class in the library. But I just can’t right now, so I feel guilty. It has been suggested that “like most women,” I’d prefer not to work. That’s not true either. I love my career, and while…

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Striking a Balance: Preparing for Exams

As I consider what to write about for my second-to-last blog post, I realize how much has changed in a year - how much calmer I am now than I was last November.  This time last year, I had no idea what to expect for law school exams. I attended panals, spoke to upperclassmen, and asked everyone I could what a law school exam was like and how to prepare. At my liberal arts college with my international relations major, my grades were based on term papers or weekly writing assignments. The concept of having my entire grade based on one…

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Journey to a JD: It’s Crunch Time

Halloween has come and gone, as has the unforgettable Barristers’ Ball (think prom, law school style).  Outside, the leaves are changing into vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange, and the autumn breeze brings with it an exhilarating crispness.  November is slowly rolling in.  Which can only mean one thing: it is time to get down to business. Here at Penn Law, we have been trading in our weekly Bar Review trips for weekly study group sessions, extracurricular lunches for outlining panels, and 1000-page casebooks for even more supplements and subject guides (because you can never get enough of torts…

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Meet Emily Wilkinson, attorney supporting causes and creative businesses

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Emily Wilkinson, an attorney based in California.  I hope that you will enjoy learning about her career path. 1) Can you please provide a brief summary of your professional background? In 2009, at the end of my first year at Chapman University Law School, I received a scholarship from the Chapman film school to work on a documentary about human rights in war-torn Cambodia.  The documentary, called Giant Steps, premiered at Chapman and eventually aired on PBS. I’d say that opportunity is what launched my legal career because it instilled a belief in…

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