From the blog

2017 FDCC Ladder Down Program - Now Accepting Applications for Phoenix & San Francisco!

We are excited to announce that we are currently accepting applications for the 2017 FDCC Ladder Down Program! Ladder Down is the preeminent professional development program for women lawyers. Our goal is to empower women lawyers in three critical areas: leadership, business development, and mentoring. Participants commit to a one-year program in which they will discover their strengths, hone their self-advancement skills, and make important career connections through monthly large-group sessions and accountability meetings. The program is open to women from all practice areas and experience levels, including in-house lawyers, government lawyers, and lawyers in private practice. It is not…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Would Mandatory Paid Childcare Leave Make US #1?

I discovered two things today --- seemingly independent but connected, I think.  These things are important for all women, those with children and those who love the children of others, and they are important to me. First of all, I read that the United States of America comes in fourth in terms of being the most desirable country to live on earth.  The first three positions were awarded to Germany, the UK and Canada.  Not bad to be in fourth place, but first place is better.  However, this probably was predictable because the subject of the survey was "quality of…

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One of the Best Networking Tools for New Lawyers

If you are a new lawyer, the value of networking has likely been reiterated to you over and over. However, many people dread the process of networking! Writing for a law blog can be major tool to network effectively for three reasons: It can strengthen your elevator speech. By college, you were likely introduced to the concept of an elevator speech where you share your background with an individual in the time that it takes to ride an elevator. One way to distinguish your elevator speech from those of others is to say that you are a writer on a…

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Former Ms. JD Fellow Sonya Passi Starts Domestic Violence Organization

Sonya Passi is a 2012 Ms. JD Fellow and the Founder & CEO of FreeFrom. Sonya received her B.A. and M.Phil from the University of Cambridge (Trinity College). While at Cambridge, she founded the Cambridge Domestic Violence Action Group, which educated college and high school students about issues of domestic violence. Sonya went on to receive a J.D from UC Berkeley School of Law. During her second year of law school, Sonya founded the Family Violence Appellate Project ("FVAP") which, in less than four years, has fundamentally changed the legal landscape in California by providing, for the first time, free appellate legal…

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Legal Blogging for Success: How to Start a Law Firm Blog

People spend good money for an hour of a lawyer’s time, and they want to feel comfortable with that investment. One of the best ways to build trust with potential clients is by running a law firm blog. It will give them a taste of your expertise while boosting their familiarity with who you are and what you do. Another great bonus is that regularly updated blogs will help you rise up in Google’s ranks, allowing you to connect to more potential clients via organic search. You can’t afford to skip out on a valuable blog. Great Design is Key…

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7 Life Lessons I’m Thankful Law School Taught Me

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to thank law school for teaching me so many life lessons in the past 27 months. Now that I’ll be graduating in 6 months, it’s time to look back and be thankful for the lessons that I learned in probably one of the emotionally draining, academically challenging but also fulfilling times of my life.    You’re not “JUST” anything – In the past year and half, I told a female lawyer at a huge bank and a male criminal court judge that I was “just a law student.” Their response: “you’re just not…

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1L Diversity Scholarship

Arent Fox is seeking applications for its annual Diversity Scholarship Program. The New York office will award one first-year law student $20,000 ($10,000 to be awarded during their 1L summer, $5,000 to be awarded upon acceptance of an offer to return for their second summer and $5,000 to be awarded upon acceptance of an offer to join the firm as a full-time associate). This posting is for the New York scholarship opportunity. The New York scholarship recipient will join Arent Fox's 2017 Summer Associate Program and will work in the New York office for ten weeks this summer. The Firm will accept applications from December…

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Soldier On: Boot Camp to Law School – Secret, and Not-So-Secret Interview Tips

  Normally, my monthly column translates valuable military skills into practical advice for succeeding in law school. This month, however, I want to stray just a bit. Instead, I want to share tips that will help you land and nail interviews. I have parents, law career development counselors, and mentors to thank for these nuggets of wisdom. Decide which tips you want to adopt. Use your time during school to develop your own “interview preparation list.” Then, when the time comes, you will be ready to crush that interview. I’ll focus primarily on the time “Before the Interview,” and just…

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Laura Bladow

Ms. JD Chats: Law Firm 1L Programs

First year hiring is open! Join Ms. JD and our panel of esteemed lawyers and diversity professionals on Thursday, December 15th at 3:00 PM ET for a discussion of their law firm's 1L hiring programs, including their specific diversity programs. Wondering if you've got a shot at a law firm job as a 1L student? Don't know anything about 1L hiring? Ms. JD and our panel of experts from firms with 1L Summer Programs are here to help!  They'll give you the tips and tricks for making your application stand out and tell you more about their successful programs.  Have…

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National Association of Women Lawyers Inaugural YouTube Video Contest

Calling All Law Firm and Corporate Legal Department Women's Initiative Groups and Networks, Women's Bar Associations, Women's Law Student Organizations, and Organizations Dedicated to Advancing, Empowering, and Promoting Women in Law!  Please join the National Association of Women Lawyers ("NAWL") as we highlight "Women Lawyers Succeeding!" NAWL invites you to participate in its inaugural YouTube video competition! Submit a two-minute video on "Women Lawyers Succeeding!" that showcases what that phrase means to your group.  NAWL will post all submissions that are suitable for posting on its YouTube channel. The three videos with the hightest number of views by February 1,…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers From Elite Law Schools Leave Practice Sooner—- Why?

Last month, Above the Law ran an article, "Stat Of The Week:  The Mysterious 'Elite Retreat' Of Women in Law," which got my attention.  The premise of the article was that the "conventional wisdom" that women lawyers leave Big Law after just a "couple of years" because of work-life challenges is flawed.  Citing research from ALM Intelligence (the same group that recently supported the Major Lindsey Africa study and findings that women law partners earn 44% less than male law partners), Above the Law reported that the timing of departures is more variable and that the proportion of women in…

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Why Innovation in Technology will keep the Legal Industry Relevant

Steve Jobs was the inception of the popularity of technology for everyday Americans in modern times. His innovative creativity that induced technology into our everyday lives changed how the world views technology forever. Legal technology platforms have revolutionized discovery strategy for lawyers, and it has also revolutionized how people store, create, edit, share, and present pertinent data for the directive of their office.  The benefit of investment in legal technology for offices is immense because of the ability to generate a work product at a faster rate for a lower cost to the professional office and the client. The rise…

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A Letter to Our Community

As an organization, Ms. JD is dedicated to the success of women in law school and the legal profession. While we do not endorse candidates for political office, Ms. JD is concerned with how the election and the messaging throughout the election cycle may impact the self-confidence, self-worth, and career goals of the female law students and lawyers we support. We do not want these challenging events to diminish the incredible drive, passion, and commitment we see within our community. You inspire us on a daily basis. We as women are no strangers to adversity. During this difficult time, we…

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#MsJDChats: Leveraging Mindfulness to Survive a Sometimes Stressful Season

Couldn't tune in to our most recent #MsJDChat? Or just want to review the meditation exercises? We've included the recording below!  Another big thank you to Judi Cohen and Jaya Saxena for joining us to talk about the benefits of mindfulness meditation and for sharing their tips on how lawyers and law students can start cultivating their mindfulness practice!

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5 Step Financial Checklist for New Lawyers

It’s the season of first-year associates and newly minted lawyers starting their legal careers. I hope that you’ve successfully passed the bar, moved to the new city and are now beginning to find your way around the office. Beginning your first job summons plenty of emotions and there’s no lack of things to do. Here’s a financial checklist to help make sure you start your career on the right path. 1. Don’t grow into your income. No matter whether you’ve started in Biglaw or are working for the government, your starting salary is likely larger than anything you’ve earned previously.…

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