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From the blog

Law Student Perspective on Serial: Truth in the Criminal Justice System

By now everyone has at least heard of the wildly successful podcast Serial.  I had been avoiding it for weeks because I knew it was the kind of show I would get obsessed with at the expense of my to-do list.  But last weekend I caved to FOMO and sure enough I binge-listened to the fascinating real life murder mystery.  Serial is appealing to anyone who loves a good story.  But for those of us who are interested in the criminal justice system, the back and forth about whether Adnan Syed killed his high school girlfriend Hae Lee justifies the…

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Passed the Bar? Here are 3 Ways to Tackle Your Law School Debt

If you received good news on your July 2014 bar exams, congratulations! It’s not quite time to relax just yet, however, if you haven’t yet tackled those law school loans, which surpass $140,000 on average per law grad. You can still take these three steps to make sure your loans are working for you and get your finances in order before 2015. 1. Take the time to reprioritize your financial goals. Passing the bar is a great achievement, and if you are fortunate enough to be employed, one that could mean you're finally in a position of financial stability for the first…

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Laura Bladow

“You Are Never Stuck”: An Interview with Juliana Siconolfi

I had the pleasure of chatting with Juliana Siconolfi about law school and her experiences in academia. Juliana is Ms. JD's 2014 Writers-in-Residence Program Director and 2015 Academic Director. She is a Professorial Lecturer in Law with The George Washington University Law School, where she teaches law students participating in the Field Placement Program. Previously, she worked with the Field Placement Program as a Visiting Associate Professor of Clinical Law and Friedman Fellow. If you're pre-law or in law school and are curious about a certain career path or have questions about law school, I'd encourage you to set up…

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Facebook Privacy Policy Externship- Washington, D.C.

Facebook is seeking a highly organized, motivated, and detail-oriented law student to join our Public Policy and Privacy team in Washington, DC as a full-time contracted extern. The extern will assist other members of the team by evaluating proposed privacy laws and regulations in the United States and globally, and will work with other team members on engaging with groups both within and outside the company to develop sustainable, effective initiatives to protect people's privacy and promote technological innovation around the world. Candidates should have familiarity with privacy law and administrative law through coursework or prior experience and should have a…

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Legal Tech: A Different Path for Junior Attorneys

As the legal field adjusts to changes in technology and in the market, the traditional legal career path is also adjusting. Formerly, you might have joined a firm out of law school and put in your time to climb the ranks to partner. However, this path has become increasingly less certain, and for some lawyers, less desirable. Data shows that: 81% of entry-level associates leave their law firm within 5 years. In other words, most lawyers are not building a career at one firm, as they might have done in years past.1 57% of lawyers leave law firms altogether before…

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Kristin Pagano Speaks: Breastfeeding Accommodations and the Illinois Bar Exam

As some of you may already know, the case of Kristin Pagano has been highlighted recently in various media outlets. Ms. Pagano submitted a breastfeeding accommodations request to the Illinois Board with respect to the February 2015 Illinois bar exam. Her request was denied by the Illinois Board. After she asked for reconsideration of the decision, I’m happy to report that Ms. Pagano has won her battle and the Illinois Board will be granting her accommodations. Ms. Pagano reached out to Ms. JD with her story, which is re-printed below from her blog with her permission. We believe that her…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: When I asked a lawyer for feedback on my work, the lawyer just said that it was “fine.” But when I got my review, the lawyer had given very specific negative feedback. What is going on? A: Providing any feedback consumes precious time. Providing negative feedback can also be awkward – even for the most intrepid lawyers. Unfortunately, this lawyer decided to skip out on giving feedback by being less than frank. Was this poor form? Yes. Inconceivable? No. Consider this story of a partner who once asked my advice about giving feedback to an associate. A mid-level associate…

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8 Nights of Chanukah: Life Hacks for the Legal Mind

The holiday ornaments are up in my office building’s lobby, so you know it’s official: festivus is nigh. As I somehow move into smaller and smaller apartments in this pastoral, no-name town that is San Francisco, my yearning for things has been replaced by the reality that I just don’t have the space for a bunch of gifts this season. Not to be that woman who looks a gift horse in the mouth, but I’m asking friends and family who are so kind to inquire about my interests for all things practical, consumable, or portable, as anything I do receive…

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Laura Bladow

What “Stronger Together” Means to Ms. JD’s Programs Manager Laura Bladow

Ms. JD is hosting its Seventh Annual Conference on Women in the Law: Stronger Together on March 5 & 6, 2015 at UC Hastings College of the Law. In the lead up to our annual conference, Ms. JD board members, staff, and annual conference participants will share what our conference theme “Stronger Together” means to them. To me, stronger together means . . . that reaching any individual or collective goal is possible when women come together to support each other.  I’m a member of the following professional organizations, which have demonstrated to me that there is strength in numbers . .…

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From Hawaii’s sandy beaches to Iraq’s sandy deserts…and back (Part I)

The song lyrics to “Tiny Bubbles” danced in my head as my plane touched down at Honolulu International Airport. The song, made famous by Hawaiian singer Don Ho, is also a cadence in the Army. I had never contemplated living in Hawaii—let alone practicing law there. Like most of my experiences thus far in the Army, I hit the ground running. I was immediately placed in Client Services also known as Legal Assistance. While this was not international or national security law, as a novice attorney, this was a great introduction to the Army community. Despite getting to work almost immediately, my…

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Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup: Week ending December 12, 2014

While the percentage of women lawyers promoted to Am Law 200 partnerships continues to slowly improve, there is still a long way to go. Is it time for more original effort and less patience? There are signs things are moving in the right direction. Norton Rose Fulbright has announced it aims to reach 30% female partners by 2020 while Microsoft has leveraged its position as a major client to boost law firm diversity efforts. There is also good news for female law professors. A new study reveals that, contrary to the experience of female professors in most areas of academia,…

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How Will You Make 2015 a Game Changer? (Part 1)

About this time every year, I receive a flurry of calls and e-mails from clients and contacts who are indecisive and unclear as to what they can do to make the new year successful for their practice. I hear a variety of comments along the lines of, “I’ve tried this marketing tactic and that marketing tactic and it just doesn’t work ….” Sound familiar? While lawyers may know “what” they need to do to promote themselves and their services, I have found over many years that: They don’t always understand the “how” to promote themselves and their services. More often…

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Laura Bladow

2015 Ms. JD Honors

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 Award Reception will take place in connection with our annual conference, Stronger Together, which will take place March 5 – 6, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Ms. JD Honors will celebrate those who demonstrate passion for their careers and share that passion with other men and women. You can register for Stronger Together and purchase your Ms. JD Honors tickets here! There are seven awards available. Consistent with Ms. JD’s mission of…

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Cover Letters Help Candidates Get Interviews

In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s often tempting to sacrifice a cover letter as part of the job application process, particularly if its submission is optional.  However, a well crafted cover letter gives you an additional opportunity to highlight and sell your skills and experiences to an employer or recruiter, provided you follow some basic guidelines. First, recognize that a cover letter is a marketing tool—in other words, don’t treat it like a form letter.  In some instances, an employer may choose to read a cover letter first to get an overall sense of your background, writing style, or personal characteristics.  Accordingly,…

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“You Have to Take Risks” - An Interview With Stasia Kelly On How to be Successfull

Stasia Kelly currently works as the Co-Managing Partner of DLA Piper (Americas). Ms. Kelly worked full-time for Martin Marietta while obtaining her law degree from George Washington University School of Law. Despite working full-time through law school, Ms. Kelly graduated in three years magna cum laude. Upon graduation, she started her career at Carrington Coleman. She eventually left Carrington to work as an associate at WilmerHale. Eventually, Ms. Kelly became a partner at WilmerHale. Ms. Kelly left WilmerHale to become the general counsel for Fannie Mae. During her career Ms. Kelly worked as the general counsel for various large corporations…

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