Pump Up Playlist for Ms. JD’s Annual Conference

Ms. JD's Annual Conference is almost here!  Here's what we are bumping here in the Bay (yay) Area in preparation for getting Stronger Together. 1.  Independent Women Part 1, Destiny's Child 2.  Just a Girl, No Doubt 3.  Who Run the World, Beyoncé 4.  Express Yourself, Madonna 5.  Bo$$, Fifth Harmony 6.  Stronger, Britney Spears 7.  Wannabe, Spice Girls 8.  San Francisco, Foxygen  

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Ineffective Assistance of Counsel and Adnan Syed - What next?

What does ineffective counsel even mean? In light of the highly popularized podcast, “Serial,” everyone is talking about whether Adnan Syed can sustain a legitimate ineffective assistance of counsel claim.  In “Serial,” Sara Koenig, an investigative journalist revisits a 1999 murder case from Baltimore, Maryland. Hae Min Lee, a high school student, disappears one day and is found murdered. The police arrest her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed six weeks later.  After a mistrial and then a trial, he is later convicted on paper-thin circumstantial evidence. Recently, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals has agreed to hear arguments about why Adnan should…

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The Inside Scoop: Your Legal Life as a Newlywed

As I promised last month, I’m going to give you my thoughts on being an in-house attorney, but I’m also going to share what I’ve learned about juggling your personal life with your legal life as you plow ahead in your career. Sticking with the Valentine theme for the month of February, let’s chat about your legal life as a newlywed. Let me share a little bit about my newlywed life to give you some perspective. My husband and I got married right before I started law school when he had just finished his first year of medical school. (Yep,…

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Heather Asher

Ms. JD’s Stronger Together Conference on March 5-6, 2015:  You Need to be There!

Ms. JD’s Annual Conference, "Stronger Together," in San Francisco will start with the Ms. JD Honors awards ceremony on Thursday, March 5th and continue on Friday, March 6th with all day conference panels and activities.  Being on the “inside” I have had the advantage of talking with the speakers, reading the applications in support of our award honorees and seeing the effort that everyone at Ms. JD puts into the conference activities.  I know how amazing the conference will be, so now I am sharing my list of why you should also be there and excited! Networking, Networking, Networking: The conference will be…

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Walk a Mile in My Heels: My Secretary Says I Stress Her Out, But My Two Male Partners Don’t

Today I am a bit heartbroken.  My secretary of many years had the opportunity to switch out attorneys when a current secretary quit, and she has indicated she would like to keep the two male partners she has  and dump me (my words).  I have prayed for her family, she has prayed for mine, we have been friends and supporters, but this move makes evident an underlying issue she must have always had with me which I feel has some gender conotations, and which to be honest really hurts my feelings.  I am a very busy partner, and grouping three partners…

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Rhymes with Awe: Embrace the In-Between

I recently went on a sailboat ride on the Nile. We wanted to catch the lovely sunset that charms Cairo every evening. I starting thinking about sunsets, why we enjoy them. Sunsets aren’t over and done events. They’re a part of a process, a journey. And it’s in these moments—the in-between moments—at the end of the day that appeal to us. This is where we see magnificent colors and dramatic changes. During the transition from day to night is when the colors flourish. They’re the most interesting during this time. Experiencing the sunset on the Nile really got me. I…

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Rebekah Hanley

The Value of False Starts and Side Steps

At an annual gathering of law school faculty and administrators from across the nation last month, I attended a session about implementing innovation.  One message the panelists emphasized for the hundreds in attendance was this: most innovations don’t achieve their goals. To demonstrate that point, each panelist volunteered an example of an initiative that fell short of its desired effect – a promising idea that was approved, funded, and pursued, but then did not deliver.  A new required course that was poorly received by students.  An interdisciplinary undertaking that lacked the incentives necessary to thrive. While those efforts may have…

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A grateful nod to the lady-lawyers who have inspired me.

After graduating in 2011, I worked as a paralegal at a law firm for three years before starting my "official" legal career and joining my cohort at Berkeley last fall. During those years, I learned so much about what kind of "Ms. JD" I want to be. Most of those self-teachable moments came to me during long hours spent at work, where I observed my role models--the lady attorneys of the office--do their thing. It was often exhilarating (and sometimes frightening!) to learn about the challenges they had faced as women in this field. Ultimately, their courage, pluck, and brilliance propelled me forward to embrace the next step, pursing…

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Journey to a JD: Does This Webcam Make Me Look Fat?

No, really, does it?  If you are contemplating this question, you are probably preparing for a special component of the law school admissions process: the interview.  Suddenly, how you appear onscreen has become a top priority.  While many institutions do not offer interviews, some use them as an additional factor in a holistic review of your application – so if you have gotten an invitation for an in-person, phone, or Skype interview – congratulations!  After all, this is a unique opportunity to show the school who you are, beyond the numbers (GPA and LSAT) and letters (personal statement, resume, and…

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Beyond Talent: What Law Firm Partners Want Junior Associates to Know

Congratulations! As a junior associate, you have made it through law school, passed the bar, and are settling in at your first law firm job. It is an exciting time in a young attorney’s life, but also a very challenging one. Most associates who aim to achieve “rock star” status at their firm don’t truly know what it takes. In fact, to succeed in a law firm requires more than simply producing impeccable work product (although doing so should be your top priority). So, what are the other characteristics that make an associate rise above the rest? This past month,…

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