You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: By Making Orange Juice from Lemons

Around this same time last year I had the honor and privilege of being awarded a scholarship from the Association of Women Attorneys where I got to attend a luncheon with eight other scholarship recipients from the three Houston law schools: the University of Houston Law Center, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and South Texas College of Law.  During that luncheon I heard the story of one fellow law student in particular that stood out to me.  Her amazing story of defeating adversity brought me to tears at the luncheon and I became Facebook friends with her that very same…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Sweetiehoneybaby-That’s not my name

Last month, we talked about making a positive first impression and how maintaining that impression can be key to building a respectable reputation in law, in court and at the office. This month we are going to focus on how to respond when others make sexist comments that could undermine that positive impression you worked to make and solid reputation you built. Two days into my new summer internship, I was reminded of an issue that I had read about just two weeks before the start of my 1L year, the use of sexist nicknames in court, when a young…

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Monthly Mantra: Finding Health and Wellness in the Law

I will intentionally and mindfully sow seeds today that will benefit my life tomorrow. June is planting season.  A time when we sow seeds with the expectation of harvesting in the future.  A successful gardener envisions the fruits of their labor, but also understands the diligence that is required between sowing and reaping.  Many of us can articulate our future goals and desires, but fall short when staying the course between vision and achievement.  Seeds take time to grow and require work and patience on a daily basis well before they produce fruit.  Goal setting is just the beginning.  Taking…

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The Road Less Traveled: When You’re Forced Off Your Narrative Arc, and What To Do

In my day job as Associate Director of Talent at Bliss Lawyers, many of the attorneys that I speak with describe how an alt-path gives them the flexibility to optimize their lives. BigLaw hours no longer constrain them from nurturing a side hustle into profitability, pursuit of a sub-three hour marathon, writing and publishing that novel that's been swirling around in their heads, traveling abroad, or assuming a role as family caregiver.   But many of the people I speak with - including myself - were forced off the traditional path.  Like Westworld hosts, we come into this world with a narrative arc, except one…

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5 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Conference as a Law Student

I have had the honor and privilege of attending several conferences this past year, one of which was the Ms. JD Annual Conference. While I did attend numerous networking events as a 1L, these conferences provided a different experience and allowed me to engage with lawyers from across the country. Although it may be daunting to attend a national conference, here are five reasons why it should be a “must-do” on your law school to-do list. Immersion in a National Organization National organizations are often easy to join as a law student. You sign up, often for a free membership,…

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Social Media Advantages for Growing JDs and Attorneys

Diarra Joi Clemons McCullen, J.D. SAG-AFTRA received her Juris Doctor of Law (J.D.) degree from New York Law School, Undergraduate Degree (B.A.) from George Mason University and High School Diploma from an all-girls Catholic high school named St. Scholastica Academy in Evanston, IL. She has worked in Finance for Citibank, Morgan Stanley and Oppenheimer & Co. to name a few. She was also a Judicial Law Clerk while in law school. She is currently a Legal Journalist for Ms. JD, Novelist of the novel memoir series, "Roses are Blue" and Vantage marketing and advervitising blogger. She is a military wife,…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Progress on Parental Leave—Not Just for Women Lawyers

The progress on maternity leave for lawyers has been significant in recent history, and more and more women lawyers are benefiting from law firm policies that are slowly coming into the 21st Century.  It is not surprising that the needs of mothers, who actually carry and give birth to the babies, should be the initial focus of parental leave, but the needs of the fathers are finally getting attention, as well.  Firms like Winston and Strawn and Orrick, that give both mothers and fathers up to 20 and 22 weeks of paid leave, respectively, are leading the way.  Orrick's policy…

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Susan Smith Blakely

The Big Picture on Gender Bias and Women Lawyers

The number of gender bias law suits and gender bias complaints against law firms is on the rise, based on this article in AmLaw Daily, which quotes David Sanford, the chairman of Sanford Heisler Sharp, who represents most of the plaintiffs in the current lawsuits.  Sanford also has represented countless other women lawyers in complaints against their law firms based on unequal opportunities and unequal pay as compared to their male colleagues. Most of you probably have read at least something about the current law suits, but there is more that may come as a surprise to you.   What…

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Interview with Nathan Fox, Founder of Fox LSAT

I am pleased to introduce Nathan Fox, founder of Fox LSAT, a LSAT prep company with courses available in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and online. Nathan earned a 179 on the February 2007 LSAT, started Fox LSAT in 2009, and graduated from UC Hastings in 2010. He is the author of multiple LSAT books including Introducing the LSAT, The Fox LSAT Logic Games Playbook, and The Fox LSAT Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia. He is also a co-host of the Thinking LSAT podcast.  Thank you so much, Nathan, for speaking with Ms. JD today. Let's get started. You've mentioned that no one grows up wanting to be a…

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Dealing With Law School Competition: Advice to 1L’s

As my 1L year has come to a close, I have spent time reflecting on the past nine months, which have been the most trying and rewarding year of my life. However, I had not realized that I have become so obsessed with succeeding in law school until I started the Advocacy Board tryouts. We were put into groups and told to complete a group project. Not only I, but my other teammates, struggled to even communicate for the first twenty minutes, we had not been in a collaborative environment in over a year. During those twenty minutes, I self-evaluated and became very conscious…

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