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Tips for Moms Returning to Work

Often new moms feel isolated and have mixed emotions about returning to work.  In an effort to help make the process of returning to work as smooth as possible, this is a collection of tips and personal anecdotes that I found useful from moms at my firm, Ogletree Deakins who appear to have made it through the other side. Returning To Work Avoid returning on a Monday. Why punish yourself?  Try returning on a Wednesday or Thursday. Your first week will be short and provide an opportunity for you to see what works and what needs fine tuning. As your…

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Mommy, Domestic Violence Survivor, and Law Graduate

After five years, I finally accomplished my goal.  I graduated law school this past May 2016.  It was not an easy feat.  I was first admitted into law school in 2011, but was dismissed after the first semester due to poor grades.  At the time, I was in an abusive marriage, and trying to raise a daughter in the mist of it. While I was re-admitted in 2012, the next two years was difficult.  I made the choice to leave my ex, and when I returned to law school, I learned to adjust as a newly single mom to a lively…

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5 Things I Learned From My Interview with Judge Erin Wirth

I recently had the opportunity to interview Judge Erin Wirth, the first female Administrative Law Judge appointed to the Richmond, Virginia Social Security Hearing office and the first female in a decade elected as President of the Federal Administrative Law Judges Conference. Since graduating from  law school—a childhood dream—Judge Wirth has lived in seven jurisdictions, held eleven jobs, and passed the bar exam in three states. This may seem unusual, but when you consider Judge Wirth’s other role as wife of a Coast Guardsman, those numbers recontextualize as a testament to her commitment to her family and her country. During…

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Dealing With Outside Stressors During Law School

It’s hard to describe just how stressful law school is. Only those of us who’ve been through it can truly understand the amount of effort and dedication it takes to persevere. Studies show that simply preparing for the LSAT physically alters brain structure. Not that it alters it in a bad way, but if anything goes to show just how much of an effect the process of enrolling in and completing law school has on a person, it’s that. Not all of us make it to the end, but for most of us, we’ve invested too much time and effort…

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Top Ten Tips for Summer Associates to Make the Most of Their Summer

Dear Readers- I hope this post finds you well and enjoying the your summer.  As we wind down the last hours of July and begin a new week and month tomorrow, we are reminded that summer associate programs are drawing to a close at law firms and for in-house legal departments.  We are also gearing up to begin on-campus interviewing and job fairs across the country.  Whether you are a law student who is participating in one of these summer programs or getting ready to begin the fall interviewing process looking for a job, you will find the following article useful.  It…

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Craddock v. LeClair Ryan: Fighting the Good Fight for Equal Opportunity and Pay

Unfortunately, many female mid-level and senior associates feel they have little recourse to challenge the career advancement and pay disparity obstacles at law firms without ultimately sacrificing their professional reputations and opportunity to make a living within the legal community. In some instances they either leave Big Law for less lucrative opportunities or the practice of law altogether. However, Michelle Burke Craddock decided to double down and become one of the few women to expose her law firm’s discriminatory tactics in a court of law and the court of public opinion. Craddock v. LeClair Ryan, PC (2016) Ms. Craddock is…

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Like Cinderella, But Different

As a little girl I did not dress up in princess costumes.  I couldn’t imagine my future wedding.  I did not dream of the day my prince would come.  Instead I dreamt of court rooms, board rooms, and corner offices.  There would be no glass slippers in my future.   Unless, of course, the glass slippers were Louboutins that I purchased for myself.   I was raised by a Gloria Steinem-loving, unapologetic feminist mom.  Hers was not an enviable position.  She was a single mom raising three young girls in the 1970s – a time period in which NO ONE in our…

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Feminism and the Falsity of Choice (Lean In Group Discussion Session 2)

Our intergenerational group of women lawyers recently met to continue discussing Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, focusing on Chapters 1 and 2. We had an engaging discussion on many topics, including: How women can use power posing (citing Amy Cuddy’s research) and positioning in a room to empower themselves and others and to convey leadership. We also discussed gender (and sometimes generational) differences in taking up space, with men generally treating space and a seat at the table as entitlements and women often appearing hesitant to take up space and take the most powered seats at the table. We wondered if we…

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Defining Success in the Law

Hello Ms. JD Aficionados! I hope this finds you well and that you are enjoying the summer so far.  Many of you may be summer associates in law firm summer programs across the country, others of you may be getting geared up for on-campus interviewing in the next several weeks, while some of you may be practicing attorneys with a few years under your belt.  Whatever the case may be, each of us can use some advice about how best to define success in the context of where we are in our careers, and some do's and don'ts.  In that…

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The Disenchanted Young Lawyer

Practicing law is demanding and extremely stressful.  Even the most balanced lawyer feels at some point the pressures of working in the legal field.  It is not surprising that often studies show that lawyers have a higher than normal level of emotional and mental issues: According to a Johns Hopkins University study, researchers found that lawyers lead the nation with the highest incidence of depression. An ABA Young Lawyers Division survey indicated that 41 percent of female attorneys were unhappy with their jobs. The ABA estimates that 15-20 percent of all U.S. lawyers suffer from alcoholism or substance abuse. That is one in five attorney!…

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