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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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What Does Donald Trump Think About Female Professionals?

Like him or dislike him, there is a lot to be said about President-Elect Donald Trump. While surprising pollsters and many in the business community, there is no doubt that it has been a tumultuous election year in the United States. It is one that has polarized urban and suburban Americans, arguably contributed to some (what we hope are) misunderstandings along the lines of rights for same-sex partners, and issues of race, income, and religion.  While comments from the new President-Elect have often led to inflammatory interpretations by the media, particularly along the lines of women’s rights (e.g., Planned Parenthood)…

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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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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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Creating a Diversity and Inclusion Plan: Tips from the CBA’s Diversity & Inclusion Summit

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Connecticut Bar Association's Diversity and Inclusion Summit, hosted at Quinnipiac University School of Law. The event was an entire day dedicated to ways legal organizations can work to increase diversity and inclusion, ways those efforts can be measured, and why diversity and inclusion are so important.  It's no secret that creating a diverse workplace can be a challenge, but it's a challenge that is worthwhile. Diversity is not a fashionable agenda or a fleeting moment. We are a stronger workforce when we have different views and work to maximize our talents. In fact,…

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Attorneys Across America: Featuring Takeena Thompson

From a tiny office in rural Alaska to a skyscraper in Manhattan, from The Sunshine State to The Prairie State, Ms. JD seeks to capture snapshots of successful women attorneys practicing law from sea to shining sea. Ms. JD had a few questions for Takeena Thompson, who is a Partner at Cohen & Malad, LLP, in Indianapolis, Indiana.  1. Where do you practice law?   Indianapolis, Indiana   2. How would you describe the culture?  The culture among the attorneys here is collegial, but competitive.   3. What are the industries that produce work for lawyers in your area? Lawyers in…

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Your Brain, Law School, and Law Practice:  Be Aware of Your Surroundings at All Times

“Candid camera,” a television show started in 1948, was a forerunner of modern intrusive media.  The concept was simple.  The show’s producers ambushed and filmed ordinary people in embarrassing situations to the delight of a television audience.  Looking at human behavior in the wild often is both funny and insightful.  The show caught humans being human.  Many such shows are common now and indeed, reality television has made a fortune from the seemingly inexplicable desire of some people to voluntarily showcase a host of their behavioral flaws to a home viewing audience.       But back to the simpler times…

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The Gen Why Lawyer: Using YouTube to Showcase Your Legal Knowledge and Personality with Aiden Kramer

I first discovered Aiden on YouTube. That’s not where I usually meet lawyers but I’m so glad that I did. Since then, I’ve gotten to know Aiden and have watched how brilliant she is at marketing herself and building her practice - all on camera! I want to introduce you to this fabulous young lawyer as I’m sure her courage and charisma will inspire you. I’d love to hear a little bit about your journey to opening your own law practice. I graduated law school and was admitted to the Colorado bar in 2013. I had been working as a law…

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That Pre-Law Millennial: 10 Lessons from the Columbia Women’s Leadership Conference

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a Women's Leadership Conference organized by the Columbia Spectator, where we heard from an impressive, inspiring group of professionals across different industries (e.g. finance, media, non-profits). Here are 10 of the insights they shared: "You can't achieve ambitious goals by only looking at your own narrow slice—you need the broader picture." — Lisbeth Shepherd, Founder/Executive Director of Green City Force "In deciding between opportunities to pursue, ask yourself: "What do I want to learn?" Your industry may look completely different in 35 years, so you need to keep learning." — Leah Meisterlin, Assistant…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: I feel as if another (more senior) associate is trying to sabotage me. The associate tries to get me to do all his non-billable work. And if something goes wrong, he tells people it’s my fault. It’s stressful to work together, and I am concerned that it is going to harm my career. Any suggestions? A: Yes, and I can empathize. Even if your colleagues are supportive, practicing law can be challenging and stressful. Working with people who may not have your back makes things that much harder. In the most recent Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks/Above the Law survey,…

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