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My mentors in juvenile justice: Julie Darnieder and Tanner Kilander

I find it exciting and invigorating to be entering a profession that for centuries was dominated, if not entirely occupied by males. Strangely, entering the legal profession did not strike me as a momentous accomplishment until I received my first law school acceptance letter and my parents were beaming from ear to ear. Especially my mother, because she never had the opportunity to complete her undergraduate schooling, let alone study at the graduate level. But I realize she gave up her education to stay at home to give my brother and I the life that she never had. Without my…

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Elexis Holzberg

Attorney 2.0

My father is an attorney, and everyone says how similar we are. But I like that I am the "girl version." I grew up idolizing my dad. He is elegant and charming, easy on his feet, a fast-talker, brilliant, commanding and compassionate. My dad is an attorney. He is everything the movies and media painted as an archetypal lawyer. And I thought the world of him--still do. Strangers, friends, family, all gushed how similar the two of us were--our eyes, our hair, our personalities. I beamed in his presence. I soaked up his ferocious liberal politics. I listened intently as…

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Anonymous

You are my role models

(To the women in my law school classes) The women who came before me made great strides in the study and practice of law, strides I didn't fully appreciate until I was studying law myself in an environment where I felt respected and where I was surrounded by other smart, capable women and powerful, inspiring female faculty. Because I know that this has not always been the case, I remain indebted to the women who came before me, for it is through their work breaking through barriers and challenging preconceptions that now, pursuing a law career has become an empowering…

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Vanessa Gonzalez-Vinas

Ways Around the Old Boys Club: Networking, Committees, Working Groups

As a woman entering the legal profession I look forward to applying the skills I have learned both academically and socially in the workplace. I have had the opportunity to witness women in different situations succeed and I have also learned from past mistakes that I've made in various social settings with regard to gender equality. Historically, the legal profession is a field dominated by men, but that is slowly changing. There are certain advantages that men have because of this historical dominance and that includes the "ol' boys network" for finding jobs and being promoted. However, I don't want…

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Manamana

Are They All Neanderthals?

Kalokagathia wrote earlier this week in Introductions Matter about potential problems arising from simple introductions, and it reminded me of a discussion we had Monday in my Professional Responsibility class (of all places) about male-female relationships in the workplace. It wasn't just romantic relationships (although that was part of it), but also mentor-mentee and co-worker relations that were discussed. And it appears that there is a lot of tension going on these days between the sexes. I think that women are frequently given conflicting advice: on the one hand, we're told that to make it in the law, you need…

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Harold Hongju Koh

Remarks at the conference “Legally Female: What does it mean to be Ms. JD?”

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years. Dean Harold Hongju Koh of Yale Law School opened the national conference entitled “Legally Female: Ms. JD” co-hosted by Yale Law Women at Yale Law School on March 31, 2007 with the following remarks. Four years later we're gearing up for another conference - have you registered yet? Welcome and Congratulations to Yale Law Women for all you have done to put today’s conference together. In the 1992 vice-presidential debate the third party candidate began by asking “Who am…

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Miss Feasance

My first legal mentor

“You should really learn to be more humble,” my college guidance counselor told me. I was seventeen years old, alienated from my parents, a scholarship student at a very expensive high school, an opinionated and outspoken young woman with only male teachers and administrators, about to go before the judicial committee, and my arrogance was all I had to fight back the feeling that my life and plans were completely out of my control and quickly unraveling. But there was a mom, my boyfriend’s mom, a successful corporate attorney mom, who stepped in and stopped the unraveling for me. When…

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Kalokagathia

Parallel Networking

I have been thinking about Alex Janus' post on networking (found here) and wanted to share a few thoughts and observations that have recently developed as a result of my curious googling. As I have said before, I am not only uncomfortable with networking - I don't really know how to go about acquiring the skill of networking either. I suspect that this is one of those things that you have to develop by observing and emulating those who do it well. There are many resources on the internet, and while these are helpful, they are only a start. We…

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Alex Janus

Networking

Today I received my final rejection letter for a 1L summer associate position. Naively, I thought that having a bit of firm and administrative law experience and being en route to a JD from a top 15 law school would have appeal somewhere. So I applied machine gun style: I sent my resume to over 30 firms in the Bay area, hoping I'd hit at least one or two. Turns out, it was more like zero. Over 30 little white envelopes filled my mailbox over the following two weeks. So how do people do it? I have spoken to other…

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