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Kalokagathia

Introductions Matter

Despite the fact that Carolyn Elefant's "My Shingle" is amongst the blawgs I most frequently visit, I somehow missed this post from March 24th highlighting an easily overlooked situation which has a simple enough (I think) solution. The article is in response to a post by Lawyer Mama illustrating how a typical business introduction may be insufficient to combat the assumption that a woman in a law firm is a secretary, not an attorney. Most often the mistake is innocent and inadvertent and therefore it is probably best to take a proactive approach to rectifying the error. I agree with…

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Manamana

No Pressure - Just Be Perfect

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years. Exactly four years ago one of our founding bloggers submitted this great post. Our board easily identified it as a "Best of" that still rings true today. I was having a great weekend (given that Ms. JD had its national launch at Yale Law School on Saturday) when I opened up my Sunday Times. Great, I thought: just as was noted in Ms. JD’s presentation at the start of Legally Female, The New York Times has gone six months…

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jessie

Things You Should Know About Your Taxes

Confession: I’m a total tax geek. News flash: If you care about supporting working women, you should be too, because the tax code is stacked against us. Nothing in the tax code is overtly gendered. However, because women are almost always a household’s secondary earner, and because social norms favor women in domestic roles, the tax code contains practical biases. First you have to understand what it means to have imputed income. Let’s say you cook yourself dinner, make your bed, or fix your bathroom drain. When you perform these services yourself, rather than hire someone else to do them,…

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campbell2009

Diversity meets Women & Women finally meet Diversity

When I first heard about Ms. JD, I immediately thought Ms. JD, is this Ms. America? I envisioned a competition, a crown, gowns, and long runways. My stereotypic picture was far from the truth. I read the website, met with fellow law students, and ultimately realized here was a forum where my 12-font times roman blog could matter. After discarding my uninformed and stereotypic view, I looked next for people of color. I looked at the Yale website conference site and was pleased to see faces that looked like mine. Then I discovered that here is a forum where diversity…

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jessie

Pride & Prejudice

I think one problem with trying to gain the success and position professional men have traditionally enjoyed is possibly having to act like them. Let me explain…a reoccurring complaint I heard from older women’s rights activists and trailblazers is about the lack of credit they get from my generation (these are baby boomers—I’m Gen Y). The thing is, I am ready and willing to give credit where credit is due, but I don’t know where that is. And I don’t think that’s entirely my fault. I think successful women aren’t necessarily inclined to crow. And that means their accomplishments aren’t…

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Jill Filipovic

File Under: Get Pregnant, Lose Your Civil Liberties

Ah, the things politicians will do in the name of protecting babies! Now, we all know that the term "protecting babies," when uttered by a "pro-life" individual, is usually code for "reminding women that they are simply vessels who, once occupied,* cease to possess the basic rights that non-vessels are entitled to (non-vessels being "men," otherwise known as "actual human beings")." There's the classic example of the pregnant drug addict being prosecuted after she gives birth, despite the fact that neither being a drug addict nor being pregnant is actually a crime. There's penalizing low-income women for giving birth by…

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femlaw

Help Protest an Offensive Mock Trial Rape Case

To my fellow women and our allies— I am writing to inform you of a mock trial fictional case to be used in a national competition that involves sexist stereotyping of female rape victims. On February 20, the Texas Young Lawyers Association and American College of Trial Lawyers posted a fact scenario for their national championship tournament, in which a popular football player is accused of raping Krista Chicona, a promiscuous massage therapist who is thought to enjoy sadomasochist sex [http://www.tyla.org/advocacy_ntc.html]. Somewhere in America, a woman is raped approximately every two minutes, but less than one half of rapes are…

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Anna

An Open Call for Commentary

As one of the people helping build this Ms. JD website, I have been getting thoughtful, intelligent emails asking us to more prominently feature and foster women of color, lesbians, and other minorities who face distinct challenges in the legal profession. Ms. JD was founded by women of several ethnicities, sexualities, and experiences. But not all of us are bloggers. Speaking only for myself, I say to readers who want to hear--and see--more from not-white, not-straight women in law: post here! Refer colleagues and classmates. Share thoughts, start conversations. Make this place yours. About the Author Anna Lorien Nelson is…

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Anonymous

The New Professional Dress: Ladies, Leave Your Feminine Charms at Home

By a Third-Year Law Student In the ongoing skirmish to redefine the parameters of professional dress for women, the old battlefields were permission to go without nylons and abandon the skirt. Today, barelegged women in pantsuits are fighting a more internal battle for the freedom to act like something other than a female man and still be taken seriously. Perhaps with the exception of Martha Stewart, whose empire is, after all, built around the concept of creating a warm and welcoming home, the top female professionals often maintain their queen of the mountain status only by ruling like a king.…

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Kalokagathia

High Heels

Although it may seem a bit random - lately I can’t seem to get something off my mind: HIGH HEELS... No, I am not harboring some sort of fetish (although I do love shoe shopping). There are actually a few reasons the epitome of feminine footwear has been a thought provoking topic. It started as I prepared to start my summer job. I have never had a job that required more than a t-shirt and jeans. I have only donned a suit when forced to (ahem, oral arguments) and worn dress shoes only for fun. I am not very comfortable…

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