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Anonymous

How to Play Your Cards

In my opinion, the most challenging thing about being a career woman is learning how to play your cards. I simply mean this: there are certainly stereotypes which precede women in the workplace -- submissive, peacemaker, courteous, docile, prim, proper, ladylike, etc. And it's true that there's a time and a place to correct such assumptions, but it's also true that there are times when such assumptions might work in our favor in terms of gaining an advantage for our clients. For example, a woman who is naturally abrasive, when representing a client in a particularly rural town in a…

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Manamana

Team Players?

This past week, in lieu of studying, I piled into my school’s gym with most of my law school to watch our basketball team go head-to-head with our rival law school’s. Since I’ve gone to city schools for college and law school (the same city school, in fact), this actually was the closest I’ve ever gotten to a post-high school sporting event. I’m happy to report that my school won narrowly, money was raised for charity, and we all had a much better time than we would have had outlining. But one part of the evening left me with a…

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Kalokagathia

Reality Check

Ms. Gail Cutter recently wrote a piece for the New York Law Journal/nylawyer.com called Career Coach: The Myths Of Ms. JD which I hope you will take a moment to read if you have not done so already. Ms. Cutter has eloquently put into words the reality of diversity initiatives in the legal profession - and the need to keep pushing rather than resigning ourselves to the "issue fatigue" that is blocking meaningful progress in many areas. We can't affect change without first admitting that what we're doing may not be enough. It is one thing to implement a program…

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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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