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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Young Aspiring Lawyers Meet and Learn about Careers in the Law

This week I am busy working on a presentation for young women college student leaders from across the country.  The National Conference for College Women Student Leaders is  being held this week at the the University of Maryland in College Park.  This conference is a great opportunity for young women to gain information and background on a variety of career options and to have one-on-one discussions with women in those fields and ask important questions about careers of interest to them.It will be my pleasure to speak to these young women.  Most of my speaking events are at law schools,…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: You Actually Have to Teach Yourself “The Law”

I have to admit, I was pretty surprised when I showed up to law school and purchased my textbooks. One glance revealed that these were quite different from my undergraduate books. What was up with all of these long cases, followed by a string of questions with no answers? Weren’t these books supposed to teach me “the law”? I definitely wasn’t seeing too many answers! Here’s a little secret: You basically have to teach yourself “the law” in law school! How in the World Can You Teach Yourself? I’ve been thinking a lot about law school pedagogy lately, and reading…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: The Law School Decision Tailored for Women

 Recently, I was asked the following question by a young woman considering going to law school:What do I need to think about or do before applying to law school to make sure that it is right for me?  This young woman was concerned about the impact of a demanding career on her life, and she wanted some assurance that a law career would be a good fit for her.   My response to her also may be helpful to you.First of all, I was delighted that she was giving all of this such serious thought before diving into law school.  Too…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: You’re Entering a Sexist Profession

Maybe I was hopelessly naive, but it really never occurred to me that I'd be treated differently in the legal profession because I was a woman. I spent the several years before law school in a heavily male-dominated profession (software), and never had any issues. I'd done a previous graduate degree, same thing. All my life, I'd been "one of the guys" and I'd never had much interest in stereotypically female pursuits such as shopping and talking on the phone. Frankly, I decided at a young age it was a better long-term plan to be smart than to be cute,…

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Ms. JD International

Ms. JD International: State Department, Part III: Foreign Service

Ms. JD International: State Department, Part III: Foreign Service The Foreign Service is the flagship arm of the State Department, and is an excellent career choice for Ms. JD Internationals seeking a career in the international sector. Ever dream about living an expat lifestyle? Attracted by the aura and mystery of diplomatic work? Want to represent the United States abroad? Then the Foreign Service may be for you. Whether you are straight out of law school or have been practicing for years, the Foreign Service is a great option to stoke your international interests and embark upon a diplomatic career.…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Is Going to Law School Worth It?

Editor's Note:  Ms. JD is excited to announce that Susan Smith Blakely, author of Best Friends at the Bar, will be speaking at Ms. JD: She Leads on October 5, 2012. This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on February 4, 2012.You probably have read the stuff that has been floating around the Internet for the last couple of years on the topic of whether going to law school is worth it.  Above the Law will keep you pretty well informed about graduate law students suing their alma maters because they cannot get jobs, law…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Networking Your Way To Success As Women Law Students and Prelaw Students

Editor's Note:  Susan Smith Blakely, author of Best Friends at the Bar, will be speaking at Ms. JD: She Leads on October 5, 2012. This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on March 12, 2011.I recently attended a Prelaw Advisors Conference in Las Vegas at UNLV Law School.  The conference was sponsored by the Western Association of PreLaw Advisors (WAPLA), a subgroup of the National Association of Prelaw Advisors (NAPLA).  Because my book includes so much information for undergraduate women who are considering law school, this is a great market that I am just beginning to tap.  Not only did…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go To Law School: It Doesn’t Have to Be That Hard

When I look back on my law school "career," I realize I made things a lot harder than they needed to be. Sure, I did some stuff right, but I did a lot of stuff wrong! To help you avoid such a fate, I offer 10 suggestions for making law school easier: Worry less about class. Do I think you should go to class regularly? Sure – it’s a useful way to figure out what your professor is thinking. But try to stress out less about it! If you’ve done the reading, and are generally prepared, that’s enough. You’re not…

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Ms. JD International

Ms. JD International: State Department, Part II: Civil Service Careers

Office of the Legal Adviser Naturally, ladies holding JDs interested in a career in international law will look at the State Department’s Office of the Legal Adviser, “L.” The attorneys in L advise the Secretary of State, and all State bureaus and personnel on legal matters that arise in the pursuit of the Department’s mission, the development and execution of US foreign policy. As I described in my last post, L is divided into regional and functional bureaus that loosely correlate to the main bureaus at State. The Office of East Asian/Pacific Affairs in L counsels diplomats and civil servants…

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alisonmonahan

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: This Might Be a Bad Financial Decision

What No One Tells You Before You Go to Law School: This Might Be a Bad Financial Decision Thankfully, word’s starting to get out that law school might not be the way to make the big bucks (or even to make enough to eat while paying back your student loans). But let’s break it down. If you’re a prelaw getting ready to accept an offer of admission, what do you need to consider? The school might be cooking the books. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that a bunch of law schools have been sued over their supposedly misleading…

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