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Ms. JD Pre-Law: “Table of Contents”

Are you a pre-law student or professional? Read this post first! Hello and welcome to Ms. JD Pre-Law! Our goal is to serve as a resource to, and build a supportive community of, pre-law women around the country. Whether you're a college freshman just starting to develop an interest in the legal profession, or if you already know that you're going to law school this Fall—we have something for you! In addition to organizing in-person events, we also regularly post interviews and other articles on the wider Ms. JD blog. The list below serves as a helpful index, with links…

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Ms. JD Pre-Law: Interview with Christina Nguyen, Career Placement Committee Co-Chair, AABANY

Today’s Ms. JD Pre-Law interview is with Christina Marie Nguyen. Christina serves as Co-Chair of the Career Placement Committee at the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY). She previously served as a Co-Chair of the Student Outreach Committee at AABANY, Social Media Coordinator for the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY), and Assistant Editor for the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA)’s NYLitigator Journal. Christina graduated with her JD from St. John’s University School of Law and was recently admitted to the NY bar. She was also featured on St. John's Law 2016 commencement article,…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Finalizing that First Impression

My 1L year is done! Behind me are long days and nights spent cramming for exams and right around the corner lies my first day of work at the local District Attorney’s office and my first day in court as an advocate! Anticipation for these two big Firsts got me thinking about another big first—the First Impression. Research shows that the first impression matters significantly and can be monumentally hard to change. So, whether it be the first 30 seconds or the first day in court or on the job, follow these four tips to finalize the first impression that…

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Join the Conversation:  A Book Review of Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in 15 Suggestions

“When your children and grandchildren ask you what you did in the war against racial and gender inequality, what will you say?” – a mentor A recent study by The American Lawyer revealed that at our current rate, female equity partners will not reach 30 percent until 2081, and without extraordinary new efforts, parity remains only a distant possibility.   Currently, women make up about 47% of graduating law school classes and 45% of incoming Big Law associates but only 16% of equity partners.  This means that men make up only 55% of incoming Big Law associates but almost 85% of…

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You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: Going from Tragedy to Triumph

Ms. Ieshia Champs-Smith is a rising 3L student at Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Texas.  I had the pleasure of meeting her at a women’s attorney event where she was honored as one of the scholarship recipients.  Ieshia’s story is rife with so much turmoil and tragedy.  Although her dreams might have died once or twice, her resolve and faith in God never let her give up.  Now, she is roughly one year away from achieving her dreams of becoming an attorney. When Ieshia was very young, she was taken away from her parents and sent to live with…

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Creating Work-Life Balance in the Legal Field

I had the pleasure of speaking with attorney and mother, Elise Buie, last month about achieving balance between work and life while maintaining a law career.  Of the many things that Elise brought to light for me, I think the thing that stuck with me the most is the fact that in terms of providing appropriate accommodations for pregnant or nursing women, we have come so far. I have nursed and pumped in some pretty awful, dirty places. The ferry bathroom is at the top of my list (both in the terminal and on the ferry). But, I have also nursed…

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Take Two: The Journey to Retaking the Bar—New Job, New City, New Experiences

In my last post, I discussed tips for finding a job, and I can honestly say that one of those tips got me my job. Referrals. My friend referred me to the Human Resources Director of her employment, and two interviews later, I accepted a job as Recovery Specialist with the company. As a Recovery Specialist, my primary responsibility is recovering money for insurance companies for claims they paid for on behalf of their members. This job entails negotiating on the phone and a high volume of cases. Accepting this position meant I had to move eighty miles to a…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Setting Summer Internship Goals

With Summer right around the corner, I thought it was time to discuss what to do at your internship versus how to get in the door. I’ll admit that, at my first internship, I did not speak to anyone in the office outside of my boss, the internship coordinator, the secretary, and the security guards. Of course, if anyone else greeted me, I would smile and return in kind. But I never made conversation, or asked if I could help with any of their projects…and I certainly didn’t ask about their kids, their weekend, or anything personal. Why? For the…

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Cohesion in Legal Writing: Make It Flow

In the world of science, the concept of cohesion refers to the "act, state or process of sticking together," as when, for example, a water molecule attracts to another water molecule.  (See  In the world of legal writing, the concept carries essentially the same meaning, albeit in a different context.  While molecular forces act as the glue that holds molecules together in a substance, words in a sentence are what allow the sentences in a paragraph to stick together.  But, given that the concept of cohesion isn't exactly linguistically self-explanatory, how does a legal writer achieve cohesion in a…

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Bar Preparation and Job Hunting: Part 2

Today, I am feeling defeated. I have not studied much for the past month. The bulk of my time has been spent applying for jobs, doing advocacy work for my non-profit, and spending time with my children. I do not have the luxury of staying home with my children and studying for the bar exam. Finding a job is becoming more important than studying for the bar. Since my hours at my current job as a Community Organizer was reduced to 10 hours every two weeks, finances are extremely tight for my family right now. I was afraid we were…

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