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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Drive Your Journey: The Unexpected Redirection

While changes in one’s life can be intentional, there are times when the unplanned may occur. For example, you may have your heart set on practicing in a certain area of the law and not get hired in the positions to which you initially apply. You may focus on applying to positions in a certain city but get a fitting offer in another city. This may redirect your journey, but the key is to remember that you are on a journey. It does not have to be your final destination and likely will not be. First, remember to embrace where…

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You have decided to re-take the bar. What next?

The decision has been made. You have signed up and sent in all of the necessary paperwork for the next bar examination.  You have marked the date(s) of the exam on your calendar and you know that you need to start studying, again, and soon. Everything outside of these two thoughts might seem blurry and potentially overwhelming but I assure you, you have the tools and y-o-u are capable. Whether this will be your second time or fifth time preparing for the bar, the following is food for thought about how you will position yourself to be in the best…

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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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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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Interview with Ann Levine, Law School Admissions Consultant

I would like to introduce everyone to Ann Levine. After earning her J.D. in 1999, Ann Levine worked as the Director of Admissions at Loyola and California Western law schools and as a litigation associate. In 2004, she started Law School Expert, a law school admissions consulting firm, and has since counseled thousands of law school applicants as a consultant and through her books, blog, and video tutorials.  Hello, Ann! Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with Ms. JD today. Let's jump in. Moving from the legal field to starting your own consulting firm is quite a leap.…

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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 http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Cohesion.)  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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Laura Bladow

Ms. JD Chats: A How to Guide for Summer Associate Success with Grover Cleveland

Ms. JD Chats: Secrets for Baby Sharks - A How to Guide for Summer Associate Success with Grover Cleveland Join Ms. JD on Thursday, May 18th at 2:30 PM ET for a live stream with Grover E. Cleveland, as he shares the secrets to succeeding as a summer associate, including:   How to make yourself stand out; How to seek and incorporate feedback so you keep getting better; Why you should attend those pesky networking events and tips for how to conduct yourself once there; How to bounce back if you make a mistake; Why you should treat the summer as one long interview; And so much…

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Breaking Down The Competency Gap

“I cannot make a mistake,” said a minority lawyer at a large law firm whom recently shared with me her feelings that she cannot make a mistake out of fear that she will be perceived as incompetent. She referenced a 2014 study conducted by Nextions where partners, male and female of various racial/ethnic backgrounds, participated in a “writing analysis study.” Of the 53 partners who participated, 29 partners were told they were reviewing a legal memo written by a white associate named Thomas Meyer and 24 partners were told they were reviewing the same memo but written by a black…

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