Upcoming Events


Learning to Lead: Facing Today’s Challenges


Ms. JD and Latham & Watkins LLP Present: Innovations in Diversity


Making the Right Moves



2nd Annual Women Leaders in Environmental & Energy Law

From the blog
Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms JD Weekly Roundup: Week ending October 2, 2015

The Recorder's 2015 Women Leaders in Tech Law share their most valuable career advice. Are you guilty of throwing in the kitchen sink when drafting briefs? Justice Kagan shares her tips on what it takes to be a good writer. Making the move in-house can be a shock to the system as you step outside your familiar law firm environment. Prepare for the transition by understanding what it takes to succeed. One key element is knowing whether you're cop, counsel, or entrepreneur.  Love it or hate it, networking can be the best way to find that dream job or next opportunity. Here's…

read more


15 Things You Didn’t Know About Ms. JD Board Member Jane Rosales

1) I have a fitness blog. It’s called Run the Jungle and it’s over 2 years old. The name is inspired by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’s “Empire State of Mind.” I write about NYC boutique fitness classes and running races. I've done 14 half-marathons, 2 marathons and 1 triathlon as evidenced by my medal collection. 2) I love being near bodies of water and participating in water sports. I’ve kayaked in a bunch of places from Boston to Puerto Rico to the Bahamas. I did crew (rowing) for 8 years, from high school until after college. I competed in my first triathlon this past summer, the…

read more


You Could be Interviewed for Ms. JD’s Attorneys Across America Series!

Calling all candidates! Ms. JD is looking for women to interview for our Attorneys Across America series, which features women and their areas of practice in their particular state. If you would like to nominate someone you know, or if you'd like to be interviewed for the series, please send an email to attorneysacrossamerica@gmail.com. Specifically, we're looking to interview attorneys in the following states: AK, AR, CO, DE, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MN, MS, MT NE, NV, NH, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

read more


Time Management

Each section of the bar exam is allotted a specific time to complete.  For instance, in California, an applicant must finish three essays in three hours.  Some applicants wonder how they can possibly read the interrogatories and fact patterns, and then outline and write their answers or choose the best choice on a Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) question within the time allotted. Applicants who worry about not finishing may rush to analyze fact patterns, or go directly to drafting the answers to performance tests or essays without outlining.  Finishing the bar exam is key to passing, but do not sacrifice…

read more


Passing the Bar

Editor's Note: This article was published in the DC BarJournal with the title "How to Conquer the Bar Exam" (June-July-Aug. 1967, p. 25)  and is excerpted from the writer's memoir, Eat First--You Don't Know What They'll Give You, The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter. ---------- In the summer of 1957, after three days of studying for the Florida Bar exam, I noticed an odd phenomenon. Slowly, imperceptibly, the diploma-covered walls of my den were closing in on me.  My mother had decorated the den as a combination shrine and memorial to me. It was a small room, sparsely furnished with a desk, a sofa, and…

read more


Mommy, Esq.: To be or Not to be….a Jerk

In Texas, and in many states, applicants to the Bar have to prove they are of “good moral character.” Nevertheless, lawyers are often described as blood-suckers, ambulance chasers, snakes, jerks, or liars. We, as a profession, have a nasty stereotype. Some commentators believe we are trained to be jerks, at least to each other. Recently, Jeena Cho wrote an interesting blog post titled Stop Training Lawyers to be Jerks. Ms. Cho described one of her mentors, whose “tactic was to be the most aggressive man in the room, to be the most boisterous and to never give an inch.” So,…

read more


Pre-Law Diaries: Rachel Taratuta-Titus

I first considered law as a career path at the beginning of my sophomore year at Columbia College (though admittedly, I did have an interest in law after watching Legally Blonde at the age of eight!). I joined the Columbia Pre-Law Society as a general member and attended several of the many events the society offers, including LSAT workshops, logic game quiz bowl, and law school admissions essay workshops. The LSAT logic game workshop was the most memorable for me: the instructor showed us how to create clear diagrams and tackle challenging questions quickly and efficiently. I also joined the…

read more

Ashley Ahlbrand

Calling All Writers!  Ms. JD is Now Accepting Applications for the 2016 Writers in Residence Program

LSATs, law school applications, 60-hour work weeks.  Sometimes we all need a creative outlet.  Whether you are pre-law, currently in law school, or a seasoned legal professional, Ms. JD has the creative opportunity for you!  Ms. JD is currently seeking applications for the 2016 Writers in Residence program.  Started in 2010, the Writers in Residence are a select group of pre-law, current law students, and legal professionals who contribute monthly articles to the Ms. JD blog on a topic of their choosing.  This year’s writers have taken us from Silicon Valley to Capitol Hill and all around the world; they…

read more


Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical advice for new lawyers

Q: I have gotten lots of advice about getting off to a good start at a firm. Do you have any advice on things I should not do? A: Yes. I will start with a list of top-ten goofs to avoid from Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks and expound from there. Here is the list: Blowing a deadline or forgetting a task Citing an overruled case or statute in a legal document Coming up with the wrong answer to a legal question that has a fairly definite answer Not finding the answer to a legal question that has a fairly…

read more


Good News! You Just Bombed Your LSAT Practice Test

The next LSAT is just around the corner, you're regularly taking practice tests in preparation...and you suddenly score 5 points lower than last time. What?? Why?! You are (understandably) freaked out. You call your best friend, your shrink, your tutor—all the same person if you're lucky— to ask the crucial question: should you postpone your LSAT? Turns out, there is nothing wrong with bombing a practice test. Just ask the NYTimes. In a recent feature piece titled, "Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing," the Times discusses an exciting new development in learning-science: pretesting. (In case you're wondering, "pretesting" is…

read more


Meet Cara Baldari, Legal Counsel and Senior Policy Director at First Focus

I connected with Cara via social media after I stumbled upon her professional bio on her company website.  Cara is conducting interesting and meaningful work.  Read about her story here:  1) Can you please provide a brief summary of your professional background? I have been with First Focus since graduating law school in 2011. I started at First Focus as a Policy Research Associate, where I supported the legislative and regulatory advocacy work of the First Focus policy staff in the areas of child poverty, child welfare, children’s health and mental health, children’s environmental health, and child nutrition. In 2014,…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers can ROCK at Business Meetings

Business meetings generally are awful and bore the heck out of me.  I invariably think that I am wasting my precious time because everyone drones on and on and on, repeating what has already been said out of insecurity or talking just to hear themselves talk.  I usually only go for the food or because I know someone is taking notes on who is NOT there. Something has to be done about these meetings, and women are the ones to do it.  Law offices thrive on meetings, some good, some bad.  Women are very organized and are natural born leaders…

read more

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup: Week ending September 25, 2015

The White House will nominate deputy counsel Jennifer O’Connor to the top legal job at the U.S. Department of Defense. Removing one word from your writing can make it sound stronger. The US government has a plain language mandate, and when they talk about omitting unnecessary words, they specifically call out prepositions as a potential problem. Professor Rollag of Babson College discusses that often our nervousness and reluctance in new situations keeps us from putting ourselves out there and taking advantage of life’s opportunities. There are lots of ways to keep stress at bay and maintain your cool. Here at…

read more


Crayons in the Briefcase: Finding Usefulness in Discontentment

One of the perks of having kids is going to kid movies that you actually want to see with zero judgment.  Indeed, as I was experiencing labor pains with my daughter, what got me through it was knowing that in a few years’ time, I would have a legitimate reason to see the next Big Disney Princess on the silver screen.  That, and my epidural.  (Okay, the epidural did most of the heavy lifting.) In the spirit of indulging in the perks of parenthood, I saw Pixar’s Inside Out with both of my children a few weeks ago.  The younger…

read more


Journey to a JD: Welcome to Law School

First day?  Check.  First class?  Check.  First cold call?  Check. It’s official: law school has started.  Let the games begin!  I just finished my first week of classes, and I am having a blast.  (Nope, I promise I have not gone delirious from reading about torts and contracts.  At least not yet.)  I realize that law school will inevitably become hard and stressful at times, as the semester goes on and the workload picks up, but so far, I am loving it.  Penn Law has such a warm and welcoming environment, which has helped the transition from undergrad to law…

read more

National Programming Sponsors