From the blog

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Ms. JD Executive Director Recruiting

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ): MS. JD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR RECRUITING   Ms. JD is excited to be receiving such a strong interest in the Executive Director position. Candidates have been asking great questions and, in an effort to ensure everyone receives the benefit of the answers, we want to share some of the frequently asked questions with you. Additional information and the application materials are available here: QUESTIONS ABOUT MS. JD What is Ms. JD’s structure? Ms. JD is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors. In addition to their Board responsibilities, many Board Members learn key leadership skills by…

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JOB OPENING: Ms. JD Executive Director

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Ms. JD seeks a leader with a proven record of program administration and organizational development to implement its ambitious growth and impact objectives. ABOUT MS. JD As the U.S.’s premier organization for early career lawyers and aspiring female lawyers, Ms. JD brings legal practitioners, law students, and aspiring lawyers together to drive the critical national conversation about gender issues in the legal sector. To fulfill this mission, Ms. JD hosts and facilitates a number of programs throughout the year, including: The Fellowship program, which promotes mentoring and professional development for future female attorneys; The Writers in Residence guest…

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Jeena Cho

Sex & Money: Going Back to School from Full Time Employment

A reader sent me a Tweet and asked what financial advice I had for returning to law school from full-time employment. She provided the following details about her current financial situation and I went to work crunching numbers. You can see my master spreadsheet here.  Current Financial Situation Annual Income: $45,000 (Net: $31,800) Employer 401(k) match: 5% Potential salary increase: 5% per year Current student loan: $5,900 at 6.55% interest Credit card: $2,600 at various interest The reader wants to stay in her current field - disability and health law in public interest. Her expected income with a JD? $60,000 with…

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Litigating Mommy: The Danger of Comparison

As a litigator working in an adversarial field, one of the first things I often do when I begin working on a new case is to size up my opposing counsel.  How long have they been an attorney?  Where do they work?  What is their reputation?  Are they more experienced than me?  It’s impossible to resist the urge to compare myself to the competition, and sometimes that comparison can be a factor in determining how confident I feel about a particular case.  Although it is useful to know what you can about your opponent, deriving your own level of confidence…

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Legally Brown

Being brown is one of my best attributes, and it’s one of my favorite topics of discussion. It’s fundamental to my identity and has always affected many of my perspectives, beliefs, and decisions. But when I was younger, no one was expected to talk about race and without the internet (do I sound old?), it was easy to ignore. Then I went to WashU, where everyone wanted to talk about race, and it seemed like people were generally more aware and more thoughtful in their discussions, plus it was a relatively (emphasis on relatively) diverse microcosm of the world. Then…

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Kristin Holland

Mentors Matter:  Mentors, Sponsors & Equal Pay.

April 8, 2014 was Equal Pay Day.  This date symbolizes how far into 2014 women must work to earn what men earned in 2013.  There is some debate about the exact magnitude of the pay gap, but by any measure it is alive, well and impressive.  According to the 2012 U.S. Census, women who work full time earn, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earn.  The statistics are even worse for women of color.   Over a working lifetime, the average woman has lost $431,000 in fair earnings.  See  Congress is considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, an update to…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Is Being Waitlisted for Law School Your Problem?

It is that time of year again.  Prospective students have applied to law schools, and some are being waitlisted.  That can be both a hopeful and a frustrating experience, depending on the school and the applicant's expectations, and there is a certain amount of protocol you should know to handle the situation wisely and adeptly.  "Storming the Bastille" and sending the waitlisting school reams of additional paperwork and electronic files --- evidencing your credentials and acceptance worthiness --- may not be the best idea. So, what it the best way to handle being waitlisted?  Fortunately, this question has been asked…

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de minimis per say: Valerie Dye

Valerie Dye graduated from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 2010, and began practicing with the firm Graham, Allen and Brown in Tulsa, Okla. Before too many months had passed, Ms. Dye started her own practice, concentrating in Osage and Tulsa Counties, Okla. Ms. Dye's goal upon entering law school was to be a sole practicioner. "It was the best fit for me and my family." Although working at a firm was a great opportunity, and offered the ability to bounce ideas off of collegues, being a sole practicioner was a quicker way into the courtroom.  Working in a smaller…

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Yale Law Women Announces 2014 Top Ten Family Friendly Firms

Yale Law Women (YLW) is pleased to announce its ninth annual Top Ten Family Friendly Firms list. YLW congratulates these firms for their leadership in developing and implementing family friendly policies and practices. The 2014 Top Ten Firms, in alphabetical order, are: ARNOLD & PORTER BAKER BOTTS HOGAN LOVELLS US HUNTON & WILLIAMS KIRKLAND & ELLIS MORRISON & FOERSTER MUNGER, TOLLES & OLSON ORRICK, HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRISON VINSON & ELKINS Below are key areas of progress and opportunities for improvement from this year’s survey results.  We hope that these findings will enhance awareness and dialogue…

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valerie lherrou

No Longer Extraordinary: public interest=pink-collar ghetto?

At the moment I am not practicing law. After nearly seven years as a public defender, I am now working in a law school career development office, helping students who hope to work in the public sector. I am, therefore, typical of women lawyers: more likely to work in the public sector, and more likely to leave the practice of law. It's hard for me to think of myself as a statistic. I'm an individual. Yet, apparently, I'm also a cliché. But why are women so much more likely to work in public interest? I think there are three main reasons: while many…

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Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup: Week Ending April 18, 2014

Happy Friday!  This week's news coverage has been focused on a central theme: confidence.  While women are undoubtedly as competent as men, we often lag behind our male colleagues in self-assuredness.  Take a look at why confidence matters just as much as competence in the workplace.  So, for those of us who aren't brimming with confidence, how can we move ahead?  Take some advice from Ms. JD's Writer in Residence, Keita Rose Atkinson: don't be afraid to own your awesome!  On the other hand, The Glass Hammer offers a structural solution and encourages women to build a new leadership model.…

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Cameron Rhudy

The Artful Lawyer: Sara E. Coppin

One of my goals when I started this column was to showcase attorneys who are practicing law in addition to pursuing some other passion. It is an accepted stereotype that attorneys are workaholics, and in truth, this is often the expectation in the profession. For many of the reasons I highlighted in February, however, I have learned that taking the time to pursue my other interests is a crucial part of my happiness, and I truly believe that it makes me a better lawyer as a result. In this regard, I wanted to meet other like-minded attorneys who had successfully…

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Diversity Should Never Apologize to Discrimination

Whenever I see “diversity” in a New York Times article headline, I perk up. But, when the word “dishonesty” is also in the tile, I am intrigued. In Sunday’s paper, one of my favorite columnists, Ross Douthat, created a dissonance for me. Somehow, he managed to opine on three really big news items that dealt with vastly different aspects of diversity and rolled them all into one article: the anti-marriage equality CEO resigning from Mozilla; Brandeis withdrawing its invitation to Hirsi to be a graduation speaker; and Sandra Korn’s proposal to ending research at Harvard that furthers sex, race, and…

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Annie Little

Two Easy Steps to Your Self-Care Diagnosis

I cannot tell you how relieved I am that spring is finally here! Lawdy, it’s been a rough winter in so many ways. And I know many of you can relate. Now that all the snow days, cabin fever and sniffly noses are (mostly) in the rear view mirror, it’s the perfect time to check in with yourself. Even if you don’t do a formal quarterly review -- you can take a peek at my first one of the year here -- I highly recommend investing in some self-care this spring (and always!). What do I mean by self-care? I mean…

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Owning Your Awesome

This month, my message is not the one I originally intended to share with you. But this idea just fell plop into my lap, and it was as if the universe said, “you have to share this in April.” And you know, when the universe speaks, it behooves you to listen. So this month, I’d like to share a few ways for you to ‘own your awesome.’ And not just in that happy, feel good pop psychology way. Own your achievements and abilities so that you can accurately assess and share what you have to offer the professional world. While…

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