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Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup: Week ending November 21, 2014

When Deborah Misir requested a trial delay due to her high-risk pregnancy, the judge questioned her travel plans and her request has now been denied. In recent months, we’ve also seen a judge refusing to postpone a hearing forcing an attorney on maternity leave to bring her newborn daughter to court while the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar is reviewing their decision to deny certain accommodations requested by an applicant that would allow her to breastfeed during the exam. It is no secret that becoming a parent presents unique challenges; Susan Smith Blakely addressed the particularly challenging experience…

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Being a Woman in the “Law Field”

Becoming a lawyer or working in another related position in the field of law is a decision more and more women are making. As of February 2014, there are over 100,000 women members of the American Bar Association, according to a study conducted by the Commission on Women in the Profession. A September 2012 study conducted by the American Bar Association revealed that while only 33 percent of the practicing lawyers are female, they accounted for 47 percent of the law degrees issued. This number went up by one percent in 2014 according to the Commission on Women in the…

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ALL| A Lawyer’s Life: The Honorable Faith S. Hochberg.

This interview was first published on ALL | A Lawyer's Life (, a place to find captivating, one-of-a-kind interviews with lawyers who have found success and happiness, both inside and outside of the law. ALL aims to be relevant to all lawyers, while focusing on issues facing female lawyers  Faith S. Hochberg, Federal District Judge and former U.S. attorney, stands five feet three inches tall, her blonde hair framing quick eyes and an engaging smile. Behind that disarming visage lies a story of countless firsts, decades of hard work and, ultimately, triumph. But this is not a story of perfection. It…

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Susan Smith Blakely

What Happens After Maternity Leave Is a Challenging Experience

Returning to law practice after having a baby is one of the most difficult times in the work-life challenge that women lawyers experience.  It is a confusing and sleep-deprived time for these women, and they could use a little understanding of their situations. To help them through it, I have enlisted the help of Lori Mihalich-Levin, a Georgetown Law grad, the Director of Hospital and GME Payment Policies at the Association of American Medical Colleges, and the founder of Mindful Return, a blog and e-course designed to help new mother-lawyers returning to work after maternity leave feel present and empowered. …

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How to Survive Law School

When I started my first semester of law school last year I didn’t know what to expect. I heard all the usual hype about the workload, long hours and competition for grades. I expected much more work than my undergrad. Fortunately, I have always down well academically. My success as a law student (so far) is attributed to my ability to tune out distractions. This means being a bit selfish. I found that when I designated specific time windows for Facebook, dating, and my addiction to Netflix I performed better as a student. Oddly enough, I couldn’t study at home…

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Leveling the Playing Field: Bringing In the Men

This article, by Pat Gillette, first appeared on Talent Think Tank and is republished here with permission.   Women had to fight for the right to take maternity leave. We had to fight for the right to work part time. We had to fight for the right to work remotely. These issues drove women’s initiatives, conferences, and publications for years and finally, the legal industry, as a whole, has responded. In fact, it is safe to say that most firms have some version of these types of policies in place. But having policies and being able to use them are two…

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Cameron Rhudy

The Artful Lawyer: When Law and Creativity Collide (Help Change the Law)

Most of the year I have written about how pursuing creative activities can benefit the practice of law and about how the creative process has taught me many skills that I can apply to my practice. I have also highlighted how creativity is not just reserved for the artist-types; that it can be employed to solve all sorts of problems, that it can be used when crafting a lifestyle that is more in tune with your true self, and that there are ways to use your J.D. in creative and new ways. But even I have to admit; creativity and…

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Are You Falling Down on Following Up? (part 1)

Of all the marketing initiatives that are critical for lawyers to commit to, the most basic and seemingly obvious is the “sin” of omission - - the failure to follow up. We have worked with lawyers who have invested innumerable hours and thousands of dollars chasing after new clients and prospects but have largely been unsuccessful in retentions because of a gap in their business development process: following up. Do any of these example ring familiar: •    A very sociable corporate partner attended numerous networking events a month, engaged easily with others attending, handed out business cards, but rarely received…

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Ms. JD Weekly Roundup

Ms. JD Weekly Roundup: Week ending November 14, 2014

The White House Council on Women and Girls released a report this week entitled “Women and Girls of Color: Addressing Challenges and Expanding Opportunity.” While there were many positive signs, the report highlights the work that still needs to be done and announces the launch of a Working Group on Challenges and Opportunities for Women and Girls of Color to bring policy staff together to address the barriers and disparities that still exist today. The news that three law students are competing for the title of Miss Virginia has spurred a debate about whether it is appropriate for their law…

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valerie lherrou

No Longer Extraordinary: creating mentors

The importance of mentors for law students and early career lawyers is something we all hear much about—but sometimes it’s hard to know what a mentor is, or how to find one. Law schools, bar associations, and firms may have formal mentoring programs, but many students and lawyers go through their law school and work careers without mentors—or have a mentor, but are uncertain about how to connect with that person or take advantage of what a mentor may have to offer. Women may especially benefit from mentors, since we don’t have the traditional “good old boys” network to rely upon: you should…

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Why Ms. JD is Celebrating Men - Ms. JD’s TIM Initiative (#TIMInitiative)

This week, Ms. JD is officially launching Ms. JD's TIM Initiative.  TIM is an acronym for The Incredible Men and the initiative aims to recognize and promote men who are sponsoring and investing in women's careers and women's initiatives.  Althought TIM is an acronym, it is also a nod to Ms. JD's male board member and CFO, Tim, who is an unabashed feminist and has been an incredible supporter of Ms. JD. Like many new projects, Ms. JD's TIM Initiative began in a small way.  (Is it weird that I'm envisioning GE's Ideas Commercial as I write this?)  The first…

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Rainmaking 101:  Tips for the Junior Attorney

A sobering fact is this:  to achieve the highest level of success in private practice, you must be willing and able to build a book of business—and the sooner you start, the better. Granted, there are some firms that might not even begin rainmaking discussions until an associate’s third, fourth or fifth year in practice, but those firms are few and far between in a shrinking economy beset with client demands for fixed fee arrangements and lower expenses.  In fact, the pressure on junior attorneys to begin adding to the bottom line will only increase as clients re-allocate their work…

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Volunteer with the Trade, Sports & Professional Associations Committee of the ABA Antitrust Sect.

Young Lawyers:   Get noticed!  The Trade, Sports & Professional Associations Committee of the ABA Antitrust Section is looking for volunteers to monitor and write-up case developments.  The TSPA Committee supports all aspects of representing and counseling trade and professional associations and sports organizations on antitrust and competition law issues.  See more info.   This is a great opportunity to follow a hot area of antitrust law and get your name out there!   If you are interested, please send an email to Svetlana Gans,

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Learning by Leaving

I was practically vibrating with excitement.  It was the fall of 2009, and I’d just taken a seat for my first class at Harvard Law School. I’d arrived! I was about to be inducted into a society of professionals who made the world better, one case at a time. I would be an attorney, and I was getting ready to begin a life devoted to helping solve society’s problems. Flash forward five years.  At 9 am this morning, I met my first client of the day. We strolled into Washington Square Park, both wearing spandex pants, and I used every…

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Ashley Ahlbrand

Research Makeover: Strategy in Legal Research - Seeing Your Research Through from Beginning to End

When I haven’t been writing about new legal research tools, I have been discussing common deficiencies in legal research skills, such as legislative history research or research in administrative law.  As my Writer in Residence year draws to a close, I wanted to take a step back and address the legal research process more broadly.  When I began this column in January, I mentioned that legal research is often taken for granted as a lawyering skill, quite simply because we’ve all done research at some point in our education; but as I explained, legal research is a different ballgame, and…

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