From the blog

Ms. JD Press Release: Temple Law’s Katie Cooper Davis Wins 2014 Ms. JD’s Public Interest Scholarship

Ms. JD announced that Katie Cooper Davis was awarded a 2014 Ms. JD Public Interest Scholarship.  The scholarship supports women who, in their first or second summer of law school, are pursuing a public interest internship.  Past public interest scholars have worked for judges, state attorney generals, non-profit organizations, the International Criminal Court, and international NGOs, among others.  To apply for the scholarship, students submit an essay to Ms. JD's blog at   Of the scholarship, Ms. JD's President, Katie Larkin-Wong said, "The Public Interest Scholarship is a key part of Ms. JD's commitment to supporting students who pursue…

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LSAT Anxiety and the Power of Positive Thinking

With the LSAT fast approaching, it's important to briefly step away from talk of test concepts, and focus on one of the most important, and (sadly) most-overlooked, components of test success: a positive mental outlook. That is, at some point in the next 10 days or so you should feel as though your conceptual preparation is complete, and your focus should begin to shift instead towards preparing yourself mentally for an amazing test day experience. Here are a few keys tips that will help get you mentally ready in the days ahead. Look at the test as an enjoyable event. One of…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: As a new associate, how much can I change the firm? A: That should not be the first thing on your mind when you walk in the door. But here is the answer: As a brand new lawyer, you probably have less influence over change than most other lawyers. You are likely to have more influence than staff members (except the non-lawyers who run the place). Isaac Ruiz, a partner at a Seattle firm, developed a list of personas that he counsels new associates to avoid. One of those is “The Union Leader,” the associate who “swoops into the…

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Determined to be a Ms.JD

"There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women."  –Kofi Annan When I started looking into organizations I might want to get more involved with, what drew my attention to Ms. JD was its message of women empowering each other and building a safe haven to connect and reach out to other women in the legal community. Being a senior in high school, it’s rare to see this form of unity between girls my age. I’ve noticed a power struggle that forces girls to either climb the social ladder in hope of becoming the “It Girl”…

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Why You Should Think Twice About Picking Your Employer Based on Prestige

My tenth year law school reunion is coming up next month.  And with the benefit of a decade, I can now admit I was pretty superficial when it came to picking the law firm where I spent my 1L and 2L summers, and ultimately where I worked after graduation.  I picked my employer based on the perception of prestige and one specific ranking guide, at that. Don't get me wrong: I'm not terribly hard on myself about what I now view to be a mistake.  And I don't think I made a disastrous decision given that I was 24 and…

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Which of Your “Selves” Comes Forward as a Lawyer?

I have several different selves rattling around inside. No, I’m not suggesting multiple personality disorder. I’m alluding to the varied interests and aptitudes that have led to different careers over time. My nurturing, playful self became an elementary school teacher. She was followed by the brainy, kick-ass self who became a lawyer. Then the creative, reclusive self came forward to write my legal thriller Terminal Ambition. Now the compassionate, wise self is stepping up as a coach to guide clients through growth and change. Just as Harry Potter discovered that he had a “good self” and a “bad self,” each…

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Laura Bladow

Decision Point: Things to Consider Before Applying to Law School

When I told my friends and family I wanted to go to law school most of them said, "We all knew you were going to be a lawyer, we were just waiting for you to figure it out." However, not everyone has been supportive of my revelation. When I told current attorneys and other professionals encountered through informational interviews that I was considering law school, they confronted me with a long list of considerations that were often presented as reasons I shouldn't pursue a law degree. No one can tell you if law school is right for you, that decision…

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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Ms. JD Board Member Akunna Cook

1. I was on the game show “Where in the World is Carmen San Diego” when I was 12. The show gave a test to all the 6th graders at my elementary school.  Most of the questions were about geography and world cultures.  I guess I have always had a passion for international affairs.  I won a world band radio. 2. I have two awesome kids named Jack and Jill.  Yes, on purpose.  Yes, every parent says this about their children but in my case it's true.  They motivate me like nothing else in the world. 3. I was a…

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Ashley Ahlbrand

Research Makeover: When Legal Research & the Model Rules Collide

You don’t get very far into law school before being introduced to the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  These rules cover all aspects of attorney practice, from conflicts of interest to courtroom conduct.  Underlying all of this, the rules begin by setting the standards for attorney competence.  Rule 1.1 states, “A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client.  Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.”  (MRPC 1.1) This competence refers to the variety of lawyering skills you learn throughout law school, such as issue-spotting and understanding procedural and…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Young Women Lawyers:  Time To Get Organized!

September is here. You are back from the beach or the exotic vacation of your dreams, which you could afford because you are one of the lucky young lawyers who has a good job and a significant salary. So, this is the time when you need to buckle down and secure that good job and significant salary for the future. It is show time once again, and people are watching. Make a good impression in these first weeks of the Fall. People are back at work, and they are serious again. They are no longer thinking of summer vacations, and…

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Kristin Holland

Mentors Matter:  The Case for Imperfection

Mentorship is just a loose relationship in which one person is willing to help another by sharing her life experience, advice and encouragement.  Why does it sometimes seem so hard to get the relationship going? I think it's because we are letting perfection be the enemy of the good.  So this month, I'm writing to debunk that idea and make the case for imperfection. I'll cover common perfection myths, knock them down one by one, and encourage you to jump into mentorship.  Whether you are avoiding the "the give" as a mentor or the "the ask" as a mentee, there is no…

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She Leads: Counsel to the President, Kathy Ruemmler

Kathy Ruemmler appreciates the mentors she has had throughout her career. Speaking in September, 2013, with She Leads: A Conversation on Women in Law, Government and Leadership, Ruemmler emphasized that the job of teaching others shouldn’t just be limited to people in senior roles; anyone can be a mentor. “When you have the opportunity to help others achieve their goals, you should do that,” she said to a room packed with men and women at various stages in their legal careers. Ruemmler also answered questions about law, government, leadership and how to succeed in each of those areas. [as reported…

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15 Things You Didn’t Know About Ms.JD Board Member and Academic Committee Chair Julie Silverbrook

1. I am an identical twin. My twin sister Cheryl is an incredibly intelligent and talented OB/GYN resident at the George Washington University Hospital. 2. I always carry with me at least two pocket Constitutions and am known to give them to people I meet in DC and the cities I visit for work. 3. I was only 24 years old when I became the Executive Director of The Constitutional Sources Project (ConSource). ConSource is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization devoted to increasing understanding, facilitating research, and encouraging discussion of the U.S. Constitution by connecting individuals with the documentary history of…

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Annie Little

The JD’s Life Coach: An Unexpected Leadership Quality

What qualities do you look for in a leader? Communicative. Trustworthy. Fair. Inspiring. Committed. Vulnerable. Okay, vulnerability likely wouldn’t make your top ten on a list of ideal leadership qualities. But after reading this, you’ll think twice. What Is Vulnerability? A great way to illustrate vulnerability in action (or rather our attempts to conceal it) is to travel back in time to junior high. Oh yes. Those dreaded and oh-so-awkward tween years. You’ve got your clique of mean girls that prides itself on exclusivity, but whose members are terrified of not be accepted for who they are. There’s the know-it-all…

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Laura Bladow

Passion Forward Pre-Law: Your Passion Forward Journey to Law School

Considering law school? Not sure why you want to go or if you should go? Check out our Storify recap of our Ms. JD Pre-Law Twitter chat below for some inspiration (and some solid personal statement advice)! For more pre-law guidance, download Ms. JD's Pre-Law Prep Guide.    [View the story "Passion Forward Pre-Law: Your Journey to Law School" on Storify]

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