From the blog
mlbrown

Apply to Join Ms. JD’s Board of Directors!

Ms. JD is seeking diverse leaders in the legal community who are passionate about improving the experiences of women law students and lawyers to join our Board of Directors. Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring the success of aspiring and early career women lawyers. Ms. JD is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of law students and attorneys, who are supported by our Chief Executive Officer, a small group of independent contractors, and our vast network of volunteers. Ms. JD is a 501(c)(3), incorporated in California. Serving as a unique nexus between the legal…

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WALKER88

My Top 3 Takeaways from the Ms. JD 2019 NWLSO Leadership Academy

I had the honor of attending the Ms. JD 2019 NWLSO Leadership Academy, hosted in Cambridge, MA at Harvard Law School, November 22-23, 2019.  I was elated for the opportunity to connect with other law students, attorneys, and business professionals, who share the same passion of wanting to see women in the legal field flourish and achieve a playing field equal to their male counterparts. 1. Failure is an Important Reflection Point Upon my arrival to Boston I was greeted with an e-mail from the Air Force JAG Recruitment Chief – informing me that I had not been selected for the November 2019…

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Susan Smith Blakely

The Reality of Non-Equity Partnership

Lawyers at all levels of practice can be valuable members of the profession and can find satisfaction in their work.  That is a given, and the decision where you want to fall along the gamut is up to you.  But, before you put that decision in motion, be sure that you understand the terms.  For law firms, that includes being familiar with the ins and outs of non-equity partnership. Non-equity partnership sounds good to many young lawyers who think they understand the demands of equity partnership and want something less. The thinking goes something like this:  I will still have an…

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ktran227

Why Can’t Law Firms Retain Their Female and Minority Lawyers? Because Conformity is Exhausting.

A common topic of conversation among my female professional friends is how much of our work lives are controlled by gender and racial stereotypes.  The most common one is being told to smile.  I can’t tell you how many times in my working life that a male partner or associate has walked into my office while I was deep in thought working on a brief or an important client memo and looked at me and said, “is there something wrong?” or “are you ok?” When I say that everything is fine, they often say something like, “you’re not smiling, you…

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erikastallings

What is the number one piece of career advice you have received?

Build real relationships. I put an emphasis on relationships because we currently live in a culture that repeatedly exhorts people to network. But it’s easy to go to an event and collect business cards. It’s another thing to building a relationship with another person. This does require time and energy, along with the willingness to be vulnerable and curious about the person you’re trying to build a relationship with. In a busy profession such as the law that may seem daunting. But I can attest from first hand experience that the investment is worth it. In the fall of 2017…

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KatherineLaw

Types of Lawyers: Deciding What Type Of Lawyer Will You Be.

It's your first day at law school, you have a lot in mind but your pure goal is to become a successful lawyer. Law aspirants and even established lawyers may struggle to decide what area of law they want to be an expert with. Going to law schools may spark your thoughts that you will eventually work in renown and large firms practicing corporate law but the truth is that may not happen and you might be directed to another path.  We need to remember that all areas of the law are important and it comes handy in different situations. Whether you…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - Collective Wisdom of 2019

As a 2019 Ms. JD Writer in Residence, I had the privilege of interviewing some truly inspirational first-generation lawyers/lawyers with blue-collar roots.  I learned about their unique paths to law school and the legal profession, and the challenges associated with becoming the first person in their family (or possibly in their community) to become a lawyer.  These women also shared some great advice, which I compiled below.  It is my hope that first-generation attorneys will continue to share their stories and mentor and support other trailblazers who are climbing up the ladder.    Collective Wisdom of 2019: You Can Do It! “You deserve to be where you…

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Caambridge

What area of law are you interested in?

As a second-year law student, I am often asked what area of the law interests me. This is a daunting question because after a whole year of law school and a summer internship, I still am not sure what area of the law I want to pursue. As I continue to ponder this question, I decided to explore the different ways I can get more exposure to the different areas of law. Below is a list of approaches to widen exposure to the different practice areas of law.     Clinics Many law schools have clinics that serve as a…

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jennyrpatten

An In-House Counsel’s Maxims for 2020

As I prepared for my last column as a Writer in Residence for Ms. JD, I decided to conclude with something that reflects my own personal approach to my in-house practice.  Although I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, every December I jot down some guiding principles that I use to refine my mid- and long-term professional and career goals.  Below are four maxims I’m taking with me into my in-house practice for 2020: Fight the Inertia.  Inertia is, by definition, a tendency to remain at rest or remain unchanged. With any new initiative or project that you…

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MsGabbyD

The Best Career Advice I’ve Been Given: Watch Your Feet

I’m clumsy by nature. Not the cute clumsy, where you fall into a handsome man’s arms, but the stub your toe and break it kind of clumsy.  I quickly found that I could either live in steel-toed boots or watch my feet as I walked. My favorite summer sandals don’t come in steel-toed options, so down I look. Growing up, this was my parents’ greatest annoyance. They would take me to an art museum, and I would stare at my feet, to the beach, and I would stare at my feet, to a beautiful view, and I would stare at…

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Caambridge

Setting Intentional Goals in the New Year

January 1st brings a new beginning. It is the start of a new year and is the perfect time to set new goals to achieve. Many people use January 1st as a time to plan out what they want to accomplish for the upcoming year, and they use it as a time to reflect on the year before. January 1st typically feels like a fresh start, and that anything is possible. The issue is that halfway through January, life tends to set in, and before many people know it, they are reverting to bad habits and putting their goals off…

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aechsner

Setting Yourself Up for Success on the Bar Exam from Day One

Studying for the bar exam is no small task. Countless hours are spent reading, answering practice questions, reviewing practice questions, and the study cycle continues.  At the onset of your designated preparation period, it is always a good idea to consider the following items because, if overlooked, they could result in being detrimental to success and ultimately, bar passage.   Environment. How is your study environment? Do you need absolute silence or do you prefer to have background noise? Do you value organization or do you work well with a bit of clutter? Whichever is best for you, be sure to…

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Millennial Women

Auld Lang Syne

2019 is quickly drawing to a close, and so is our Ms. JD WIR year. What a year it’s been! We’ve enjoyed the opportunity to think more deeply about our careers as well as consider issues that are of particular interest to millennials. We’ll carry this experience with us into 2020 and beyond. The end of 2019 also seems like the perfect opportunity to consider the somewhat cliché topic of New Year’s Resolutions.  Yes, there are people on both sides of the debate. Some people will tell you that resolutions are worthless because no one ever keeps them. Others will…

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prianka

What’s the best piece of career advice you have received? - “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good”

I grew up learning a form of classical Indian dance called Odissi that demanded rigorous practice and meticulous attention to detail. Throughout the years, my guru gently corrected my form in innumerable ways. She would even correct the sound that my feet made when they hit the ground, which she said was a dead giveaway of whether I was applying the right technique in my stepping. My focus on the minutiae of my movements translated well in other areas of my life. I was the type of high school student who would pore over a reading assignment for hours, trying to make sure…

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victoriawillingham

Dominate Your Purpose: Be Yourself. Do Good Work.

It is no surprise to me at all that my number one peace of career advice comes from my mother. At a very young age, I remember her saying, “Always remember to dominate your purpose.” She would say it when I was approaching a new phase in life or when I was faced with a difficult challenge. In reflecting on the various points in my life when I heard this powerful phrase, I realize that my interpretation of its meaning has evolved over time. When I was a child, it meant to give my very best at school and in my activities.…

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