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kldelong12

Ms. JD is Now Accepting Applications for Its 2018 Writers in Residence Program!

Ms. JD is currently seeking applications for our 2018 Writers in Residence Program. The Writers in Residence program was started in 2010 and is a select group of practicing attorneys, alternative career individuals, pre-law students, current law students, and other professionals who contribute monthly articles for one year to the Ms. JD blog on a topic of their choosing. Some blog titles this year were: Concrete Ceilings and Open Doors: Women of Color & The Law, Drive Your Journey, Monthly Mantra: Finding Health and Wellness in the Law, Failure Turned Inside Out, The Road Less Traveled: Alternative Legal Paths, The M in…

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fhg14CnXLS

Ms. Pre-JD: Learning the Value of Authenticity in 2017

After reading the application requirements for the 2018 Writers-in-Residence program, I was reminded of career advice I received this past Summer that permanently changed my path: “You have to be really good at what you do and you have to look for opportunities to expand what you do.” A simple answer from Esta Stecher, in response to someone asking the million-dollar question: “How can we become as successful as you have been? Any tips?” The answer was so simple that you could hear the eye-rolls from people around me, as they remarked on how obvious the advice was. For me,…

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vatsaleisha

Take Two: It’s just the beginning

Whew it’s December. This year has flown by rather quickly. I can’t believe that 2017 is almost over. I was just talking with a friend the other day about her birthday party, only to realize that it was five months ago. It’s crazy how time flies by (when you are having fun), but also when you are busy. I have to keep reminding myself what day it is because all the days mesh together. Being a part of the Writers in Residence Program has taught me to appreciate what we have. There’s a saying that we want what we can’t…

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abell

Be Courageous Enough To Just Be You

We started this blogging journey together almost a year ago. By that time, I had read plenty of articles about the state of women of color at large law firms and how a significant number of these women will leave their law firms before even being considered for partnership (women of color remain the most underrepresented group at the partnership level). Frankly, the stories became redundant and many were terribly disappointing. I named this blog “Concrete Ceilings and Open Doors: Women of Color & The Law” because women of color often hit a “concrete ceiling” in terms of advancement and…

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skreed

Skirting the Ceiling: Success in Strength

Over the past year as a writer-in-residence, I explored gender dynamics and sexism in law. We talked about gender stereotypes and sexual harassment and how they affect workplace dynamics. We learned about women in law who were the first to break gender norms and how the industry's treatment of women evolved over time. Most importantly, we've engaged in conversation. Whether it be in the comments at the bottom of this page, on LinkedIn, or on Facebook, I've learned so much from each of you and am honored that so many took time to read and think about these issues that shape so…

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LawyerforLawyers

Career Satisfaction is Not Always a Straight Line

During my second year of law school I had the good fortune to clerk for a bankruptcy court judge. When he had breaks from the bench, we sat in chambers discussing cases. Sometimes we talked about my career goals. At that point, the only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to try cases. My most memorable conversation with the Judge provided me with the best career advice I ever received. It went something like this:             Judge:  What kind of life do you want to create?             Me:  Oh, ok. Um, what…

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torikeith

The Best Career Advice I Ever Received: Remove the Golden Handcuffs

I knew pretty quickly that practicing law was not a fit for me.  I tried private practice with a small firm, a large firm, and government, and I tried really, really hard to like being a lawyer.  At each position I had a great salary, incredible benefits, and amazing coworkers and bosses.  Some aspects of the work I liked (writing, arguing motions, travel) but most of it I hated (the antagonism, billable hour, lack of control over my personal life).  At various times along the way, I’d become frustrated and stuck so I took classes and personality tests, scoured job…

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mKYCZwhJPG

Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

To start this column, help me help you: Send me the tips you use to make sure you track all of your time. Just send an e-mail here, tweet to @babysharklaw, or post a comment here. Easy! I will compile a roundup for a future column. I thank you, and your fellow lawyers thank you! Q: I hear the advice all the time that associates should not make the same mistake twice. But no one makes mistakes on purpose. Do you have any suggestions to make sure mistakes don’t happen again? A: I do. But remember that mistakes don’t just…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Looking Back at 2017 at Best Friends at the Bar

The Best Friends at the Bar year is about to come to a close.  Yes, I know that the entire month of December lies ahead before the Big Ball drops in Times Square and that you still have time for holiday shopping, holiday cards, holiday decorations, attending parties, giving parties, baking and cooking ... and the list goes on.  Do not panic, you have plenty of time to accomplish all this and more.  You are young and energetic and incredibly resourceful.  I have complete faith in you. I, on the other hand, have the luxury of taking the month of December off…

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jjembapa

Failure Turned Inside Out: Asking for a Friend

Sometimes the desire to help others is not enough. Before ending this column, I thought it was important to share my own story with my readers. It was a bit odd being the interviewee, but I pushed myself to answer some of the same questions I have been asking other women during this past year so this journey with you all could come full circle. For me, becoming a lawyer has always been a means to an end. I knew very early on that it would be the first step to evolving into a diplomat or politician championing the civil…

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tammyzhu

Join the Conversation:  When Will Law Firms Drop the “Primary Caregiver” Distinction?

In April 2015, Johnson & Johnson announced that to better support “the modern-day family,” all new parents – regardless of primary caregiver status – would get eight weeks of paid parental leave.  Birth mothers would receive an additional nine weeks of paid disability leave.  A few months later, Netflix and Microsoft also rolled out parental leave programs that did not distinguish between “primary” and “secondary” caregivers.  Netflix parents would get unlimited paid leave in the first year of their child’s birth or adoption.  Microsoft parents would get twelve weeks of paid parental leave, in addition to eight weeks of paid…

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maha.ouni@gmail.com

On the Best Piece of Career Advice I’ve Received…

    The best piece of career advice I have received came from David Thornburgh, President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy.  I had the chance to hear him speak at a conference, and his words have stayed with me and have since helped me make multiple decisions. Thornburgh warned a crowd of graduate and prospective graduate students about the danger of letting one major goal get in the way of your other goals.  That simple advice changed me and challenged my beliefs.  Was it actually possible that the path to success was more like a road trip with friends…

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michelepmoorman@gmail.com

Get Curious and Take the Call - The Best Career Advice I Ever Received

The best career advice I received came from a mentor and fellow attorney when I was a midlevel associate trying to figure out my next role. We were discussing a new position she recently accepted at her company, and I remarked how she always seemed to find such novel and interesting things to do with her law degree. She then paused and told me to keep my eyes and ears open. “I’ve learned the hard way, Michele, that opportunities rarely come in a beautiful package, tied up with a bow, at the perfect time, with your ideal team and an almost…

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bwiegand

Choose Critics Carefully

In my 20’s, I wanted to do everything. In my first career as a teacher, I sought out constant feedback from supervisors and colleagues about specific areas of improvement. I was – and am – ambitious. I love feeling like I’ve worked hard and done a job well. I’ve always found deep meaning in the work that I do, and I like going above and beyond to contribute to whatever team I’m on. During and after projects, I constantly asked for feedback on how I was doing and what I could do better. I asked both supervisors and colleagues for…

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roroberts

The No. 1 Piece of Career Advice I Have Received Is Two Words Long

“Follow up.” Follow up after a networking event, follow up after a meeting, and follow up with yourself.  This two-word piece of advice is applicable to career, school, and life, and has served me well (when I actually consistently apply it).  “Attend networking events” is a popular piece of career advice given to young professionals.  But how many of us are guilty of going to a networking event, having engaging conversations and exchanging contact information, only to let the person’s business card sit in your purse for months until you realize you forgot to email them to follow up? While…

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