15 Moments of Impact

Ms. JD is the result of visionary law students who banded together in 2006 to found Ms. JD, knowing that if young women attorneys are to reach their potential, they need support, networking opportunities, ongoing education and a vision for how they can make an impact. Today, where others see merely law students and young associates facing insurmountable challenges, Ms. JD sees the next generation of women partners, general counsel, and members of the judiciary who, through robust programming with a focus on practical tools for navigating our profession, can enter the profession prepared to confront the challenges to promotion and retention awaiting them. 

Here are fifteen moments that shape our past, present, and future as we continue to advance programs to promote the success of women in law.




2006: Founded at Stanford Law School by a group of law students.

Proving Margaret Mead’s “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world,” Ms. JD began with humble beginnings as a mere idea from thoughtful law students.



2007: First Annual Conference held at Yale Law School. 

The theme, Legally Female: What Does It Mean To Be “Ms. JD”, provoked thoughtful conversation of the standing of women in the legal profession and splashed Ms. JD onto the national scene. 




2008: National Women Law Student’s Organization (NWLSO) founded.

Now at law schools across the country, NWLSO began as a way to connect law school women to each other and to resources and support, both within their campuses and nationwide.



2010: Creation of the Global Education Fund

Each year, the Global Education Fund has made it possible for two Ugandan women to pursue their dreams of becoming lawyers by attending the law program at Makerere University in Uganda. This work is critical as each additional year of education yields a 10-25% increase in the income of a Ugandan woman.



2010: Writers in Residence Program launched. 

The Writers in Residence program provides thought-provoking content pursuant to Ms. JD’s mission, from authors with diverse backgrounds and experience. 



2010: Fellowship Program in partnership with the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession created.

This program has awarded over 100 law students mentorship, invitations and travel support to Ms. JD and ABA events, as well as the opportunity to pursue a project related to Ms. JD’s mission.   



2014: The Incredible Men (T.I.M.) Initiative established

In support of our male allies, Ms. JD routinely awards one man the TIM award each year at our annual conference.



2014: Ms. JD's first Pre-Law Programming is created.

In recognition of its mission to support all members—even those incoming—to the legal profession, Ms. JD has shared countless articles, programming, and resources to support law school applicants.



2015: Ms. JD Chair’s Challenge launched.

Driven by the lack of diversity and female leadership in the legal profession, Ms. JD challenged firm chairs to invest in diversity across levels at their respective firms.


2017: NWLSO Leadership Academy launched at Harvard Law School.

The NWLSO offered an in-person opportunity for law students involved in NWLSO chapters to connect, meet, and renew their mission to support female law students. 




2018: Ms. JD’s 10th Annual Conference on Women in Law held in Los Angeles, California. 

The theme “Her Story”  provided participants an opportunity to share their own experiences, and to reflect on Ms. JD’s twelve-year history and plan for its future.



2018: First-ever Determined to Rise Academy hosted at the University of Houston Law Center. 

In providing middle-school girls a fun and engaging program featuring exposure to the legal profession, Ms. JD empowers girls to recognize the vast potential within them and to dream big.



2018: LaddHer Up launched.

A unique program for women law firm associates in the earlier stages of their careers—in their first six years of practice—to personally engage with women general counsel for transparent 2:1 career strategy discussions, as well as professional development on effectively pitching to potential clients, overcoming imposter syndrome, interrupting implicit bias, and building skills for a potential general counsel role in the future.



2018: Accelerate: Grow. Rise. Lead. held in collaboration with Nebraska College of Law.

As part of Ms. JD’s mission to support women in the legal profession everywhere, Ms. JD partnered with Nebraska College of Law to provide this regional conference focused on connecting law students and lawyers.



2020: Ms. JD hosts its first-ever virtual Annual Conference on Women in the Law.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. JD quickly moved its 12th Annual Conference online, with a community of panelists and participants who considered and exemplified the theme “When Women Lead.”


We invite you to share some of your favorite Ms. JD moments over the last 15 years on social media with the hashtag #MsJD15

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