Gearing Up for LaddHer Up: Michelle Banks Gives the Inside Scoop on Ms. JD’s Upcoming Retreat

“Women helping women has a positive impact. Powerful women helping women starting out in their law careers will be game-changing." Michelle Banks is one of the inaugural LaddHer Up Host Committee Co-Chairs who brought this empowering, unique retreat to life. As you may have seen around the web, the LaddHer Up retreat for general counsel and early career women associates is a distinctive professional development program hosted by Ms. JD on Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19, 2018. Keep reading to find out Michelle’s tips for associates attending LaddHer Up, what’s in it for law firms, the difference between mentoring…

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Open Ms. JD Board of Director Position

   Have you made a positive difference in your community? Do you want to serve the mission of helping women lawyers and law students succeed? Do you want to shatter the glass ceiling, break down barriers, and help change the dismal statistics for women lawyers? For example, .56 percent of partners at major law firms are black women and most firms don’t track women lawyers with disabiltiites. The time for change is now! Please apply to serve on the Ms. JD Board of Directors.       Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the success of aspiring and early career…

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Join Ms. JD’s Global Education Fund Program!

Interested in women’s issues, international development, fundraising and education?  If yes, consider supporting us as our next part-time, unpaid, Global Education Fund program volunteer!  Ms. JD created the Global Education Fund (“GEF”) to enable women in developing countries who otherwise would not have access to further education pursue a legal education.  Each year, GEF has made it possible for two Ugandan women in each class year to pursue their dreams of becoming lawyers by attending the law program at Makerere University in Uganda. The part-time and unpaid Global Education Fund program volunteer will be responsible for: Helping to lead outreach and program development…

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National Survey on the Value of Diversity

A nationwide Valuing Diversity Survey is being conducted by the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession’s (IILP) Social Impact Incubator to gain information about how various legal professionals value diversity and inclusion work. The IILP Social Impact Incubator is gathering anonymous data from a wide cross section of attorneys regarding their experiences with diversity and inclusion programs, committees, and other related activities in the profession. Just as diversity and inclusion related activities vary among firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and other legal industry employers, the importance of participation and the value of the time invested on those activities…

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Try It Before You Buy It: Four Ways to “Try Out” a New Career

Lawyers are notoriously risk averse. This generalization makes them good at what they do. It also makes them bad at getting out.  When I speak to transitioning lawyers, I hear some of the same fears echoed back time and time again.  How can I leave without knowing for sure? What if I leave and I'm still unhappy? What else could I possibly do? I always start these conversations as I will here: with four ways to "try it before you buy it."  1) Join a Board.  Local non-profits, civic foundations, and even schools are often looking for new Board members.…

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Starting from the Bottom Up to Create a Killer Personal Brand

A digital presence is a must for every law firm, and there’s both professional and personal branding. When a founder is the face of a company, they’ll have to start creating a personal brand that potential clients will know and trust. Branding is one of the most powerful tools in marketing, and it all starts with reputation.  Supervisors often sit new or aspiring lawyers down to express how important reputation is in the law field. Building a good reputation is the start of personal branding, so you might need to help others, work extra hours. The goal is to create…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Perfect Pitch for Young Women Lawyers

Are you musical?  Have you had experience singing in a choir?  If so, you probably are familiar with the concept of “perfect pitch.”   For the rest of you, perfect pitch is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of a reference tone.  Perfect pitch results in great vocalists, who can land a note on the musical scale exactly and in a way that is pleasing to the ear, leaving the listener with the desire to hear more. Oddly, perfect pitch works the same in business — and especially for lawyers.  Delivering the perfect…

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Ms. CyberLaw: Three Ways to Build Mentorship Through Emails

When we are first exploring law schools, trying to get a sense of specializations in law, or just aiming to draw inspiration from those who have achieved success in the legal field, we can overlook a valuable resource right under our noses: connectivity through email. Emailing a stranger can be intimidating, but what's there to lose in putting yourself out there and potentially gaining a valuable mentorship experience? So, here are three ways to maximize your chances of connecting with others in meaningful ways through email exchanges. Do your homework: When first reaching out to someone, skip the types of questions you…

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Statistically Weeping: Having the Harder Conversations

Written experiences of depression and anxiety in law school are arguably few and far between. For me, that means being given a space and a platform from which to recount my own story is very important. As I’ve said before, once I began asking, so many smart, strong and successful people came forward to share with me their stories of mental illness. These stories made it easier to tell myself every day that I wasn’t alone. And over time, knowing that made it easier to let other people in. It gave me the confidence to be a little more honest.…

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Susan Smith Blakely

What Do RBG and Millennial Lawyers Have in Common?

RBG.  You have to love her!  And I do.  I loved the documentary about her life, and I love how relevant she continues to be. I first saw Justice Ginsburg speak more than a decade ago when she was addressing an audience of law students and young lawyers.  Yes, her scholarship and her role as a breaker of glass ceilings amazed me, but it did not stop there.  Her sense of humor and her humble way of speaking was surprising for someone at her high perch, and it was heartwarming.  She knows how to get attention without hitting the listener…

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