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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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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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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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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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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App Happy: The Personal Statement

Que the Sports Center theme music.  This critical portion of the application often draws looks of panic from applicants and many ambiguous answers from admissions departments. The Personal Statement should seemingly be simple. Who has a better understanding of who you are and why law school is right for you right now than you? Unfortunately, it often does not feel this way. What It’s Not: A personal statement is not a statement of purpose. A statement of purpose, typically used for graduate school admission, provides a summary of your experience in the context of your professional aspirations. It essentially sums…

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Ms. J.D. Lawyers-Turned: Interview with Attorney Vanessa S. Perlman of Mockingbird Travel, LLC

In this segment of Lawyers-Turned, we meet Attorney Vanessa S. Perlman. Vanessa is the Founder and CEO of Mockingbird Travel, LLC. She candidly answered questions for Ms. JD readers about following her passion, instead of the traditional legal path. In this interview, Vanessa provides insight about overcoming obstacles and finding your own unique path. Q. In one sentence, describe the purpose of Mockingbird Travel, LLC? A. Mockingbird Travel is a socially-conscious international tour company, offering small-group escorted tours that provide travelers with authentic travel experiences and the opportunity to give back to the places they visit. Q. When did you…

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The Best Career Advice I’ve Ever Gotten

I can clearly recall the day I finally understood the most important advice I’d ever gotten from a mentor. I was sitting at my desk with my head in my lap. After hitting an all-time low during particularly brutal mock trial tournament in Ohio, fumbling to put together a presentation for my firm’s most important case of the season, poring through midterm material, and barely having the time to eat (let alone sleep), I’d had enough. I’d bombed my mock trial case and I wasn’t sure what I would bomb next. As I watched the minute hand ticking from one…

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Self-Care Airplane Style

   “If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your oxygen mask on first, and then assist the other person.”  In putting your own oxygen mask on first, you ensure that you can retain enough oxygen to help put masks on those around you. If instead, you attempt to help others put their masks on first without putting on your own, you risk losing oxygen and ultimately being unsuccessful in helping that other person and yourself. This statement, part of the airline safety demonstration, is often disregarded by passengers who are busy sending off one…

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Number One Piece of Career Advice? Make Sure You’re Not Writing the Wrong Story

Very often when a group of writer friends and I get together – either in real life or in the virtual realm, we will share our works-in-progress. Premises, hooks, plot holes and characters are brought to life by their various creators. Most of us will give advice and feedback only when solicited. A few loyal friends will give advice even when it’s not. And occasionally, one writer will make a confession. I hate this process. It’s grueling. I’m miserable. One time, when I heard this familiar lament at a writers’ conference, made by a writer who was frustrated and even…

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