How Stacey Hallerman Created Her Own Destiny with a Relentless & Inspiring Desire to Take Initiative

Stacey Hallerman is the definition of finding a need and filling it. For 6 years while working for a boutique food and drug law firm, she realized that her firm was outsourcing intellectual property work to other law firms and took it upon herself to learn trademark law. She bought books and studied IP law, specifically trademark applications that normally would be delegated to other firms. Inevitably by learning IP law, Stacey saved her firm thousands of dollars and grew as an IP lawyer. With every positon that Stacey took on, she made a point to never leave the firm…

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A Conversation with 2018 Ms. JD Honors Reception Keynote Speaker Lily Y. Hughes

“Always remember that no matter the toughest challenge that you’re facing, have faith that there is always an end to it.  Choose joy while going through hell, buckle up, know you are growing stronger and there will be light on the other side” were the last words that Lily Hughes gave me before ending our call. When Lily Hughes was only 11 years old she and her family immigrated from Hong Kong to East LA.  Lily’s mother was illiterate even in Chinese, and her father repair shoes during the day and was a busboy at night. From a young age,…

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The Elephant in the Room: Paying Off Law School Loans

As someone who has been through four years of undergraduate and another three years of law school, you know better than almost anyone just how expensive student loans can be. The question is, will you pay them off or let them control your life for decades to come? Short-Term Sacrifices Lead to Long-Term Gains When you’re young and starting out in your career, it’s often hard to see the big picture. The palpability of the moment leads you to believe that your present experiences will be indicative of your future reality, when the truth is that you sometimes have to…

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How Following her Instinct and Passions took Heather Washington from the Law Firm to the Film Set

Go to law school, work for a firm, make lots of money, rinse wash and repeat. The typical story for most attorneys was not the path set out for Heather Washington. I had the opportunity to speak with Heather and pick her brain on how she became the Feature Film Executive that she is today. Heather is a Howard University and University of Pennsylvania Law School alum, and she relentlessly followed her inspirations in the Entertainment business. After working for two prestigious law firms, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and DLA Piper, Heather found her calling and her passion in…

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Getting the Most Out of Your First Few Years as an Attorney

The first few years of being an attorney come with so many questions, challenges, and excitement all in one. As a new personal injury lawyer myself, it's been a whirlwind. This is the time to learn as much as you can and take the world by storm. A few helpful tips to get the most out of your first few years after law school can serve you well:  Be Prepared to Jump Right In. The world of law is a fast-paced place. Especially for my fellow females in law, learn to be aggressive! You will have a unique perspective on cases - so…

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Susan Smith Blakely

How Women Lawyers Perceive Men’s Behavior

It can be difficult to know how men and women are supposed to relate to each other in the workplace these days.  What is too much affection, and, God forbid, what is too much touching?  I have seen close colleagues in an office awkwardly come together for either a handshake or a hug or a cheek kiss, and it is not certain where the gesture will end up.  It resembles some kind of crane-like mating dance, and it is, of course, because they are uncertain about what is appropriate and not appropriate and what is allowed and not allowed.  It…

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Michelle Banks: How Risk Taking and Dedication to Supporting Women Led her to a Successful Career

Michelle Banks is one of 2018 Ms. J.D "Her Story" Conference Key Note speakers. As a former EVP Sustainability & Global General Counsel, Michelle is currently an executive coach, a frequent speaker on leadership, and a nonprofit board member. Michelle completed her education at UCLA and continued to give back, not only through her organization LEAD but as an Executive Coach to corporate counsel. Michelle started her career by taking huge leaps of faith. At the first opportunity, Michelle flew to Japan and worked as the only woman at one of the largest Japanese trading companies. Her leaps of faith, perseverance, and confidence in herself, helped shape her career as…

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Fix Your Own Mess - Sincerely, WOC

A few weeks ago, all the first-year law students at Harvard Law attended a lecture about a study called “The Women and Men of Harvard Law School: Preliminary Results from the HLS Career Study.” This lecture included many statistics that surprised and disappointed many of the female students. As it turns out, the patriarchy does not care if you have a shiny and overpriced degree from an elite school. Harvard Law women are not immune to the clout of the wage gap. But missing from the presentation was an analysis of race. Where do female lawyers of color fit into…

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The Olympics and Me Too - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

In honor of today’s Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, I thought we would take a brief look at women’s participation in the Olympics. The Olympics have not always been, and it can be argued, continues to be hostile to women’s involvement. In fact, though the Olympic games in Ancient Greece included foot races for unmarried girls, women were banned from the first modern Olympics in 1896.  Women’s involvement in the Olympics and sports, in general, were openly criticized by the founder of the Modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. According to the Baron, participation in sports destroyed a woman’s…

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My ‘JD Preferred’ Story

I suppose I should start with an introduction, though I suspect that by the end of this post it will read more like an Ode to Compliance.  I consider myself one of the lucky ones who pretty much knew what they wanted to do with their career since a young age.  Once I got over the ‘I want to be a librarian because I like books’ and ‘chef because I like food’ aspirations of second grade, I became drawn towards law because of the endless debates I’d undertake with friends and family. (As it turns out lawyers do debate endlessly, and…

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