The Mental Load: Are You Plagued by Perfectionism?

Perfectionism seems to be the target of numerous attacks lately. Psychology-slanted articles describe it as an affliction that is “a very bad thing” – causing crippling fear of failure, procrastination, unrealistic standards, and low self-esteem. Business coaches preach the gospel of “launch before perfection”, and a recent article in Entrepreneur magazine (incidentally, authored by a former law firm associate), goes so far as to postulate that “Perfectionism is THE [emphasis added] biggest obstacle to productivity” and “If you won't send something until it is perfect, you’re not pulling the trigger quickly enough.” Call me sick if you want, but I…

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Three Quick Ways to Make Networking Part of Your Routine

If you've been following along, we've talked about how to be a giver when networking, how to not overextend yourself while being a giver, and how to leverage being a panelist - this month I want to touch on how to fit all this networking into your already busy schedule. You’ve heard it hundreds of times: You need to network! If you want to build your client base, get referrals, establish your brand and be a better lawyer, networking is required. But when you’re already busting your tail to bill 1,800 (or more) hours per year, and striving to be involved in…

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The Limiting Effect of Biology on a Legal Career

In private practice a lawyer’s reputation is built on the number of times they have done something: the number of times they have gone to trial, successfully settled a case, argued in a specific court, or argued before a certain judge.  Getting as many opportunities as you can early in your career shapes the opportunities and the clients you will have in your later years.  But for some female lawyers, this requirement does not coincide well with their own biology – the choice to have children and to prioritize the needs of their family.  While this is not true for all,…

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Tips from Jill McBride Baxter, Sports Agent - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Jill McBride Baxter, a sports lawyer, and certified CFLPA and NFLPA sports agent. A graduate of University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, Jill has worked as a sports lawyer for over thirty years, representing professional athletes—including those in the NFL and MMA—athletic administrators, coaches, and media personnel. Ms. Baxter also runs a blog and podcast featuring sports law topics and helpful advice for those interested in sports law. As someone who’s had a successful career as a sports agent for over thirty years, Jill has a wealth of lessons about…

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Join Ms. JD—We’re seeking a Volunteer NWLSO Director!

Ms. JD is seeking a volunteer Director for our National Women Law Students’ Organization (NWLSO) program! NWLSO's goal is to support female law students, in whatever capacity that may be, from brainstorming events to connecting chapters and affiliates with potential speakers to providing a blogging platform where your writing will be featured on a site that receives over 27,000 visitors per month. Quite simply, NWLSO exists to support all women law students.   The volunteer NWLSO Director will work with Ms. JD’s CEO to help grow and develop Ms. JD’s NWLSO program. This includes: -Compiling and sending a monthly NWLSO…

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The Lingering Effects of Student Loans on Women

You might remember my colleague (who is also my bar exam coach and business coach) discussing her struggles with student debt. We got an inside look into life after law school – the pile of debt that comes knocking on our door every month just like the Red Queen.  But unlike the Red Queen, which stops visiting after menopause, student debt can haunt us for years to come…even into retirement.  Why are we women so inundated with this form of debt? Because women are still struggling economically. It is a known fact that economics works against women in almost every country- including the…

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You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone: Top Ten Pieces of Wisdom from In-House Mentors

As I come up on ten years of in-house practice, I’ve started to reflect on my legal practice journey up to this point.  From the time I had to hide in the restroom to make a quick call to my outside counsel for confirmation on a particular point of law, seconds before I had to walk into a board meeting, to the closing where I was so exhausted I tripped over my own feet and faceplanted into the floor in front of about 20 executives, I’ve had a lot of memorable moments.  Most memorable, though, are the lessons I’ve picked…

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The Art of Networking: Introvert Edition

An introvert is typically characterized as an individual who focuses on internal feelings rather than external sources of stimulation. An introvert is typically drained by being around too many people, enjoys solitude, and naturally learns through observation. For individuals who identify as introverts, it can be difficult to network because networking requires opening up to others, which expends energy. It is well known that the legal profession is quite social and requires a certain level of relationship-building that is typically created through networking. Because of this dynamic, it is important for an introvert to get comfortable with networking. Identifying as…

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Something Blue: Embracing Your Blue-Collar Roots and Overcoming Self-Doubt

For this month's post, I wanted to write an article about "impostor syndrome."  While scrolling through LinkedIn, I noticed a recent post referencing "imposter syndrome."  Cue feelings of self-doubt.  So I quickly did a Google search of "impostor or imposter" and discovered that both versions are acceptable.  Nevertheless, my inner critic started questioning whether I should do more research (out of fear of making an egregious grammatical error) or, just select one way to spell it, be consistent throughout the post, and move on with my life.  Oh the irony!  By now, you're likely familiar with impostor syndrome and its prevalence in the legal profession.  In the 1970s, two clinical psychologist coined the phrase “impostor phenomenon” to describe…

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The FDA on CBD: What to Know Before Opening Shop

Many people assume that any and all hemp-derived CBD products are legal and can be sold pursuant to passage of the 2018 Farm Bill. But those people are wrong and could unknowingly place themselves in legal jeopardy. For practitioners looking to break into the cannabis law field, understanding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA's) position on CBD products in food or cosmetic products is a good way to start. The 2018 Farm Bill exempts hemp and hemp-derived products, including CBD, from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). But the FDA has made clear that it retains authority to regulate products…

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