To Plead or Not to Plead

Curious, I looked in the dictionary for the definition of a plea.  If it’s unrelated to “law” it is, “a request made in an urgent and emotional manner”. If the definition of “plea” is related to law, a plea is defined as, “a formal statement by or on behalf of a defendant or prisoner, stating guilt or innocence in response to a charge, offering an allegation of fact, or claiming that a point of law should apply”. I contend that a realistic definition of a plea agreement in our criminal justice system falls between these two definitions.   To argue that succumbing to a plea…

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Meet Our 2020 Public Interest Scholarship Recipients!

Please join us in congratulating our 2020 Public Interest Scholarship recipients! Ms. JD is thrilled to continue our support of women pursuing public interest careers and soften the burden faced by folks who accept public interest internships, which are often unpaid.   All three of our scholarship recipients were selected from a large pool of highly competitive applicants. Ms. JD appreciates the level of passion and personal conviction that was exhibited in the application pool, and we are thrilled to support these students in their pursuit of public interest careers. Astrid Diaz "This scholarship will allow me to pursue a public interest internship…

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It’s time to be vocal about our values

Have you ever engaged in a conversation where things were said that went deeply against your values, yet for some reason or another you chose to stay silent? It happened to the best of us. You could hear these past weeks many times the Angela Davis quote that “it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist”. I have to admit, although I’ve never considered myself racially biased, I haven’t exactly been actively anti-racist either. And I know many of us were educated and informed enough to know that those horrible things were happening to BIPOC people, yet…

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Everything is Reproductive Justice - Formerly Known As (Part II)

Dear Leigh,      How do you break up with someone? The same way you break up with your favorite business or even an idea. Remember when you were an adult education teacher in Washington, DC and taught the Declaration of Independence (“DOI”) as if it were a breakup letter? If you analyze the DOI as a break up letter, the DOI provides a break up letter template that begins with the idea that breakups should be done with respect and transparency:   “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected…

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There’s a lot happening in the world right now especially the U.S.; namely, the COVID 19 Pandemic and the fight for racial and economic equality for primarily people of African descent.  Equality based on race has always been a problem for American society largely because of slavery.  However, the egregious and heinous acts associated with the murder of George Floyd seem to have the racial tide changing in a different direction. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.  My platform for is all things Outer Space, but in this post, albeit short, I want to reaffirm that we as a society…

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Support Black Owned Small Businesses: My Favorite Service Providers

I am continuing this week of inspiration stemming from the #amplifymelanatedvoices hashtag movement, which is trying to amplify the voices of Black creators and small businesses owners.  One small step we can take to join in is by highlighting and supporting some of our favorite black-owned businesses, which I am doing here on Ms. JD’s blog.  I started yesterday with retail brands to check out and today I am sharing black-owned service providers worthy of your attention.  Once again, I invite you to share and promote your favorites in the comments, and on your own blog post or other social…

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Everything is Reproductive Justice - Formerly Known As (Part I)

     Recently, I celebrated co-authoring, “The Continued Rise of the Reproductive Justice Lawyer,” my first published paper as an attorney. Back in law school, I never understood or explored what law review meant. As a first generation lawyer, I was just trying to pass and get through every hurdle law school threw at me. My recent writing milestone has me thinking about my perspective and experience as a former law student. Below, I want to share a brief letter I penned to my former law student self:   Dear Leigh Creighton,      Remember when you were an undergraduate…

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Tame the Fear: Preparing for the Bar Exam Amidst a Global Pandemic

Preparing and sitting for the bar exam is no small endeavor and is usually accompanied with high levels of stress. Mix in the challenge of the unique circumstances that COVID-19 has presented to society, leaders, medical professionals, and not to mention, each of us as individuals and there is an amalgamation of factors out of our control. No other collective class of legally trained and educated individuals will experience what you will in late July in either Tampa or Orlando. With that in mind, the below considerations will serve to facilitate your approach and will encourage you to keep your…

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The Influencers: Woman, African-American, Trailblazer

Have you ever thought about doing something that no one had ever done before, a truly novel idea, and you had no idea how you’d make it happen?  Imagine, if you will, your future as a young woman in post-Civil War Washington, D.C. Chances are good that you would complete 8th grade, but they were poor - less than 50% -- that you would go on to high school. College for women in the 1870s? If you were lucky enough to go attend a college, most likely the curriculum would be designed to train you as a teacher.  Now, imagine…

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Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: Academic Excellence Will Only Get You So Far

“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” - Thomas Wolfe My friend’s 16-year old daughter loves to cook.  She takes the culinary class offered at her school, pores over the glossy photos in cookbooks and makes a mean pineapple chicken.  When I asked if she was going to pursue culinary arts in college she sighed and said that she didn’t want to work in the restaurant business.  She explained that the hours were terrible and a lot of restaurants fail. My stepson is really good with kids.  It is…

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