Desiree Goff


This is a hashtag currently trending.*  Black and white photos are filling social media as women tag female friends to show their support and admiration. From celebrities to influencers, many of the most active social media users are participating. While the original message may have been lost, what is readily apparent is a worldwide support structure and woven web of female friendship, dependent on each others strengths to support one another. Even though this hashtag is currently trending, it is not a new concept. Women have supported other women for millenia. Why else would we have this Ms. JD website?…

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Space tourism is defined as humans traveling to space for recreation. Yep, instead of going to Paris for dessert, just fly to space, have brunch, champagne and take copious amounts of selfies. Space tourism is currently estimated to be a 23 billion dollar industry. According to an article published in 2019 by tourists will pay a MERE $52 million for a trip to the International Space Station. With the advent of all of this very expensive traveling several legal issues come to mind. The first is liability. How do both space carriers and passengers protect themselves and protect their…

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Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: Why If You’re Hysterical, It’s Historical

I had been having problems with my email lately. I dreaded calling technical support, since my experience in the past involved sitting for a long time on hold and listening to someone reading from a script instead of thinking creatively about my problem. However, since I could not fix the problem myself and I felt I had no other options, I called my internet service provider’s technical support line. True to form, after thirty minutes on the phone we had barely moved past the point where I had repeated my name and account number to four different people. Then, after…

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Practice Pointers - Managing Expectations

Have you ever had that nightmare where you forgot about a deadline or had two things due at the same time and only managed to finish one? And then you woke up panicked, drenched in sweat, right before the climactic scene in which a partner hurls a series of expletives (and maybe even a stapler) at you? No? Not yet? Well, let’s be sure to keep it that way. One thing they don’t teach you in law school is how to manage expectations when you’re in the real world. That’s more of a “learn as you go and figure it…

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Susan Smith Blakely

The Dilemma Surrounding the July 2020 Bar Exams

The pandemic has caused a multitude of problems for our world and our country. Some of them involve life and death issues, and, certainly, nothing compares to those. Others involve economic issues like business closings, bankruptsy filings, struggles to feed families and pay the rent and issues surrounding school closings. Still others involve interference with important highly anticipated events involving families and friends, which have had to be cancelled or rescheduled, and the list goes on and on. Concerns about an entire generation of young people, Generation Z, whose members have experienced gratification postponement and the effects of isolation that…

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Techlegality: Where Do We Go from Here?

In the midst of arguably the biggest social movement of my generation, conversations surrounding inclusion have become increasingly prevalent. This unprecedented atmosphere of change has required me to engage in dialogues with colleagues and associates about what it truly means to cultivate environments (professional, social, etc.) that properly encompass the experiences of people of color and other marginalized groups. The overwhelming truth is that the recent happenings are not isolated events. Everyday, people of color are faced with the responsibility of figuring out how to navigate their daily lives with the implications of their existence as minorities. This interplay between…

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Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: CHANGE.

June 24, 2020 was my first day back in the courtroom since March 13, 2020. As I walked to the courthouse, I saw my client across the street as he yelled “Ms. Ellison, Ms. Ellison, wait up! Wait for me!” Honestly, I instantly felt apprehensive due to COVID-19. How will I greet him? Sometimes I start with a handshake or a fist bump, coupled with a smile. How will I tell him to stay six feet apart from me? Will he be offended? What are his thoughts about the pandemic? Is he taking it seriously? Yes, these are thoughts that ran through…

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The Benefits of Voluntary Bar Associations: A Q and A with Nicole Del Rio

We hear about the importance of being involved in different organizations all the time. While this column focuses on connection, I want to remind all the young lady lawyers out there that yes, it is ok to take a step back if you have to rethink how you spend your time. You will not gain anything out of participation in a voluntary bar association if you are stretched too thin. Joining a voluntary bar association can be incredibly rewarding for lady lawyers. To offer a young lady lawyer’s perspective, I’ve asked some questions from Nicole Del Rio, Staff Attorney at…

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Desiree Goff

Medical Malpractice and Litigation - Being a “Phenom”

We have focused on several different areas of law which intersect with science and technology. However, we haven’t spent any time discussing one of the more patently obvious areas - medical malpractice. This area of law practice relies heavily on litigation and trial work, which women are frequently steered away from. However, studies are showing that the women that do make it into the courtroom routinely outperform their male colleagues. These women are termed “phenoms” for their ability to get past the double glass ceiling. They work harder to get into the field and then fight to get into the…

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The Influencers: The Judge was a Lady

Last fall, Harris County, Texas accomplished a singular feat when it voted onto the bench 17 African-American women, joining two black women already serving. It made news, and the 19 women call themselves “Black Girl Magic”. I should say so. It got me to thinking about how long people of color, particularly female people of color have been actively serving as judges in this country. I love pioneers and trailblazers, especially the ones who have to overcome the objections of naysayers and bigots to achieve their goals. In this column I’ve celebrated many firsts: the first woman lawyer, the first women…

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