By Elizabeth Hague • February 17, 2016
Dear Ms. JD Community:
By now, I'm sure you've read up on Ms. JD's new President, Raychelle Tasher, and her vision for Ms. JD 3.0, as well as outgoing President Katie Larkin-Wong's farewell letter to our community as Ms. JD President. If not, we'll wait here while you go read them.
And now, it's outgoing Vice President Janet Wallace's (on the left) and new Vice President Liz Hague's (on the right) turn to talk about what Ms. JD means to us. Because, as we like to say, we're not your mother's legal organization, we decided to do things a little differently; we wrote each other's bios and interviewed each other with questions from the famous Proust questionnaire. We hope you enjoy reading as much as we enjoyed writing!
Janet Wallace's superpower is positivity. In a profession that is often too serious and competitive, Janet's demonstrates that positivity and kindness can be huge assets. Janet is a long-serving member of the Ms. JD board, where she is outgoing Vice President and co-chair of the Content Committee (she's the one you can thank for so many of our great blog series!) and is an associate at Adamski Moroski Madden Cumberland & Green LLP in San Luis Obispo, California. As you can probably tell, Janet is a force of nature, and she makes an impression on everyone she meets with her positivity and ability to find the fun in any situation. Although we'll miss Janet so much on the board, we won't be giving up her #FunClause anytime soon. Don't worry, Janet: We won't stop having fun any time soon!
Janet, what do you consider Ms. JD's greatest achievement?
That it's working. It's our dream made reality, big time. Once upon a time, it seemed so daunting. I remember sitting at my desk as a 1L, sending out requests to first women, asking them to write for our blog, and hoping, hoping, hoping that at least one would reply.
And now, here we are, mighty and bold. Empowering women. Breaking down barriers. It's everything I hoped for, many times over.
What is your motto?
Always be kinder than necessary. For a long time, I thought that kindness was a weakness, especially in our profession, but I'm just so over feeling that way.
What is your favorite journey?
Every journey is my favorite! No, seriously. I was reading the New York Times wedding section one weekend, many years ago, and I fell in love with the way one bride-to-be described her groom. “He thinks Brooklyn is awesome, he loves Laguna Beach,” she said. “Wherever he goes, he thinks it’s the greatest place. He’s effervescent.”
I decided right then to be that guy. Life is so amazing when every place is the greatest place.
Currently, I'm on a journey to adopting, so that's the place I am now and, yes, it's the greatest.
Which living person do you most admire?
I'm can't decide between two people, but they both share the same last name, so I'll just say this: Obama.
What is your current state of mind?
Grateful. Beyond words, grateful.
Liz Hague and I agreed to write short bios of one another, a bad idea in retrospect given Liz's long list of incredible accomplishments, all of which cannot be adequately summed up in one short blurb. Suffice it to say, she's the real deal--a dispute resolution associate, Harvard grad, Fulbright grantee, and dedicated volunteer. Liz has served on the Ms. JD board of directors since 2013, gracefully tackling the challenging role of NWLSO liaison and, now, VP. Ms. JD lucked out when they got such a brilliant, effective board member--and I doubly lucked out because I get to call her my friend.
Liz, what you appreciate the most in your Ms JD friends?
Probably two things:
1. How diverse we are as an organization, from identity to type of legal practice to where we are in our lives. I love that any woman considering law school can look at us and see someone they identify with. Representation is so incredibly powerful.
2. How goofy we are as a group! Seriously, I just have so much fun with the Ms. JD Board, and it's very gratifying to know that such an impressive group of women and men can also let their hair down and be silly. Life is too short to be serious all the time.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Janet, this is a tough one! I'm going to cheat a little bit and say whom I most admire: Katherine Hepburn. One of my favorite movies is a A Philadelphia Story, and I'm drawn to Katherine Hepburn's sense of humor, intelligence, and assertiveness in a time when women weren't expected to be any of these things. Also: She was an early adopter of trousers on women! We all owe her a debt of gratitude for that.
What is your idea of happiness?
I'm about to board a 12-hour flight after two weeks of business travel, so a beach and a good book sounds pretty amazing right now!
What is your greatest extravagance?
Travel. And hair product to make mine less frizzy during D.C. summers (Aveda, looking at you).
What is your motto?
You are good enough.
Thanks for reading, and we hope to see some of you at the upcoming Ms. JD conference, SuperwomenJDs, at NYU Law School on February 19th.