How Passion Forward Came to Be: Our Inspiration for Our Spring 2014 Passion Forward Conference in Austin, Texas

Every year, the Ms. JD Board of Directors works hard to bring law students and young lawyers new information and advice to propel your success within the legal profession. To do this, we rely on our daily blog posts, our many programs, and our annual conference.

The amount of time, hard work, blood (okay, okay, no blood—that I know of), sweat, and tears that goes into planning our annual conference is great to say the least. Without exaggeration, the better part of each year is spent planning and preparing for the conference that lies ahead. Although it may sound like a lot of work, we are not complaining! The fun we have together brainstorming and charting out the different components to our year’s biggest soiree cannot be measured.    

This April, packed in a house in Austin, Texas, the Board gathered from across the country with high hopes of planning our best conference yet. For those that couldn’t join us on location, in true Ms. JD fashion, we did the only logical thing to ensure everyone had a chance to participate—we gathered up our electronics and skyped in our missing board members.  Now armed with a solid mix of new and seasoned board members, our discussion about our expectations for this year’s conference was fueled with passion.

In years past, we had helped you stand up and stand out in the workplace and later provided you with the tools to really lead and make a difference in the profession. What could we give you that we had not already provided?

Well, after a countless number of coffee runs, plates of nachos, and huge wall-sized pieces of post-it paper, it finally clicked! A discussion had broken out about Board Member Nicole Chiu-Wang’s incredibly unique and powerful resume. It was the complete opposite of what young lawyers are told their resumes should look like and it was fabulous! The theme for her resume was Passion Forward, an idea that had come to her when preparing for a career transition. What had started as a discussion about a resume had turned into a conversation about what moves us to keep going and how we can work together to empower more women to identify and stand up for their passions.

Passion Forward meant something different to all of us.  But the overarching theme was that it meant encouraging women to stop making excuses when it came to going after what they really wanted and not to be afraid to color outside of the lines in your own lives, which can be difficult to do in such an old-school profession.

Over the next few months, you should expect to see posts from the Ms. JD Board of Directors as well as Ms. JD supporters who want to share their stories about what being Passion Forward means to them.  You can get in on the action too!  Tell us what Passion Forward means to you by posting to the blog.  Instructions for posting to the blog are available here. Posts will also include conference speaker updates and insight, travel advice, and registration details. So, if you haven’t done so already, mark your calendars! Ms. JD’s 2014 Conference, Passion Forward, will be hosted February 21-22, 2014 in Austin, Texas at the University of Texas School of Law.  For more information about the conference, keep an eye out on our Facebook and Twitter feed (@msjdtweets).

First we’ll identify what you are passionate about, then we’ll arm you with the tools to communicate and leverage those passions for your career. Come on Ms. JD, it is time to start living Passion Forward!  

Ms. JD would like to acknowledge and thank our conference sponsors: Arnold & Porter LLPLatham & Watkins LLPMunger Tolles & Olson LLPSidley Austin LLPWachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, and Norton Rose Fulbright


Liz Vaysman

This is SO exciting! Great job Courtney!!

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