By Katherine Larkin-Wong • March 13, 2014•Features
Hello Ms. JD Community,
Well, it has been over a year in the making but in a few short days, Ms. JD will be unveiling our brand new website and officially unveiling our new brand. We are so proud of everything we’ve accomplished and we want to thank all of you for your input and support.
It had been seven years since Ms. JD’s founding and seven years since we had evaluated our website and our brand. We knew there were some things that needed updating. After all, when Ms. JD’s website had been created, Wordpress didn’t exist, Facebook was in its infancy, and Twitter hadn’t even been founded. So it was time for an update! But we also knew that it was time to assess our brand. In thinking of the brand, nothing was left off the table. We considered everything from our brand colors to our very name. We wanted this process to be a chance for a wholesale review of Ms. JD’s current brand and we hired a professional branding company to help us assess everything. To that end, we owe Sisarina, a DC-based, women-owned, branding company a debt of gratitude for their help!
You may recall that this process started with a survey where we asked you what you thought about Ms. JD, our brand, and our content. Your feedback was key to many of the changes you will see on our new website in a few short days and that you may have already noticed being implemented on our social media pages. (For a sneak preview of our new brand check out @msjdtweets on Twitter or like our Facebook page!) While everything was on the table, we also told Sisarina that we wanted our new brand to remain connected to Ms. JD’s past. Thus, as we made decisions about what to change and what to keep, we kept our history in mind.
Name: Ms. JD
One of the first decisions was whether to keep the name Ms. JD. After a lot of discussion, we decided to keep our name. But we also decided that it was time to explain the genesis of Ms. JD as too many people thought it was simply a “cute” choice. In fact, Ms. JD is intimately connected to feminist history. Our name is a nod to Ms. Magazine, a magazine founded to give voice to feminist ideals that mainstream media was not making available. While Ms. JD is non-partisan and therefore does not necessarily share the political ideals of Ms. magazine, Ms. JD was founded to give voice to early career women lawyers and aspiring lawyers. It was meant to be a place where voices that may have a hard time being heard in the mainstream legal media, in classrooms, or in firms would have a place to express their voices. The JD portion of our name reflects not only that we are tied to the legal rofession but that we are committed to giving women practical advice for making it to the top. We are also committed to supporting you from those early years when you are looking for advice to get into law school, through getting your JD, and then getting starting using that JD.
Next up came Ms. JD’s logo. Many of you told us that you found the logo outdated and some even found it offensive. We decided that our name was so intimately connected to Ms. JD’s feminist and practical mission around women in the legal profession that we no longer needed the graphic representation of lady justice as part of our logo. We decided to move to a textual logo that included Ms. JD’s name and referenced what could become our new tagline. Choosing the text for this logo was hard; we wanted something that was feminine and strong. So many of the font options that Sisarina initially showed us were just too much like a wedding font which was not an idea we wanted to evoke. We hope you like the font we finally settled on which is now integrated into the new Ms. JD logo.
Finally, we evaluated Ms. JD’s tagline. We heard from many of you that “Changing the Face of the Legal Profession” was old, tired, and evoked a prior time in diversity work in the legal profession. We also heard you when you told us that it sounded as though we were against men. Let’s be clear, Ms. JD recognizes that women and men need to work together to fix many of the gender issues in the profession. Therefore, we felt it was time to update Ms. JD’s tagline.
To do so, we had a big brainstorming session with Sisarina. That brainstorming session evoked a number of ideas about what we felt Ms. JD was and was not. Then, we looked at quotes from leading men and women for inspiration. We thought about success and what we thought it meant. Ultimately, we settled on the idea of upward movement: taking a stand, raising your voice, rising through the profession. We also thought about the idea of community and support, because another key part of Ms. JD’s mission is to bring women together to support one another in achieving their dreams. After A LOT of debate, we settled on the tagline: Determined to Rise with the sub tagline Women of the Legal Profession Standing Together, Rising Together. We thought that this tagline evoked community, strength, determination, and success; all things that we want Ms. JD to stand for.
We also heard your comments on our content. In the coming months you’ll see new content specials on Ms. JD and a revival of some other content. Not everyone will connect with all of our new content but we hope that by having a diverse set of content, everyone will be able to find something that speaks to them.
So, let us know what you think. Tweet us, tell us on Facebook, drop us an email. And be on the lookout for Ms. JD’s new website which will launch March 18th. We owe a massive debt of gratitude for the new site to V02, our web design company! Wait until you see what they've created for the Ms. JD community.
Until then ...
Yours in the Ms. JD Community,
President, Ms. JD