Ms. JD Celebrates: Happy Birthday from Pat Gillette!

Editor's Note: Pat Gillette is a partner at Orrick and the founder of the Opt-In Project a nationwide initiative focused on changing the structure of law firms to increase the retention and advancement of women in the workplace.  She also serves as a Commissioner for the ABA Commission on Women in the Professsion.  Pat was a Ms. JD Fellowship Mentor for the Ms. JD Fellowship Class of 2010.  This piece is part of Ms. JD's Sixth Birthday Celebration. 

Ms JD is celebrating its birthday. And the timing could not be more perfect. As we see more and more political speak that seems to be returning us to the 1950s, the importance of harnessing the power of women in the legal profession can’t be overstated. And one of the ways we focus that power is by joining the forces of the women entering the profession with the power that is held by more senior women. Ms. JD provides that forum and the mentoring fellowship program provides the vehicle for transferring the power from one generation to the next.

I have had the privilege of being a mentor to [Katie Larkin Wong] one of the Ms. JD
fellows. It has been a pleasure to watch her grow and to see her begin to spread her wings in her own career. But this is not a one way street – while I talk to her about how to navigate her law firm and her career, and how to begin to exercise her power, she gives me valuable insights into what the next generation of women are looking for in their careers and keeps me current on what new women lawyers are thinking.

So I celebrate Ms. JD’s birthday and the Mentoring Fellowship Program as they are
evidence of our continuing commitment to passing the power from woman to woman and ensuring that the rights we have fought so hard to earn, remain in place and are expanded.

To read more about Ms. JD's plans for the year, click here.  To give Ms. JD a birthday present, click here.


Susan Smith Blakely

I enjoyed your comments on the event of Ms. JD’s birthday celebration, especially those on harnessing the power of women lawyers in light of the negative political messages of late.  This is particularly apropos coming from you, a real leader in the effort.
I have been asked to participate in the Ms. JD Annual Conference in October and share the message of Best Friends at the Bar:  What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law.  I am looking forward to being a part of this remarkable group.

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