By Heather Asher • February 24, 2015•Ms. JD, Conference
Ms. JD’s Annual Conference, "Stronger Together," in San Francisco will start with the Ms. JD Honors awards ceremony on Thursday, March 5th and continue on Friday, March 6th with all day conference panels and activities. Being on the “inside” I have had the advantage of talking with the speakers, reading the applications in support of our award honorees and seeing the effort that everyone at Ms. JD puts into the conference activities. I know how amazing the conference will be, so now I am sharing my list of why you should also be there and excited!
Networking, Networking, Networking: The conference will be a robust day of networking and the Ms. JD Honors awards ceremony presents a unique and intimate opportunity to network and kickoff the conference. The awards ceremony will hosted at Madam Tussauds and, of course, will not be your average cocktail party. After hours, we’ll have access to the attractions at Madam Tussauds. Nothing breaks the ice like doing a Sasha Fierce pose next to a wax Beyonce.
Inspiration: It’s no surprise that a number of studies and articles have recently focused on “grit.” Having the grit to endure the day to day challenges (and sometime drudgery) in legal practice is a skill that many agree is essential to success in law practice. Inspiration is something that helps break up those days and, sorry to use a cliché, but to see some light at the end of the tunnel. You’ll find this inspiration at the awards ceremony and during the conference.
- Tired of hearing how hard it is for women to stay on track after maternity leave? Come to the awards ceremony and listen to the story of the OnRamp Fellowship, one of the Ms. JD Honors award recipients. The OnRamp Fellowship is a returnship program that not only helps place women who took time off back into law firms but extensively trains the attorneys and law firms to ensure the return is a success. Also, come to the conference and hear from Betty Chen, a young attorney who recently made partner at Fish & Richardson while on maternity leave or Mika Mayer, who took maternity leave and still made partner in the shortest period in history at Morrison & Foerster.
- Worried about how to make your mark early in your legal career? Come hear from Mary Snapp, now Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft and the first woman lawyer at Microsoft or Ms. JD’s Board Member Julie Silverbrook, selected as Executive Director of nonprofit ConSource before she even graduated from law school.
- Wondering how men can get involved with promoting women in the law? While enjoying lunch at the conference, you can listen to a team of men in the legal industry who have not only supported formal programs to promote women, but found ways to champion women through their own practice and business development efforts.
- Want to know how women can support other women in the law? Pat Gillette, the Ms. JD Honors keynote speaker, has had a full legal career and career advocating for women, from mentoring to founding the Opt-In Project. Come hear how she has managed to succeed while giving back.
Boost your Career: There are more resources than ever for just about every step in applying, attending and succeeding after law school. However, these resources aren’t always available to everyone due to cost or lack of awareness. Thus, the Career Center is here! Conference attendees can schedule consulting sessions with our Career Center organizations and give their career a boost by obtaining a professional headshot for their online profiles, receiving feedback on communication skills with a communications coach (almost completely filled), learning successful study methods with a law school success coach or talking with a stylist to figure out what kind of “brand” they want to establish with their professional dress.
Give Back: It’s hard to find time to give back and it’s hard to find time to stay healthy. Well, you now have another opportunity to multitask. Give back to Ms. JD’s Global Education Fund, an international scholarship fund, while getting fit in a fundraiser Bar Method class taught by Ms. JD Board Member Nicole Chiu-Wang. The Global Education Fund provides full room, board and tuition for eight amazing Ugandan women attending law school. Anytime you need some instant inspiration during the day, just take a look at this short video clip of their incredible stories. This fundraiser class will take place right before the conference on March 6th and, in addition to an energy boost, will also provide a great introduction to the business plan break-out session where you will learn more about how Nicole turned her love of Bar Method into a new and thriving business.