By Laura Bladow • May 01, 2014•Law School, Pre-Law
This fall Ms. JD will be launching a series of pre-law programming to further develop resources for pre-law women. For those of you who are pre-law, let us knows what questions you have by tweeting @msjdtweets & @laurabladow using #msjdprelaw. For those of you who are law students or legal professionals, we invite you to tweet your pre-law insights using #msjdprelaw or share your pre-law journey on our blog. As the idea for this series of pre-law programming was inspired my own pre-law journey and the role Ms. JD has played in that, I thought it was fitting to share that story.
A year ago when I started working for Ms. JD I had no intention of ever going to law school. At the time, I was looking for an opportunity to gain some experience working for a non-profit and Ms. JD allowed me to further discover and feed my passion for organizations that are all about women helping women develop professionally. Several months in to this newfound part-time passion project, I found myself in D.C. working to find a position that matched up with my passions, talents, and goals. I shared my job search frustrations with my mentor and mentioned that I was seriously considering law school. As an attorney herself, she encouraged me to think critically and consider the good, the bad, and the ugly of the legal field. Wisely knowing that this was a decision she could easily and heavily influence, she only offered one piece of insight, "You have the personality to be successful in law."
So I began rethinking my career trajectory with my personality at the center and my interests on the periphery. I have the drive and the determination to succeed, as well as a desire to lead and to contribute to something larger than myself. I want my work to be intellectually challenging and I desire leadership opportunities. These parts of me are essential to who I am, and I need to incorporate them into whatever career path I take. Passion is also critical part of the equation, and I've always been able to find passion in unexpected places. When it comes to pursuing a legal career, surely I can find where my current passions and the law intersect while also discovering new passions in the law.
The blog posts and events brought together by Ms. JD provide valuable insight into what powerful women in the legal profession look like, and I want to join their ranks. When I look at the abysmal statistics of women at the top of the legal field, where others see disappointment, I see an opportunity for success. Although I'm just one person, I want to be one more. One more BigLaw female equity partner. One more female judge. One more female attorney launching a high-powered firm. But more importantly, I want be one more to help multiply the numbers. I want to inspire women in my generation and the next. I want to reach out and pull women up with me, the way my mentors have done for me and the way I see the women of the Ms. JD community doing every day for each other.
Ultimately, the pre-law programming series was conceived to continue moving those numbers at the top up by reaching back to the pre-law portion of the pipeline and pulling those women up. This series will strive to support the pre-law women already following Ms. JD as they work towards law school, and to give undergraduates and young professionals who may have dismissed the legal field for whatever reason another chance to consider all of the doors a JD can open for them.