Ms. JD

Road Less Traveled: The Nominees

For the first time in Ms. JD history, Ms. JD will be honoring exceptional women in connection with our annual conference, Passion Forward, which will take place February 21-22nd, 2014 in Austin, Texas. The Passion Forward Awards will celebrate women who have demonstrated passion for their careers and shared that passion with other men and women. Over the next few weeks, Ms. JD will be introducing all the nominees. To read about the recipients of the 2014 Passion Forward Awards, click here. To purchase a ticket to attend the awards, please click here.

The Road Less Traveled Award  goes to a woman who is using her J.D. in a unique, non-traditional, way to pursue an issue or cause that she is passionate about. The nominees for the Road Less Traveled Award are:

Catherine Wilhoit. "Catherine has always loved children, but believes that our society is changing in such a way that the capacity for social skills and clear communication are being diminished. The introduction of the internet into our world has allowed children, upon achieving elementary literacy, access to unsupervised conversations and unlimited information. It is not uncommon for children to attend school having been threatened, bullied, or degraded without adult awareness. Catherine has been on a path to bring social-emotional and conflict resolution skills to children beginning in Kindergarten. She markets her work as 'preventive care.'" 

Jennifer Alton. "To stand for a cause is one thing, but to actually know how to effect change is entirely different. Despite a very busy schedule, Jennifer has found a way to impact our community in a way that will inspire others to live 
as purposeful a life as possible. Jennifer created her own production company, Brighten Hall Productions, and produced a documentary entitled Passion & Purpose. Her hope is that the sharing of experiences will help to inspire members of our community to effectively translate their ideas into action." --Emily Jackson

Kate McGuinness. "In the early days of her legal career, Kate was a pioneer in breaking down barriers for women in the law. Now she shares her hard-won wisdom with others, so that younger women can achieve their own goals in the law. Her efforts to address issues that are of special concern to women lawyers are especially notable. She writes for popular websites, making her advice available at no charge..One of my personal favorites is her tongue-in-cheek look at ways to appear busy in a macho work environment: How to Beat the Old Boys at Their Own Game." --Alison Monahan

Susan Cartier Liebel. "Ms. Liebel's passion is helping young lawyers go solo, very often straight out of law school. Rather than practicing law, she puts her JD to good use helping young solos be better lawyers and business owners. I should know: I owe my current success to her!" --Suzanne Meehle

Katy Goshtasbi. "Those who know Katy know her to be a professional in all areas, demonstrating respect and honesty to everyone with whom she interfaces. She always tries to lead from a heart-centered place and encourages others to do the same. As owner and Chief Executive Officer of Puris Personal Brand Solutions (formerly Puris Image), Katy is a positive role model and takes a personal interest in each individual with whom she consults to help them build a successful personal brand."  --Diana Hanes

Lainee Beigel. "In the short time since Lainee has founded Career Esquire, she has assisted numerous law students and attorneys find their ideal career path and build networks that they did not even know they had. In additional to consulting, Lainee also blogs for the Levo League and has written for The Vault. As a full­time working mom of two young children, she maintains her alternative legal career while building a business devoted to helping young
lawyers flourish." --Nicole R. Cohen

Sarah Boot.  "In 2010, she was selected as a fellow for the San Diego chapter of the New Leaders Council, which aims to train 'progressive political entrepreneurs' for leadership roles, elected office among them. She’s also a founding member of Run Women Run, a local organization focused on getting politically progressive women in office. She was student-body president at the University of Michigan, where she earned her undergraduate and law degrees. There, Boot founded the Students First party and recruited a slate of candidates." --Kelly Davis

Suzy Loftus. I know that Suzy was a huge asset to the California Attorney General. I know how committed she was to serving justice and standing up for victims as an Assistant District Attorney. I know that the only thing that could take Suzy away from the legal/law enforcement she loved so much is the chance to serve victims of violence and trauma in a more hands-on capacity. The amazing work she does at the Center for Youth Wellness is a game changer for poor communities. Suzy is an advocate for victims. It is every fiber of the person that she is. She knows that victims and repeated observers of violence and despair are doomed to endlessly repeat the cycle unless courageous people intervene. She approaches her job, and her life, with passion, commitment and heart." --Damali Taylor

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