Ms. CyberLaw: Five Things that Strengthen Your Personal Brand

Like it or not, our environment is digital. That means it can be pervasive, both personally and professionally. Nonetheless, having an online presence brings with it many rewarding opportunities such as the ability to network with people you otherwise would have been unable to connect with. It can also help you grow your personal brand, which encompasses your reputation and what you stand for as a professional and as an individual. Here are five ways you can better harness the online environment to strengthen your personal brand.  Reputation, Reputation, Reputation: Before even beginning to think about labeling yourself and projecting your…

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First Generation Success Story: 2L Year- One of the Craziest Years of My Life

I had made it through my first year of this crazy thing called law school. Honestly, after the close of my 1L year, I was absolutely exhausted. Although I was looking forward to working full time during the summer at a law firm, I was also ready for a break. Summer came and left in what felt like a day. I worked hard, learned a lot, and gained so much valuable experience. Armed with new knowledge and confidence, I was ready for my 2L year. Little did I know how crazy my 2L year was going be. Busy does not…

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From Paralegal to Associate:  How to Handle Time Constraints

As a new associate, what I found the most difficult to handle is my time.  Especially when I am confronted with something that I am unfamiliar with, I often find myself spending hours of research.  Most of the time, those hours spend on research can’t be billed back to the Client, because it will be unreasonable.  And if you are a type A like me (and I suspect you are) this makes it even more difficult to put a time limit on the assignment.  What I found helpful is to give myself a time window by which I will stop…

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5 Things Busy Lawyers Can Do to Find the Time to Exercise

     Late last year, I started exercising regularly again after a long period of doing hardly anything at all. It wasn’t until this happened that I realized how much I missed physical activity. Law practice, after all, is not something that lends itself well to movement or even sensory stimulation. Instead, lawyers often spend long hours cooped up in an office and huddled over a computer or stacks of documents. We also tend to keep long hours, have little control over our schedules, and may feel at the end of the day like we have little else to give.…

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An Investment - In Perspective

I speak to a lot of lawyers looking to transition from the practice of law, and recently I’ve realized that the most important message for those transitioning professionals is not that transition is indeed possible, but rather to manage the expectations surrounding the transition.  Here are some common responses I hear when I tell my story - now with the perspective of a decade away from the practice of law - nearly a decade since I last worked at Skadden Arps.  There’s got to be an easier way to make a living. I just need to find a job where…

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Reaching Girls Early, Creating Stronger Women Lawyers

When I was a girl, I was told countless times that I should become a lawyer because I just loved to argue. This unsolicited career advice turned out to be well-placed. But I had no clue what lawyers actually did. Eventually, I was lucky enough to shadow a newer associate to get a small taste of the day-to-day of a litigator. I decided to go to law school which, fortunately, was a great choice for me.  Fast forward several years. I was asked to speak at my high school's career day. About 30 high school students - both boys and girls - listened…

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Statistically Weeping: Summertime and Self-Care

During law school, the summertime experiences I had were pretty typical. A full-time summer internship at a public interest NGO, along with some writing for a brief I’d belonged to since my first year at school. I cannot overstate enough how incredible this schedule felt after a full-calendar, academic year. To the untrained eye, this looks like a normal work schedule. To a law student, this looks like sweet, sweet freedom. Why? If you are not taking summer classes, there is nothing to be done after work. There are no cases to read and brief. No drafts to edit. No…

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A Refreshing Outlook on Compliance: An Interview with Alex Rakitin, CCO

Back in January, I shared my own professional journey in compliance for financial services.  Anecdotally, I’ve witnessed at least a 50% growth of compliance officer positions being filled by lawyers over the past 5 years.  Given the growth of JDs joining the field, I’ve sought out a fellow industry colleague to add an additional perspective.  Alexander Rakitin is Chief Compliance Officer of Perceptive Advisors, an investment adviser focusing on life sciences investments.  One of the biggest professional insults one can hurl at a talented compliance professional is that they are a bureaucrat.  If you are plugged into the business and adopt…

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Interview with Recent Grad Alexa Galloway - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

I’m delighted to introduce Alexa Galloway, a recent graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law and former Law School Toolbox author. A former Cape Cod Baseball League field reporter, Alexa most recently worked as a Legal Intern for Santa Clara University Athletics. Hey, Alexa! Thanks for joining us. First and foremost, congratulations on finishing law school! What are your short-term and long-term goals? Alexa: Well, my short, short-term goal is to pass the bar. Following that, I hope to work in civil litigation and get as much trial experience as possible. By attending conferences and speaking with attorneys in the…

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JD Skill Drill

After a series of interviews with some seriously impressive female JDs (which you can find on this page), I wanted to do a midyear reset getting back to basics.  For this month’s post, I engaged in a bit of a skill drill.  I scoured a bunch of recent job descriptions looking for ‘JD Preferred’ candidates and copied the desired characteristics and qualifications sections into a word cloud generator.  Here are the results: Let’s dissect a few of the main skills atop every employer’s wish list: Problem Solving As a lawyer, you are being hired to help your client solve their problems. …

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