Gearing Up for LaddHer Up: Michelle Banks Gives the Inside Scoop on Ms. JD’s Upcoming Retreat

“Women helping women has a positive impact. Powerful women helping women starting out in their law careers will be game-changing." Michelle Banks is one of the inaugural LaddHer Up Host Committee Co-Chairs who brought this empowering, unique retreat to life. As you may have seen around the web, the LaddHer Up retreat for general counsel and early career women associates is a distinctive professional development program hosted by Ms. JD on Thursday, October 18 and Friday, October 19, 2018. Keep reading to find out Michelle’s tips for associates attending LaddHer Up, what’s in it for law firms, the difference between mentoring…

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Open Ms. JD Board of Director Position

   Have you made a positive difference in your community? Do you want to serve the mission of helping women lawyers and law students succeed? Do you want to shatter the glass ceiling, break down barriers, and help change the dismal statistics for women lawyers? For example, .56 percent of partners at major law firms are black women and most firms don’t track women lawyers with disabiltiites. The time for change is now! Please apply to serve on the Ms. JD Board of Directors.       Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the success of aspiring and early career…

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Join Ms. JD’s Global Education Fund Program!

Interested in women’s issues, international development, fundraising and education?  If yes, consider supporting us as our next part-time, unpaid, Global Education Fund program volunteer!  Ms. JD created the Global Education Fund (“GEF”) to enable women in developing countries who otherwise would not have access to further education pursue a legal education.  Each year, GEF has made it possible for two Ugandan women in each class year to pursue their dreams of becoming lawyers by attending the law program at Makerere University in Uganda. The part-time and unpaid Global Education Fund program volunteer will be responsible for: Helping to lead outreach and program development…

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Women in the Legal Field & the #MeToo Conversation

Regardless of a woman’s age, race, location, career or economic status, most have either experienced sexual harassment first-hand or know of someone who has.  With the numerous allegations made in the past year against Harvey Weinstein and dozens of other powerful figures in Hollywood, the media and politics, and the explosion of the #MeToo movement, the prevalence of sexual harassment in American society has never been more exposed than it is right now.  There has not been a formal study conducted on sexual harassment specifically in the legal field, until now.  Lauren Stiller Rikleen, founder and President of the Rikleen Institute for…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

This month, I am asking the questions. I interviewed Michelle Travis, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, a Dean’s Circle Scholar and co–director of USF’s Labor and Employment Law Program. Michelle has just written a children’s book, My Mom Has Two Jobs. And she has great advice for women in the legal profession. What made you decide to write this book? I first had the idea to write a children’s book about working moms at the end of my two maternity leaves. I felt guilty about leaving my two young daughters with someone else, but…

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Four Ways Women Lawyers Are Treated Differently

Sadly, there are many subtle gender bias and communication issues out there that can hold us back, and until we’re able to eliminate those issues from our profession, it’s important to be aware. Here are four examples to keep in mind: The expectations of your behavior are different. Stereotypes cause people (both men and women) to unconsciously expect different behavior from women. For example, men are expected to be ambitious, competitive, and to aggressively pursue their goals. Women are expected to be caring and sensitive to others. Behaving outside of those expectations can hurt you. When men behave in an…

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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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The Process for Applying to Prestigious Firms

Step 1. Preparing to Apply for a Job with a Prestigious Firm Clean up your social media accounts. Open your social media accounts and clean them up. If they see you with an alcoholic drink or supporting controversial positions, they may walk. Be a top performer. Prestigious firms want top performers. Your performance in school, prior jobs, and volunteer positions will all be scrutinized. Personality matters. Firms are not looking for people who stand out; they are looking for team players. They like people who are humble, energetic, and enthusiastic about whatever they are asked to do. Step 2. Understand…

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“I can’t do this.” “They’re smarter than me.” and Other Ugly Thoughts

If you’ve ever thought… I can’t do this. These people are smarter than me. I’m not going to make it. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t really belong here. I’m an imposter, and someone is going to figure that out. I’m not smart enough. I wish I was that healthy/smart/put together/confident/well-dressed/successful/good at marketing. …you are not alone.  Sadly, these ugly thoughts are way too common for many of us. Fortunately, understanding them a little better can help; and you can also download this Cheatsheet for Quickly Killing Ugly Thoughts in 60 Seconds or Less. Let’s start by understanding some of…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Truth Telling about Law School Debt

  Law school student loan debt.  Just the mention of it can cause most newly-minted lawyers to break out in cold sweats.  It is always on their minds.  It is always standing in the way of getting on with their lives. My children both are lawyers, and the amounts of their student loan debt is shocking.  Fortunately, our family is in a position to help them pay down a large portion of that debt.  But, many young lawyers are not in that position, and I feel so bad for them. Bad because they are in situations where they cannot follow their…

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