Tame the Fear: Preparing for the Bar Exam Amidst a Global Pandemic

Preparing and sitting for the bar exam is no small endeavor and is usually accompanied with high levels of stress. Mix in the challenge of the unique circumstances that COVID-19 has presented to society, leaders, medical professionals, and not to mention, each of us as individuals and there is an amalgamation of factors out of our control. No other collective class of legally trained and educated individuals will experience what you will in late July in either Tampa or Orlando. With that in mind, the below considerations will serve to facilitate your approach and will encourage you to keep your…

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The Influencers: Woman, African-American, Trailblazer

Have you ever thought about doing something that no one had ever done before, a truly novel idea, and you had no idea how you’d make it happen?  Imagine, if you will, your future as a young woman in post-Civil War Washington, D.C. Chances are good that you would complete 8th grade, but they were poor - less than 50% -- that you would go on to high school. College for women in the 1870s? If you were lucky enough to go attend a college, most likely the curriculum would be designed to train you as a teacher.  Now, imagine…

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Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: Academic Excellence Will Only Get You So Far

“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” - Thomas Wolfe My friend’s 16-year old daughter loves to cook.  She takes the culinary class offered at her school, pores over the glossy photos in cookbooks and makes a mean pineapple chicken.  When I asked if she was going to pursue culinary arts in college she sighed and said that she didn’t want to work in the restaurant business.  She explained that the hours were terrible and a lot of restaurants fail. My stepson is really good with kids.  It is…

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Healing Moments on Juneteenth (and Beyond)

Today is Juneteenth and it is wonderful (but overdue) to see how quickly companies and states have embraced this moment in time to recognize it as a day of observation and declaring it a holiday. This week New York, Virginia, Oregon and Philadelphia announced they will also make Juneteenth an official holiday. Yesterday it was put forth as a bill in Congress to make it a federal holiday. Hopefully next time this year we will all be observing it officially and coming together to commemorate this critical historic milestone in our nation’s history.  Juneteenth is the oldest commemoration of the end of…

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Techlegality: The Intersection of Healthcare, Law, and Tech – Interview with Damika W. Barr

There is no question that technology is shaping the future of healthcare, especially now. I recently had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Damika W. Barr, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Verily Life Sciences. Wearing many titles, Damika is a wife, mother, attorney, thought leader, and healthcare champion. Throughout the course of our discussion, Damika shared great insight into her career path and how she navigates a role uniquely positioned at the intersection of healthcare, law, and technology. I enjoyed every moment of this interview, and I hope the same for you.  VW: Let’s get right…

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How to Design an Engaging Virtual Summer Associate Program (6/24 at 12 PM)

How to Design an Engaging Virtual Summer Associate Program featuring Ms. JD CEO Danielle Allison & Digital Project Masters Founder and CEO Erica Peterson  ~Wednesday, June 24 at 12 PM ET~ rescheduled from 6/17     RSVP  

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Support Black Owned Small Businesses: My Favorite Stores

Dear readers, I am finally emerging from a long writing break.  We’ve been working hard behind-the-scenes on Ms. JD’s Board of Directors to help keep our organization running during this defining moment.  Your membership and support is critical and we are grateful for everyone’s engagement with our unique community.  I am newly inspired to share some fresh content with you for hopefully a long time to come.  Let’s get started!  Firstly, if you haven’t checked out Ms. JD’s Covid-19 resource page and Opportunities Board, run don’t walk on over to our site.  Hopefully you’ve been taking part in our Virtual…

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Ms. JD Virtual Toolkit: Refining your Business Development Plan for Evolving Times (6/18)

Ms. JD Virtual Toolkit Webinar Series "Refining your Business Development Plan for Evolving Times" featuring Diane Darling, Host of the Virtual Cafe, McGraw-Hill Author, Virtual Speaker, LinkedIn Aficionado, Consultant, and Coach Register today at

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Practice Pointers – Investing in Your Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and I couldn’t let these 31 days go by without addressing mental health and the practice of law. So here I am anxiously asking myself what I want to say at 8:41 pm on Sunday, May 31. (Full credit goes to my generalized anxiety disorder for this latest installment of “Natasha psyched herself out and procrastinated yet again even though she knows she shouldn’t.”) It would be the understatement of the year to say that lawyers suffer from a mental health and substance abuse epidemic. ALM’s most recent Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey…

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Motion to Dismiss Due to Perjured Grand Jury Testimony

We barely found out that our Motion to Dismiss due to the destruction of documents was denied when we learned that Scott, my former Fund III colleague and one of the Government's cooperating witnesses, lied under oath. Scott testified to the Grand Jury to get me charged and now, he had been charged with perjury.  He immediately pled guilty. This development seemed so ironic since Scott was the only one of the Fund III management committee that was offered an immunity deal and all he had to do was tell the truth and cooperate. I was always puzzled by the…

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