How Following her Instinct and Passions took Heather Washington from the Law Firm to the Film Set

Go to law school, work for a firm, make lots of money, rinse wash and repeat. The typical story for most attorneys was not the path set out for Heather Washington. I had the opportunity to speak with Heather and pick her brain on how she became the Feature Film Executive that she is today. Heather is a Howard University and University of Pennsylvania Law School alum, and she relentlessly followed her inspirations in the Entertainment business. After working for two prestigious law firms, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and DLA Piper, Heather found her calling and her passion in…

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Getting the Most Out of Your First Few Years as an Attorney

The first few years of being an attorney come with so many questions, challenges, and excitement all in one. As a new personal injury lawyer myself, it's been a whirlwind. This is the time to learn as much as you can and take the world by storm. A few helpful tips to get the most out of your first few years after law school can serve you well:  Be Prepared to Jump Right In. The world of law is a fast-paced place. Especially for my fellow females in law, learn to be aggressive! You will have a unique perspective on cases - so…

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Susan Smith Blakely

How Women Lawyers Perceive Men’s Behavior

It can be difficult to know how men and women are supposed to relate to each other in the workplace these days.  What is too much affection, and, God forbid, what is too much touching?  I have seen close colleagues in an office awkwardly come together for either a handshake or a hug or a cheek kiss, and it is not certain where the gesture will end up.  It resembles some kind of crane-like mating dance, and it is, of course, because they are uncertain about what is appropriate and not appropriate and what is allowed and not allowed.  It…

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Michelle Banks: How Risk Taking and Dedication to Supporting Women Led her to a Successful Career

Michelle Banks is one of 2018 Ms. J.D "Her Story" Conference Key Note speakers. As a former EVP Sustainability & Global General Counsel, Michelle is currently an executive coach, a frequent speaker on leadership, and a nonprofit board member. Michelle completed her education at UCLA and continued to give back, not only through her organization LEAD but as an Executive Coach to corporate counsel. Michelle started her career by taking huge leaps of faith. At the first opportunity, Michelle flew to Japan and worked as the only woman at one of the largest Japanese trading companies. Her leaps of faith, perseverance, and confidence in herself, helped shape her career as…

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Fix Your Own Mess - Sincerely, WOC

A few weeks ago, all the first-year law students at Harvard Law attended a lecture about a study called “The Women and Men of Harvard Law School: Preliminary Results from the HLS Career Study.” This lecture included many statistics that surprised and disappointed many of the female students. As it turns out, the patriarchy does not care if you have a shiny and overpriced degree from an elite school. Harvard Law women are not immune to the clout of the wage gap. But missing from the presentation was an analysis of race. Where do female lawyers of color fit into…

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The Olympics and Me Too - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

In honor of today’s Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, I thought we would take a brief look at women’s participation in the Olympics. The Olympics have not always been, and it can be argued, continues to be hostile to women’s involvement. In fact, though the Olympic games in Ancient Greece included foot races for unmarried girls, women were banned from the first modern Olympics in 1896.  Women’s involvement in the Olympics and sports, in general, were openly criticized by the founder of the Modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. According to the Baron, participation in sports destroyed a woman’s…

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My ‘JD Preferred’ Story

I suppose I should start with an introduction, though I suspect that by the end of this post it will read more like an Ode to Compliance.  I consider myself one of the lucky ones who pretty much knew what they wanted to do with their career since a young age.  Once I got over the ‘I want to be a librarian because I like books’ and ‘chef because I like food’ aspirations of second grade, I became drawn towards law because of the endless debates I’d undertake with friends and family. (As it turns out lawyers do debate endlessly, and…

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Still Not Enough

The relationship between tribes and the federal government is unlike that of any other group of people. The history between the two has severely hindered tribal sovereignty and way of life. Federal Indian policy has swung back and forth for and against tribal self-determination, but always with the goal of assimilation. Due to a series of Supreme Court jurisprudence and Congressional legislation, tribes are designated as domestic dependent nations with Congress holding plenary power over Indian affairs. Tribal sovereignty is also severely hindered by jurisdictional limitations put in place by the federal government and as a result of such federal…

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Susan Smith Blakely

If Notorious RBG Is Encouraged about the Future For Women Lawyers, I’m ALL IN!

By all accounts, the appearance of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg yesterday at NYU Law was a huge success.  As always, she had interesting perspective on the past and future of women lawyers and on workplace dynamics.  Here is a link to coverage of the event. I heard Justice Ginsburg speak at a law banquet years ago, and I found her completely believable, entertaining and without a scintilla of hubris.  What you see is exactly what you get with her.  Her sense of humor alone is so charming when combined with the realization that she is one of the most powerful…

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Ms. JD Herstory Series: “Inspirational” – Maleaha Brown

The Ms. JD Herstory Series is a project associated with the “Her Story ” themed 2018 Ms. JD Conference. It is a blog posting series that features summaries of interviews with members of the Ms. JD family conducted by Shanice Hinckson, a 2017-2018 Ms. JD Fellow. These summaries portray each person’s account of the influence Ms. JD has had on their lives. Furthermore, it highlights Ms. JD as an important contribution to the legal community and an advocate for stories that refrain from marginalizing the woman’s perspective. Inspirational “When I think of her story, I think about the movie ‘Hidden…

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