Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: Is Self-Employment For You?

Being a self-employed means you work 12 hours a day for yourself so you don't have to work 8 hours a day for someone else. - Oliver Markus Malloy After twenty years at law firms, I left with my book of business and opened up my own practice.  Words  really can’t express the sheer happiness I have experienced since then.  I bill fewer hours but take home significantly higher compensation.  I actually enjoy practicing law again.  I am finally able to combine my international practice with my love of travel, resulting in more trips abroad to meet with clients and…

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Ms. JD Virtual Toolkit: Cultivating Relationships from a Distance (4/9)

Ms. JD Virtual Toolkit Webinar Series "Cultivating Relationships from a Distance" with Monica Phillips, President of Spark Plug Labs Register today at

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Are Held Back by Childcare Responsibilities:  What Are Law Firms Doing About It?

The National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) issued the One Third By 2020 Challenge in 2006, calling for law firms to have one-third of their equity partners be women by 2020. At the end of 2019, law firms collectively had achieved only 19 percent. One reason for the slower than predicted ascent of women lawyers to ownership positions in law firms is that women bear the major responsibility for childcare.  Tech-assisted flexibility makes it possible for women to service clients, but that flexibility doesn't extend into the "realm of developing a book of business," according to Jennifer Minter, Chair of…

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Desi Advocacy: Conversation with Natasha Pardawala, Litigation Associate at Latham & Watkins, LLP

I had the exciting opportunity to interview Ms. Natasha Pardawala, an Associate at Latham & Watkins, LLP. Natasha stands out as an associate who has already developed extensive experience early in her career. Having started to hone her advocacy skills from a young age on her high school and college mock trial and speech and debate teams, Natasha also worked as a Conflicts Assistant at Latham and interned for the Orange County Office of the Public Defender prior to attending law school at Northwestern University. During law school, she served as a Summer Associate at Latham as a rising 2L and 3L.…

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Skimming the Surface: National Space Legislation

Last post was focused on international space law. This post will focus on national space law. National space law can be defined as national legislation governing space related activities.[1] National legislation is relevant vis a vis space law because of the increase of private actors in the exploration and travel to space.  It is estimated that private actors will spend close to 1 trillion dollars, this year alone, in conducting space related activities. These private actors need to be regulated. The treaties mentioned in my previous post, cover only state activities in space, not the actions of private parties or…

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Ms. JD Virtual Toolkit Webinar Series: Tuesdays & Thursdays in April from 2 - 3 PM ET

Ms. JD is thrilled to invite our readers and community members to participate in our Ms. JD Virtual Toolkit webinar series over the next few weeks!   Each Tuesday and Wednesday in April from 2 -3 PM ET we will explore a cutting edge topic. Planned speakers and topics include:  April 2, 2020: Best Practices for Working Remotely, with Erica Peterson (Founder & CEO, Digital Project Masters)  April 7, 2020: Financial Management in Times of Uncertainty, with Amy Irvine (CFP®, EA, MPAS®, CCFC)  April 9, 2020: Cultivating Relationships from a Distance, with Monica Phillips (President, Spark Plug Labs)  April 14, 2020: Bar Exam Preparation During a…

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Practice Pointers - Communicating Your Value

When I was on dating apps, my profile said I worked at “Yet Another Law Firm.” I thought it was cheeky at the time. But now that I’m a legal recruiter, I’ve realized that what I thought was a funny joke is unfortunately how so many lawyers very seriously brand themselves. How many of you have seen or have a LinkedIn profile that reads something like this? "Associate/Attorney at XYZ [firm/company/agency/nonprofit]." I.e., “yet another lawyer” at “yet another place.” As lawyers, we spend long days and nights advocating for and advising others. We get entrenched in minute details to provide…

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Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all: I have to admit—I’m overworked!

“Ms. Ellison, will you come see me in the jail this week?” “Ms. Ellison, can you file a bond motion for me to be taken off house arrest? It’s affecting my everyday life making it almost impossible for me to care for my family.” “Ms. Ellison, I know I missed court, but can you please get my warrant lifted today?” “Ms. Ellison, this is your client’s girlfriend, I need to talk to you. Please call me as soon as possible!” “Ms. Ellison, I know you got me a signature bond several times now, but can you please get me another…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Why Would You Risk It?

Today I am frustrated with some of you.  Particularly the millennials among you and especially the Gen Z-ers.  And this is unusual for me, as you know, because I am generally very supportive of young people.  I even wrote a book about millennial lawyers and what you want from employers, supervisors and managers.  In other words, I have had your collective back. But, if you are on Bourbon Street celebrating spring break from colleges, universities and law schools and congregating and socializing in close quarters, you are not living up to my expectations.  You also are not meeting the expectations…

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Everything is Reproductive Justice—An Unbought and Unbossed RJ Advocate

     On the heels of Black History Month, the beginning of Women’s History Month, and amidst the presidential primaries, a spotlight on Shirley Chisholm seems apropos for an “Everything is Reproductive Justice” blog. “That I am a national figure because I was the first person in 192 years to be at once a congressman, black, and a woman proves...that our society is not yet either just or free.”       16 Black women including retired, Shirley Chisholm got together in the summer of 1989 and signed “We Remember,” a brochure and first-of-its-kind collective statement supporting abortion access. The brochure offered a…

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