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…

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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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New Ms. JD President: Standing Together Rising Together

     I am honored and excited to serve as the next President of Ms. JD.  I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know many of you.  For those I have not met, my Ms. JD story started in 2011. I was in my last year of law school at SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas, Texas. I was the outgoing President of Women in Law (WIL), and I was looking for an event that the incoming WIL President and I could attend together. We travelled to Los Angeles for the Ms. JD Conference. It was…

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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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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: In a recent Podcast with Christina Martini, you said new lawyers should show enthusiasm. Is “show enthusiasm” code for “work 70 hours a week as a new attorney?” How would you advise a new attorney who is not physically able to put in those hours to demonstrate commitment or worth, or is working long hours the only acceptable method? A: This is the second part of my answer to the question. In my column last month, I focused on ways to show that you are “all in” so that senior lawyers are more likely to invest in your career…

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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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All Legal Jobs Are Not Created Equal

Whether you have just passed the bar exam or have been practicing law for years, keep in mind that every legal job has its own unique situation. Not every job will be right for every job seeker, but there are indicators that can guide you in determining which job offer be a good fit for you. The Interview Liz Ryan, an HR expert, gives ten reasons you should run away from a job offer. Asking to read the employee handbook at your interview, prior to receiving a job offer, is her first tip. Reviewing that handbook in order to see how…

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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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