Ms. JD is Now Accepting Applications for Its 2018 Writers in Residence Program!

Ms. JD is currently seeking applications for our 2018 Writers in Residence Program. The Writers in Residence program was started in 2010 and is a select group of practicing attorneys, alternative career individuals, pre-law students, current law students, and other professionals who contribute monthly articles for one year to the Ms. JD blog on a topic of their choosing. Some blog titles this year were: Concrete Ceilings and Open Doors: Women of Color & The Law, Drive Your Journey, Monthly Mantra: Finding Health and Wellness in the Law, Failure Turned Inside Out, The Road Less Traveled: Alternative Legal Paths, The M in…

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Tips for building a Legal Career when you have Caring Responsibilities

In many law school lecture halls, you will now find at least as many women as men.  There are also more students starting higher education (or retraining for a career change) in later life than ever before.  The logical consequence of this is, that more people than ever are having to balance home life commitments with the demands of studying.  And few career paths are as demanding as law! While it isn't only women who have to deal with caring responsibilities, the reality is that we tend to be the ones performing balancing acts more often.  And it's not just children…

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Relevancy of Linguistics: Power From Categories

INTRODUCTION At its core, feminism is equality for women. There are different forms of feminism each uniquely named and categorized by how a person defines equality and the route a person utilizes to achieve equality. These names and categories quickly identify a person’s beliefs as it relates to women’s rights. Ultimately, recognizing common ground and subtle differences enables groups to form and work towards achieving a unified purpose--whether that purpose is short term or long term. This article discusses the power of linguistics, the likelihood that you are a feminist, and why different categories of feminism matter—especially to lady lawyers.…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: I Don’t Scare Easy

Name: Joy Harper Professional Title: Vice President Capital Markets Tax Sector: Asset Management Law School: Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State Specialization: International Tax and Taxation of Financial Instruments and Products Trusted Advisor “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Any Godfather fan knows that Don Vito Corleone was, frighteningly, a man of his word, but it was his trusted advisor who ensured that Corleone escaped legal reprimand for his chilling antics. Joy Harper became enamored with the advisor’s innate ability to problem solve as a means to effectively advocate for his boss Corleone. Mix that along with her…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Law Firms for Women Lawyers——How Reliable Are the Lists?

I know that I have published list after list of the "Best Firms for Women Lawyers" over the years in my blogs and on my website.  It seems like the right thing to do for someone who has been devoted to the retention and advancement of women lawyers for more than a decade.  But, honestly, I did it with some reluctance.  I always was a little skeptical about how those lists were compiled, whether the research was based on an even playing field for all contenders, and the nature of the relationships between the ranking entities and the firms ranked…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Women’s Initiatives in BigLaw Make Work-Life Balance Better for Everyone

Throughout 1L year the pressure was on to make grades that could score you a spot at a BigLaw job. This pressure seems to weigh down on everyone even though only a small percentage of the 1L class will be considered qualified to work at and will actually work at a BigLaw job. As 2L year approached, my friends and I entered the OCI process and submitted ourselves to a roller coaster of emotions. Personally, I applied to jobs and came into OCI incredibly skeptical and a little awestruck. I was suspicious that the benefits of working in BigLaw actually…

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Introducing the Zehl & Associates, P.C., New and Improved Law Scholarship

We at Ms. J.D. are always here as a resource for students from pre-law onward. So, if you are a high school or college student consider applying for a new scholarship provided by Zehl & Assocites. See the information below:  Zehl & Associates is very excited to tell you that we are offering a $2,000 scholarship. Zehl & Associates is interested in knowing how you would improve the legal system. Would you create a new law? Is there a current law that you would improve upon? If so, what would you do and what details would be changed.  Eligibility Requirements In…

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Take Two: The Journey to Retaking the Bar—Should I Go To Law School?

When I was in law school, I met several attorneys, and I would always ask the same question: what advice do you have for someone in law school? Too often the answer was “I wish I never went” or “Don’t go to law school.” Later when I was asked for advice on whether to go to law school, I would joke and say no, but I would also ask the person why. It’s a question that’s never truly thought about. Why? Why do you want to go to law school? Why do you want to be a lawyer? What’s the…

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Ms. JD’s Inaugural NWLSO Leadership Academy

On September 22-23rd, I traveled across the country to attend the Ms. JD's Inaugural NWLSO Leadership Academy: from Las Vegas, NV to Cambridge, MA. A little over two weeks later and I am still feeling the excitement and inspiration I garnered from being in a room full of incredible women in leadership roles at their respective law schools. A little over two weeks later and I have implemented ideas and suggestions given to me from speakers, and other attendees in my own law school. A little over two weeks later and I see the attendee's on Facebook cheering each other on…

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Women of Color At Work: Finding The Support To Hold You Up When Leaning In Isn’t Enough

I’ve read so much commentary following Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, that leaning in for women of color in the workplace presents a different set of challenges. The book encourages women to speak up in order to advance their careers and to not count themselves out too early in process. As Sandberg notes, women “leave before they leave,” meaning women deliberately hold themselves back because eventually they may need to give up their careers for marriage, child-rearing and/or other life circumstances. Sandberg challenges women to stay the course. However, as the criticism of…

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