Crystaleellison

What is the number one piece of career advice that you have received?

In the wake of social media, it’s easy to get bogged down with someone else’s success making one feel inadequate, ineffective, under-accomplished or even unworthy. A successful woman once told me, never compare your success or lack thereof with someone else’s because the key to contentment is self-awareness of one’s own abilities. I believe this holds true not only in the legal profession, but with any profession. Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or the like, scrolling through others stories, post or pictures can place you in a state of depression. Often times, people post innumerable content on social media…

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claireeparsons

How I Got Over My Fear of Asking for Things for Me: I Treated Myself Like My Own Client

Editor's Note: This post was previously published on September 18, 2018; however, this advice is quite helpful in ending 2019 on a successful note.  In my practice, I routinely ask for—nay demand—things on behalf of my clients without a second thought: produce the documents, dismiss the complaint, find in my client’s favor, etc. But, when it was time for me to take a step forward in my own career, I was startled to see how hard it was to ask for things for me. To be honest, it felt downright unnatural. This had always been a problem for me. I…

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Caambridge

Bar Classes, Clinics, Electives, & More

Law school is an interesting experience, to say the least. While in law school, it feels as though time is moving at a glacial pace, but before you know it, the time has flown by, and you are closer to the finish line than you realized. With this being said, class selection is crucial because there are a plethora of classes to take in only a short amount of time. Three years seems like a long time until you realize that it is not nearly enough time to take all of the classes you are interested in and that are…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession – An Interview with Devon Holmes

For this month's blog post, I am excited to feature my interview with Devon Holmes, Esq.  Devon is a first generation legal professional from Hazard, Kentucky.  Devon serves as an attorney for Social Security Administration's Office of Appellate Operations and she is passionate about public interest law.   In this interview, Devon explains how growing up in Appalachia helped shape her career trajectory.  She also shares thoughtful advice to first generation law students.   Could you tell Ms. JD blog readers about your background and what prompted you to apply to law school? I was born in Hazard, Kentucky, a town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  My parents were a…

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XpYmu98NtP

The Mental Load: Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken

As I write this blog post, I’ve just wrapped up my daughter’s fifth Halloween dressed as an owl – and she’s only seven years old. So basically, she has chosen to dress like an owl every year that she’s been capable of making her own costume decision. She’s not particularly obsessed with owls the other 364 days of the year, and it continues to surprise me that she sticks to her tried and true costume choice while her peers now delve into popular movie characters or seize the opportunity to don glittery makeup and colored hair. Yet my daughter, thus…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Why Young Lawyers Need Business Plans

As a young lawyer, a business plan may be the farthest thing from your mind.  Billing hours, making your numbers, trying not to look stupid to the partner and, well, just surviving in law practice in the early years are what occupy you.  I understand and remember. But, don't dismiss having a business plan as some other-worldly exercise that is not worthy of your time.  It is more than worthy. I have been preaching --- yes, preaching --- to young women lawyers about the importance of career plans for over a decade, and business plans are the same thing.  All…

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jennyrpatten

Multi-Tasking Self-Care and Professional Development: Podcasts

Like most working professionals, I spend a significant part of my morning and late afternoon commuting to and from the office.  My 30-45 minutes to and from daycare drop-off and the office often are the only time that I have truly to myself, and for a number of years, I’ve spent that time listening to music, participating in work-related conference calls, or using the time to call a friend or family member to catch up.  However, as work and family duties and responsibilities have gradually eroded the time I used to spend for myself, I realized that my commute may…

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Millennial Women

Playing the Long Game

It’s officially Fall! And you know what that means—football season! As we cheer on our favorite teams,* we thought it would be a perfect month to break out our sports analogies. This month, we’re focusing on playing the long game in terms of your career. We’re familiar with these concepts in sports, but they are also true when it comes to careers. What we mean by this is: looking at your career over a period of several years—maybe even a decade or two—instead of just looking six months to a year ahead. It’s tough sometimes, especially as relatively new or…

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marisatashman

Taking Care of Your Future Self During an 80-Hour Week

Like many young ambitious women in the wake of Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement, I often have to make choices between two options that are both necessary: “sleep or work out?”  “meditate or call my mom?” Beginning my career as a litigator at a large law firm in Los Angeles, I’ve been forced to make these choices all too often, eventually transforming into a thought-cycle of not being balanced enough, which inevitably transforms into being hopelessly imbalanced.  Layer on psychosomatic GI issues, migraines, and an unexpected back injury, I turned to a wellness “industry” filled with preachers on becoming perfectly…

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Susan Smith Blakely

How Women Lawyers Are Perceived:  The Double Bind

Perception can be more important than fact.  I learned that when I was Chief of Staff for an elected official.  Politics is ripe for misperception, but the applications go far beyond that setting. Women often are the unfortunate recipients of misperceptions.  And that is especially true of women lawyers.  For example, women lawyers often are judged in a harsher light than their male counterparts when they display assertiveness, self-promotion or anger, according to a survey conducted by the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of Law for the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the Minority Corporate Counsel…

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