The number one piece of career advice I’ve received? “Can’t hurt, might help.”

“Can’t hurt, might help.” That’s what the partner I was working with said to me when I was a year or so into my big law career. The context? I can’t quite recall. But insert your situation of choice, and I promise you, those four words can work wonders. Deceptively simple, “can’t hurt, might help” has the extraordinary ability to silence the naysayers that live in my mind. You know the ones – they tell you you’re not smart enough or that the question you want to ask is stupid. And they get louder and more deafening right when you…

read more


5 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Conference as a Law Student

Editor's Note: In preparation for our upcoming 12th Annual Conference in March, I'll be sharing highlights from some of our past conferences. Enjoy!  I have had the honor and privilege of attending several conferences this past year, one of which was the Ms. JD Annual Conference. While I did attend numerous networking events as a 1L, these conferences provided a different experience and allowed me to engage with lawyers from across the country. Although it may be daunting to attend a national conference, here are five reasons why it should be a “must-do” on your law school to-do list. Immersion in a…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

January is Mentoring Month for All Young Lawyers

  January is Mentoring Month.  It is a way of bringing attention to the importance of mentoring to young and inexperienced workers in a variety of jobs.  Workers who wish to advance to levels of management and leadership in their chosen work lives need mentoring to get there. The value of effective mentoring is not only recognized widely, but it also plays out in the lives of managers and leaders throughout our country and the world.  Those managers and leaders likely would not have gotten to such heights without help from mentors. The law business is no different.  Mentoring is…

read more


The 2020 Ms. JD Fellowship Application is now OPEN!

The Ms. JD Fellowship, one of our most popular programs, application is now OPEN!  In 2010, Ms. JD partnered with the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession to found the Ms. JD Fellowship. The Fellowship is Ms. JD's program to promote mentoring and professional development. Each spring, Ms. JD selects a group of outstanding second year law students as Fellowship recipients. In addition to receiving invitations and financial support to attend ABA and Ms. JD events, each Fellowship recipient is paired with a mentor chosen from among the Brent Award honorees, Spirit of Excellence Award recipients, and ABA Commission on Women in…

read more


The Confidence Equation: How To Stand Out As A New Face In Big Law

If applying for work at a prestigious law firm is anxiety-provoking, actually getting the gig can be even more frightening. Now you’re the new face in the office, surrounded by established lawyers, and that’s enough to trigger a serious case of imposter syndrome, especially as a woman. Do you really belong here? Will you succeed? The fact is, though finding your footing can be a challenge, doubting yourself won’t help. No, now is the time to fake it til you make it and even take some risks. As a new member of the team, you have little to lose and…

read more


5 Practical Tips for New Lawyers to Avoid Depression

A survey from the ABA Young Lawyers Division found that 41% of female attorneys were unhappy with their jobs. A highly cited study from Johns Hopkins University of more than 100 occupations found that lawyers had the highest incidence of depression. While these figures are alarming, it’s not surprising that many lawyers are depressed. After all, the practice of law is inherently stressful. It’s a demanding career, and some days, it feels as if the work will never be done. For new lawyers, the first few years can be especially stressful. Here are five practical tips to help prevent depression.…

read more


Ms. JD’s Report Card: 2018 Annual Conference “Her Story”

Editor's Note: In preparation for our upcoming 12th Annual Conference in March, I'll be sharing highlights from some of our past conferences. Enjoy!  On March 8th and 9th of 2018, Ms. JD hosted its annual conference at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. The theme of the conference was “Her Story,”  and many of the talks and panels focused on the different journeys of the speakers. This was my first time attending a Ms. JD conference, and I was not sure what to expect, as I was attending by myself. I must say I was pleasantly surprised!…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

The Reality of Non-Equity Partnership

Lawyers at all levels of practice can be valuable members of the profession and can find satisfaction in their work.  That is a given, and the decision where you want to fall along the gamut is up to you.  But, before you put that decision in motion, be sure that you understand the terms.  For law firms, that includes being familiar with the ins and outs of non-equity partnership. Non-equity partnership sounds good to many young lawyers who think they understand the demands of equity partnership and want something less. The thinking goes something like this:  I will still have an…

read more


Why Can’t Law Firms Retain Their Female and Minority Lawyers? Because Conformity is Exhausting.

A common topic of conversation among my female professional friends is how much of our work lives are controlled by gender and racial stereotypes.  The most common one is being told to smile.  I can’t tell you how many times in my working life that a male partner or associate has walked into my office while I was deep in thought working on a brief or an important client memo and looked at me and said, “is there something wrong?” or “are you ok?” When I say that everything is fine, they often say something like, “you’re not smiling, you…

read more


Apply to Join Ms. JD’s Board of Directors!

Ms. JD is seeking diverse leaders in the legal community who are passionate about improving the experiences of women law students and lawyers to join our Board of Directors. Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring the success of aspiring and early career women lawyers. Ms. JD is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of law students and attorneys, who are supported by our Chief Executive Officer, a small group of independent contractors, and our vast network of volunteers. Ms. JD is a 501(c)(3), incorporated in California. Serving as a unique nexus between the legal…

read more

 < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›

Join Us

Contribute to our blog and join the discussion.



Enter your email address to receive regular updates, news, and events.

Connect with us

Follow or subscribe