Now Accepting Applications: 2020 Writers in Residence Program

Ms. JD is currently seeking applications for our 2020 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: "The Mental Load: Learning to Say No", "Five Tips to Maximize Your Efficiency When In-House", "Why Can’t Law Firms Retain Their Female and Minority Lawyers? Because Conformity is Exhausting", "Purpose Over Paycheck" and many many…

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Join Ms. JD as our Social Media Coordinator!

Do you have crazy social media skills? Is your smart phone always ready to Tweet, Pin, and Post? Do you have a passion for women helping women? If you answered yes to these questions, you might be just the person we are looking for!  Ms. JD is seeking a part-time Social Media Coordinator to join us as an independent contractor to help build and manage our social media outreach strategies. As an independent contractor, the Social Media Coordinator will exercise her or his own independent judgment and discretion to support Ms. JD’s online presence. What will you be doing? As…

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Meet Ms. JD’s 2019 Fellows

Ms. JD is proud to announce this year’s outstanding class of 2019 Fellows! This year’s fellows are from schools from coast to coast and present a broad spectrum of experience and legal interests.  The 2019 Ms. JD Fellowship Winners are: Maia Bartee, University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law Aubre Dean, Syracuse University College of Law Idia Egonmwan, Howard University School of Law Cristina Gil, American University Washington College of Law Alana Glover, University of Baltimore School of Law Candace Goldman, Southern University Law Center  Nina Neff, University of Wisconsin Law School  Rima Sawhney, California Western School of Law …

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Healing Hurt With High Heels:  How One Aspiring Law Student Helps Others Heal from Domestic Violence

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, [1] so this article shares the story of a pre-law student who started her own nonprofit organization for survivors of domestic violence after surviving domestic violence herself.  I am honored to share this conversational interview I had with Ronshanda “Nikki” Chaney about how she found purpose from her pain and in turn helps others heal through her novels and organization, Heel My Heart.  --- Nikki, thank you so much for taking time to answer questions for me as the October member spotlight for Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind!  Let’s start off with…

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Susan Smith Blakely

The Importance of Feedback for Millennial Lawyers

Millennial lawyers need feedback from supervising attorneys on a project basis --- not just once or twice a year in scheduled reviews.  That is well-established.  People in positions like mine hear it all the time, and we know how important feedback is to junior lawyers --- especially those who were raised with an abundance of feedback and mostly praise. What does not get as much attention is the critical failure by law firms to revise review policies and mentoring efforts to meet the feedback needs of young lawyers.   As I have stated to law firm and bar association audiences…

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Where Are All the (Asian American) Female Lawyers?

In my ongoing discussion about why women lawyers leave law firms, I want to take a look at why one subset in particular leaves at higher rates than all others:  Asian American women.  So why are Asian American women leaving law firms?  My personal answer:  Statistical Probability.  Google this question, and you’ll see article after article about Asian Americans and the practice of law.  And in my very unscientific survey of these articles I note the following: (1) for the last two decades Asian Americans make up the largest minority group within big law firms; (2) Asian Americans have one…

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The Mental Load: Is Impatience a Virtue for Type A Personalities?

I made a quick stop at the grocery store recently to grab a gallon of milk. As I hurried out, the automatic doors opened WAY too slow for my liking. I mean, I practically had to stop dead in my tracks and WAIT for the doors so I could resume my desired pace. You’d think by now they’d make automatic doors that function a little quicker, right? If it hadn’t been for my recent study of Type A personality, I would have ended my train of thought with this agitated observation about the ineptitude of the doors. But I’ve been…

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Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession – An Interview with Rexanah Wyse

For this month's post, I am delighted to feature an interview with Rexanah P. Wyse, a first generation attorney and former prosecutor dedicated to changing the narrative for vulnerable populations.  Rexanah currently works for the federal government where she serves on a policy team that is focused on youth homelessness, criminal justice, racial equity, human trafficking, and ending homelessness for families.   Could you tell Ms. JD blog readers about your background and what prompted you to apply to law school? My lineage is directly tied to Sierra Leone in West Africa.  A small developing nation with a powerful history of…

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What is the #1 Piece of Career Advice You Have Received?

After almost twenty years of practicing law at larger firms, I have been craving the freedom of setting my own schedule and the ability to work from home for a very long time.  My hesitation to go out on my own was rooted in the uncertain financial nature of self-employment. After several meetings with colleagues, I felt strongly guided that it was finally time to start my own practice. One colleague and I discussed working together on a contract basis. This arrangement meant that I would remain self-employed, but that she could give me a minimum amount of work each…

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Law School Activities

Several 1L law students have asked me what activities they should look into joining while in law school. They also have asked me the practical benefits of joining organizations in law school. The short answer is that joining an activity will significantly enhance the law school experience. Activities are a great way to meet new people and an even better way to strengthen leadership skills and gain practical tools necessary for the practice of law. What organizations an individual should join depends greatly on what you seek to gain from the organization. For instance, many law school students seek to…

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