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How Following her Instinct and Passions took Heather Washington from the Law Firm to the Film Set

Go to law school, work for a firm, make lots of money, rinse wash and repeat. The typical story for most attorneys was not the path set out for Heather Washington. I had the opportunity to speak with Heather and pick her brain on how she became the Feature Film Executive that she is today. Heather is a Howard University and University of Pennsylvania Law School alum, and she relentlessly followed her inspirations in the Entertainment business. After working for two prestigious law firms, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and DLA Piper, Heather found her calling and her passion in…

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Make Your Presence Known: Tips For Building Your Law Website

In the competition that is big law, women are more likely than men to opt out and enter independent practice – and there are plenty of reasons for that. First, sexism is still a serious barrier to women’s inclusion in major firms and second, for those invested in maintaining work-life balance, independent practice is the place to be. If you’re going to break off from an established practice, though, you’re going to need to build your own online presence. Building your professional online presence isn’t easy, but luckily, plenty of lawyers have been there before. Take a few cues from…

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Selfie with no Filter: the 1L Life - Know Yourself.

“If you were an ingredient in a salad, what would you be?” Immediately after my mentor posed the question, I started desperately hoping she didn’t expect me to come up with an answer. We were discussing an upcoming interview, and this was way out of my comfort zone. Questions like this terrify me. Even though I can prepare all the typical responses about my strengths, weaknesses, and five-year goals, these types of questions make me feel like the interview committee has some sort of inside joke that I’m not in on. She quickly continued with what she would say in…

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Drive Your Journey: No, You Are Not Too Successful to Build Your Brand Online

“I’m already successful. I don’t need social media.” I must admit. Hearing this from attorneys, or any professionals for that matter, is my pet peeve. In my last post, I talked about how to prepare for an online first impression and how utilizing certain strategies can present you as a thought-leader to potential clients or employers. Still, in my conversations, I sometimes have attorneys who feel that, due to their current success, they need not utilize digital media to build their brand. Perhaps, digital media is not for everyone for whatever reason. However, remember: Digital media works for you when…

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Ms. J.D. Attends “Hidden Figures: Honoring Trailblazers in Tampa Bay,” by the FBA-Tampa

Photo by Keith Lindquist After engaging in a bit of observational data analysis, also known as “creeping” on the Federal Bar Association –Tampa Chapter’s event last year, entitled “Staying in the Game: Getting to the Top,” and documenting my experience, I jumped at the opportunity to attend another fantastic, well-thought-out event with the FBA. Appropriately entitled “Hidden Figures,” this event honored Tampa Bay’s legal trailblazers. The individuals recognized have impacted, not just the Florida legal community, but the Nation as a whole. Merely being in the presence of such legal greatness provided palpable energy and a buzz within the Grand…

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A World Without Lawyers

If you read my last blog post, "If It ISn’t Broke, Don't Fix It," then you know that the legal field is changing. Rates are going up, but demand is going down, corporate clients are demanding efficiency through fixed rates, and collection realization has decreased. These bleak statistics are only the tip of the iceberg. Imagine a situation where a teacher uses Word to create a chart for her class. The teacher is so proud of the chart that she saves it as a template. The teacher then uses the template over and over again for many years. At some…

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The Big Picture

In last month’s post, I began with an introduction to my own professional journey in a ‘JD Preferred’ career in Compliance.  This month, I’d like to discuss the concept in a much broader context.  To lay the foundation for future posts (which will be more fun to read, I promise), I’ve got to get some dry information out of the way first here.  Bear with me! JD Advantage I didn’t know this until I started doing research for this column, but apparently this is a thing now.  Starting with the law school Class of 2011, a new term of art…

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You’ll Pay For This: What In The World Does Your Student Loan Statement Say?

I would compare reading about law school loans to watching a car accident happen. You don’t really WANT to watch it, but you also can’t seem to turn away. This month, I am rewarding your curiosity with a more in depth analysis of how student loans work. As you may recall from last month, I spent a good deal of time (almost 2 years) after graduation completely avoiding the fact that I had student loans at all. A big part of the reason I was so scared to even look at my student loan accounts after I graduated was that I…

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#Ms.Cyberlaw: Spotlighting the Supreme Court’s United States v. Microsoft Case

The Supreme Court of the United States began hearing arguments for United States v. Microsoft on February 27, 2018. In case you run into tech nerds from Silicon Valley on the elevator or want to impress your friends over dinner tonight, read on for a short brief outlining the key points needed to familiarize yourself with the case. FACTS: U.S. law enforcement handed Microsoft a search warrant about five years ago while investigating U.S. drug trafficking. Microsoft responded by refusing to hand over the contents of a certain individual’s emails on grounds that the information was stored in a Microsoft…

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Can a Disabled Lawyer Achieve Work-Life Balance?

As I write this, an IV is pumping Remicade into a vein in my right elbow, on the fleshy, inner side. Remicade, a chemotherapeutic agent, treats my Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as the chronic inflammation in my eyes. I’m told that the 22 gauge needle used for the infusion might be more comfortable in another vein, like the big one on the back of my hand. But if the needle’s on the back of my hand, it will be harder to type on my phone. And I have work to do. I’ll be in the infusion center for about 3…

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