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Paula Edgar

Esquisite Paths: Rhonda Joy McLean

Rhonda Joy McLean is an inspiration.  I first met Rhonda briefly when she was honored at the Association of Black Women Attorneys (ABWA)’s 30th Anniversary gala.  One of my mentors took me to the event and told me that I had to meet her.   Rhonda has the type of spirit that makes you want to hug her often and sit cross-legged in her living room listening to her tell stories.  I was excited to learn more about her path as an attorney in New York City.  During our conversation, Rhonda spoke about many topics, including her experience integrating an all-white…

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Breaking Chains to Build New Links: Social Media

If you are anything like me, you have never approached networking or self promotion in a systematic way.  In fact, you may be terrified of it.  Yet, our ability to network and self promote is essential for building a client base, building our own name, and building our careers.  Each month I’m going to tackle one strategy for networking or self promotion in an effort to help all of us break the chains we’ve put around ourselves and begin building new links.  If you have a topic you’d like covered, e-mail me at    This month we’re talking about…

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Ursula Furi-Perry Esq.

Ms. Prof: Socratic? So Ineffective!

Admittedly, I have some beef with the Socratic method.  For starters, “Researchers…cite the use of the Socratic method in the classroom and the faculty's emphasis on linear thinking at the expense of student creativity and personal values,” write Todd David Peterson and Elizabeth Waters Peterson in their article, Stemming the Tide of Law Student Depression: What Law Schools Need to Learn from the Science of Positive Psychology. “Others have found that law school fosters certain personality traits in its students that can lead to unhappiness, such as defensiveness and pessimism.” See 9 Yale J. Health Pol'y, L. & Ethics 357…

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Lawyering and Living for Less: Start a Firm Without Spending a Fortune

It's no secret that the legal job market is in depressingly terrible shape.  Ask any recent or prospective law school graduate about their career plans (if you dare) and you'll hear stories of grads fighting tooth and nail for legal assistant and paralegal positions, planning their return to pre-law jobs, or perfecting their latte-making skills.But many recent grads are taking a leap and putting their legal skills to work by forming a solo practice.  Starting a firm has many benefits - you can work when and where you want, practice whatever kind of law strikes your fancy, and be your…

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Vado Porro

Running from the Law: Finish Strong

 In less than a month, I will be able to follow my name with the letters "J.D."  This three year, six semester, incredibly challenging journey will be over, and I will stand at the beginning of the rest of my life.  May 10th is graduation day.  It's the finish line.  It's what we're running towards. At the same time, I'm training for my second half-marathon.  I'm on a mission to beat the course closing time of 3:15; but I'm also on a mission to beat my last half-marathon time of 2:20.  My friend who I run races with is training with…

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Me and the Boys

Forget the Linen Closet: The Perpetually Pregnant Law Student

I was eight and a half months pregnant with our second child when I started law school.  And I was terrified.  Add that to the fact that I was wait-listed and only allowed into the school three weeks before classes started, I did not feel like I belonged there. Needing reassurance, I called up the Dean of Student Services the day before orientation to inform her of my condition. (Translation: Is it actually okay for pregnant women to come to law school?)  My inquiry must have sounded something like, "I'm pregnant.... orientation.... due date..... um....?" The Dean, being a very…

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Ask Miranda Pennoyer: of ABBA & Electioneering

It’s time once again for “Ask Miranda Pennoyer,” the column that answers your questions about life, liberty, and the pursuit of billable hours.  This columnist is one the few to be recognized by members of the ABBA as both a Super Trouper and a Dancing Queen.    So now, it’s time to get to the name of the game: questions from our loyal readers.  Our first is an issue that touches all legal professionals, but only in appropriate places.   Q.  Last week, an interviewer asked me how I feel about pro bono work.  My question is, can anyone be anti-bono?…

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What Not to Do, Part II: Always Be Prepared

Always be prepared. One really can’t really stress how undervalued this advice is. It is common sense, but often ignored at the most inconvenient times. Especially for a law student during interview season.. It was fall of 2009 and Alex had her eye on a mid-sized local firm with seemingly great people and a wide selection of practice areas. The brief and glaringly cursory on-campus interview had gone well. She had worn a conservative black suit, brought the right portfolio, and smiled and engaged with the two partners at exactly the right moments. They seemed to have clicked. So she…

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Mikki Collier

Couture-At-Law: Accessory Report

So many women attorneys allow themselves to fall into a wardrobe rut (insert the term 'frumpy attorney' here). Day after day, they drag themselves to work wearing the same old tired clothes without care or concern for their appearance . For some, the daily demands of the profession do not allow for the time or mental space necessary to put towards creating a stylish outfit. For others, the thought of putting together a look that is both chic and conservative is daunting, so they simply give up . But consider this, in today's ultra-competitive environment, advancing in the profession is…

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Small Firm Life - Office Friendships

My office has a total of 25 employees; only 4 of these employees are men. Since women tend to build relationships by connecting with each other, it’s hard to draw a line between friendships and professional relationships in my office. Although we have smaller cliques within the office, in general everyone is friendly with everyone else, except those women who refuse to develop friendships, even professional friendships, with the other women. Recently I have read several articles cautioning against friendships in the workplace, and while in theory I agree, I have witnessed the following occurrences when people have avoided friendships…

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