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You Don’t Always Get What You Want

As an older student, people always ask me: "Why did you decide to go to law school?" I explain how my skills and abilities match those required by lawyers; and the profession will allow me to help others and make a difference. That response is not untrue; just incomplete. I started law school to regain my confidence in my own merit as an individual. Contrary to lip service, society does not value homemakers’ contributions. We admire money and tangible accomplishments. After leaving a successful career for the opportunity to live abroad, I focused my energy on kids, husband, and home.…

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What Not to Do….

Law school is a roller coaster ride. The trick in embracing 1L year is jumping onboard and holding on tight to survive the ups and downs. Then 2L year rolls around, and seemingly things get easier because classes aren’t as daunting and the Socratic method no longer makes your heart beat faster at the thought of being called on. But one of the most important aspects of law school, which I personally believe is not discussed enough- is the career search. The first hurdle for many students in law school is the elusive 2l summer clerkship then hopefully results in…

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The End Is Only the Beginning

There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning. –Louis L’Amour Nearly three years ago, I made the cross country drive from Atlanta, Georgia to Palo Alto, California to begin my first year at Stanford Law School. Only three months prior, I had just completed my master’s program in philosophy at Emory University. At the time, most of my belongings were packed in my parents’ basement, and I had no idea where I would permanently reside once I got to California. Needless to say, I was a bit overwhelmed. Looking back, I wonder…

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Frank Kimball

Reflections from a Headhunter & Hiring Partner: Stopping Sexual Harassment (Enough is Enough!)

It’s a familiar story. A woman associate is sexually harassed by a partner. The harassment may be subtle or grotesque, occasional or frequent, or hint at a quid pro quo. It may be fueled by martinis at midnight or take place at lunch. It may happen in the office, at a restaurant, or at a firm meeting. Between 5 and 10 percent of the 5,500 women lawyers and law students I’ve met since 1977 report they have been harassed. I believe that number understates the scope of the problem. Firms must enforce a zero-tolerance, no-exception rule against sexual harassment. The…

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Breaking the Chain to Build New Links: Informational Interviews

Note: 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 We’re now in the throes…

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Ashley Dawn Rutherford Esq.

Savvy Shopper-At-Law: Building Your Clerkship Wardrobe 101

So, you are a 1L and you obtained your first clerkship. It is prestigious, but it pays very little. Currently, all of your clothing consists of quirky college t-shirts and worn jeans. So how do you begin creating a work wardrobe on a budget?Savvy Shopper-At-Law is here to help! With a few core pieces, you can create two weeks worth of working wardrobe choices. Additionally, by choosing these purchases wisely, you can save hundreds of dollars and precious time in the mornings. The following pieces can be combined to create at least two weeks worth of work clothing:One skirt suitOne…

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Deal Makers and Breakers: Female Powerhouses and The Corporate Arena

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a couple of my female law school friends. These two women are highly successful students, at the top of their class, and incredibly smart, funny, and talented. In preparation for this column, I had wanted to test my suspicions on what female law students think about corporate law and the attorneys who practice it. These two women were the perfect subjects. Between discussing up-in-coming law school events and legal accounting classes, I posed this question: “What comes to mind when you think of a thriving, high-powered business lawyer?” And, without hesitation, my…

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Paula Edgar

Esquisite Paths: Sheila Boston

I wanted to write this column to tap into the sisterhood we all share and the special sorority we all join when we get a JD. I hope that the women I introduce to you in this column will serve as legal role models and virtual mentors – and I think that my first subject is a fantastic start! You’ll have to excuse me - during interviews I teeter between the roles of interested colleague, young attorney, adoring fan and nosey neighbor. When deciding who I would interview first for this column, I knew I wanted to speak with Sheila…

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Vado Porro

Running from the Law

If you have any desire to run a marathon, complete a triathlon, take sword-swallowing or firewalking lessons, or participate in any other activity you find challenging or completely terrifying but think would be kind of cool, the best time to do it is when you are in your first year of law school. This is because, during your first year, there is no activity that is worse than law school. My first year of law school, running was usually the best part of my day. It was my only chance for fresh air, personal space, and time to think about…

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Naming It, Claiming It: Pursuing a Legal Life on California’s Central Coast

Note: On January 1, my husband and I made a resolution for the New Year: we would move to California's Central Coast before the end of 2010. This series will chronicle the career component of our journey as I attempt to make connections, build a network, and, hopefully (fingers crossed!), find a legal job in the next twelve months.     This column was born at Brent's Delicatessen in Northridge, California. Ms. JD's Executive Director and I had met for lunch and, over two heaping plates of cheese blintzes and potato pancakes, she convinced me that I should document my adventure.…

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