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Bar Prep with a Family

Studying with a toddler has been a bit of a challenge. Most people have the opportunity to do homework in the early evenings or on weekends. In fact, I even had that opportunity during my first year, while pregnant. But now, early evenings at our house are dedicated to dinner with the family, bath time, bedtime routine, and extra snuggles. Weekends are usually out as well because it is the only time we have to spend together as a family. That leaves late evenings to do homework. My son usually goes to sleep around 8pm these days. Usually. As he…

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Drive Your Journey: A Transition to a Holistic Career Journey

I applied to be a Ms. JD Writer-in-Residence to provide tips to women law students and lawyers on how to best deal with change. I have always known that life is filled with both desired and undesired transitions. Personally, I had a significant change in my life as I lost my fiancé unexpectedly. This transition in my life led to a mindset shift as I think about my career moving forward. Even more than ever, I understand the importance of a holistic career journey, a career where “work-life” integration is emphasized more than  “work-life” balance. The need for balance implies…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Lessons from the MCCA Pathways Conference

I had been planning for this month’s post to be about getting organized, because that’s what I’ve been working on in my personal life. In the last few days, though, I was inspired to rewrite. I spent the early part of this week volunteering at the MCCA Pathways Conference, and although I didn’t have much time to sit into sessions, I was able to learn quite a lot. Make success inevitable. Almost everyone is intimated by the prospect of networking, including myself. As a volunteer at Pathways, though, I was joined by a friend of mine who introduced herself to…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: I Don’t Scare Easy

Name: Joy Harper Professional Title: Vice President Capital Markets Tax Sector: Asset Management Law School: Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State Specialization: International Tax and Taxation of Financial Instruments and Products Trusted Advisor “Revenge is a dish best served cold.” Any Godfather fan knows that Don Vito Corleone was, frighteningly, a man of his word, but it was his trusted advisor who ensured that Corleone escaped legal reprimand for his chilling antics. Joy Harper became enamored with the advisor’s innate ability to problem solve as a means to effectively advocate for his boss Corleone. Mix that along with her…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Women’s Initiatives in BigLaw Make Work-Life Balance Better for Everyone

Throughout 1L year the pressure was on to make grades that could score you a spot at a BigLaw job. This pressure seems to weigh down on everyone even though only a small percentage of the 1L class will be considered qualified to work at and will actually work at a BigLaw job. As 2L year approached, my friends and I entered the OCI process and submitted ourselves to a roller coaster of emotions. Personally, I applied to jobs and came into OCI incredibly skeptical and a little awestruck. I was suspicious that the benefits of working in BigLaw actually…

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Monthly Mantra: Finding Health and Wellness in the Law

October Mantra: I will reap my harvest gracefully without diminishing my accomplishments or work. October is harvest time.  It is a time to reap the benefits of seeds sown long ago.  But are you basking in the bounty?  We’ve all said it on the heels of a compliment following a major success.  “Oh, that was nothing.”  But you know what?  Yes, it was something and in many instances it was a whole lot of something.  Don’t get me wrong, grace and humility are important; however, we need to stop diminishing our accomplishments and learn to shine in our successes. Several…

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The Loneliness Of The Work-From-Home Lawyer

We live in an age of unlimited digital connectivity.  Via social media, we can stalk open a dialog with high school classmates, former flames, college roommates, and, even strangers.  10 years ago, when I moved from New York to Hong Kong, Skype was my lifeline into my world back in the States. The tech was easy enough for my parents to use. I helped my then-best friend plan a wedding in real-time despite the vastness of the Pacific Ocean between us. My BlackBerryMessenger (remember that!) and WhatsApp group chats included friends on multiple continents and time zones.  From a professional…

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Tips for building a Legal Career when you have Caring Responsibilities

In many law school lecture halls, you will now find at least as many women as men.  There are also more students starting higher education (or retraining for a career change) in later life than ever before.  The logical consequence of this is, that more people than ever are having to balance home life commitments with the demands of studying.  And few career paths are as demanding as law! While it isn't only women who have to deal with caring responsibilities, the reality is that we tend to be the ones performing balancing acts more often.  And it's not just children…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: Failure is a State of Mind

Name: Ryan S. Ragland, Esq. Professional Title: Municipal Trial Counsel, Hamilton County Public Defender Sector: Public Law School: The Ohio State University Years Practicing: 1.5 years  Area of Specialization: Criminal Defense “I am passionate about making sure they are humanized.”  Full disclosure: the woman I am featuring in this month’s edition of Failure Turned Inside Out is one of my best friends in the entire world. And while I may be a bit biased here, I think that her poise, maturity, and depth as a human being is awe-inspiring because these characteristics speak to the qualities that true carriers of…

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The Fear of the Unknown

I started taking my son to an early learning center when he was three months old so that I continue going to law school. He has attended that same school since and is now two and a half. That first day was rough. So rough, that I made my husband drop him off and I still cried. I will never forget it. But the tears were short lived because I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew that I was doing something that would benefit my family in the long run. I also knew that I was…

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