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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Embracing Your Blue-Collar Roots and Overcoming Self-Doubt

For this month's post, I wanted to write an article about "impostor syndrome."  While scrolling through LinkedIn, I noticed a recent post referencing "imposter syndrome."  Cue feelings of self-doubt.  So I quickly did a Google search of "impostor or imposter" and discovered that both versions are acceptable.  Nevertheless, my inner critic started questioning whether I should do more research (out of fear of making an egregious grammatical error) or, just select one way to spell it, be consistent throughout the post, and move on with my life.  Oh the irony!  By now, you're likely familiar with impostor syndrome and its prevalence in the legal profession.  In the 1970s, two clinical psychologist coined the phrase “impostor phenomenon” to describe…

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jennyrpatten

You Can’t Be Everything to Everyone: Top Ten Pieces of Wisdom from In-House Mentors

As I come up on ten years of in-house practice, I’ve started to reflect on my legal practice journey up to this point.  From the time I had to hide in the restroom to make a quick call to my outside counsel for confirmation on a particular point of law, seconds before I had to walk into a board meeting, to the closing where I was so exhausted I tripped over my own feet and faceplanted into the floor in front of about 20 executives, I’ve had a lot of memorable moments.  Most memorable, though, are the lessons I’ve picked…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Could Use Golf “Fore” Business

This is where I tell you to do what I say and not what I do.  I am not a good example of what I am about to tell you. I was raised in a family of golfers.  My grandfather was a par golfer plus and designed a few courses.  He taught my mom to play golf when she was a teenager --- long before there were many women on the links.  My mom was a good golfer, better than my dad, if truth be told.  She loved the game and played at least three days a week during the…

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slrahders

Announcing the Winners of the Ms. JD Summer 2019 Public Interest Scholarship Competition

Ms. JD is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Public Interest Scholarship Competition! The four scholarship recipients were selected from a large pool of highly competitive applicants. Ms. JD appreciates the level of passion and personal conviction that was exhibited in the application pool, and we are thrilled to support these students in their pursuit of public interest careers.   Royse G. Bachtel is a rising 2L at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, PA.  This summer Royse will be working as a summer legal intern at the Women’s Law Project, a public interest legal center that…

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Susan Smith Blakely

The Dangers of Leaking Young Lawyer Talent

For more than a decade I have been urging law firms to retain and advance the talent of women lawyers.  The three-book Best Friends at the Bar series has been my effort to spread those messages, and most recently I have expanded my work to include cautionary messages about ignoring and losing the talent of all young lawyers --- men and women alike --- in What Millennial Lawyers Want:  A Bridge from the Past to the Future of Law Practice (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers 2018).   Those books and the hundreds of blogs and articles I have written and speeches I have given include…

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claireeparsons

How to Get Leadership Positions to Build Your Practice

Ask most experienced attorneys how they built their practice and they’ll tell you they “got involved” in the community or professional organizations. Maybe this advice doesn’t always use the term “leadership” but that’s what it means. If you really want to “get involved” and build your reputation, you need to do some real work rather than just paying a membership fee and adding your name to a list. This may be a little scary for young attorneys, since it is easy to think that you haven’t paid your dues long enough to qualify as a leader. It may be easy to…

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vcstephens

Summer Associate Advice Good for a Lifetime: Solicit, Receive, and Materialize Constructive Feedback

Many leaders succeed in their fields because they request continuous feedback, process it, and adjust their course. As a law students, I attended panel discussions centered on soliciting feedback very frequently, so it seems like a hot-button topic for young associates. The legal field is incredibly challenging; the learning curve is steep and the workplace dynamics are intricate. I want to make continuous and open dialogue about my learning opportunities a regular part of my legal process,  so I talked to my mentors about how to request and receive actionable constructive feedback. Here are a few tips that I picked…

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jennyrpatten

Do Your Part: Contributing to Company Culture as Legal Counsel

Over the past couple of months, we’ve explored the importance of company culture in your in-house practice and how to identify whether a company’s culture is the right fit for you.  This month’s column wraps up my short series on culture with how in-house counsel can use your unique role within the company to promote positive aspects of your company’s culture. Think about the leadership of your company, or the company you support.  While the C-suite executives serve as the formal leaders of the company, you likely have a series of informal leadership within the company as well.  These individuals…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - An Interview with Melissa Green

For this month's post, I am thrilled to feature an interview with Melissa Green, an energetic, enthusiastic, and compassionate attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability law.  Melissa is the daughter of blue-collar workers and the first person in her family to attend and graduate from both college and law school.   Could you tell Ms. JD blog readers about your background and what prompted you to apply to law school? I grew up in rural Maine and was the first person in my family to attend college.  After college I became a high school teacher for about six years, then applied to law…

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Susan Smith Blakely

The Effect of a Greedy Profession on Women Lawyers

The greed will consume our profession.  I first called the law profession "greedy" in an article that I wrote for Corporate Counsel magazine in the Fall of 2016.  My comments at the time were part of a discussion about women lawyers "having it all" --- or not --- and the impact of the values of money, power and greed on the well-being of law practitioners. Since that time, I have seen more commenters willing to call our profession what it is --- a well intentioned endeavor overcome by negative values.  This kind of candor is necessary if we are going to…

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