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Join Ms. JD’s Global Education Fund Program!

Interested in women’s issues, international development, fundraising and education?  If yes, consider supporting us as our next part-time, unpaid, Global Education Fund program volunteer!  Ms. JD created the Global Education Fund (“GEF”) to enable women in developing countries who otherwise would not have access to further education pursue a legal education.  Each year, GEF has made it possible for two Ugandan women in each class year to pursue their dreams of becoming lawyers by attending the law program at Makerere University in Uganda. The part-time and unpaid Global Education Fund program volunteer will be responsible for: Helping to lead outreach and program development…

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The Introvert Lawyer’s Guide to Networking

A few years ago, a meme that I found hilarious circulated the internet. It read “Introverts of the world unite! Separately. In your own homes.” That meme is both true and not true and maybe that’s why it is funny. It is true because introverts tend not to like large group activities, but it is also not true because it doesn’t mean they can’t do the things that we tend to categorize as activities for extroverts. I’m a trial lawyer, I love public speaking, and I am an introvert. Networking is a part of professional life for most lawyers, even…

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Great Alternative Legal Career Options

Going to law school is an educational dream for many people. While many of the people that complete law school will end up working for a larger legal firm when they graduate, some may choose to pursue a different career path. For those that are looking to use their legal degree without working for a larger legal firm, there are several different great career paths to consider pursuing. Corporate Compliance Specialist One common business area for someone with a legal background to go into is compliance law. There are far more regulations set forth on business than ever before. Business…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Big Law Responds Positively to Millennial Generation Lawyers

In identifying what it calls a "broken system" for associate reviews, Big Law's Hogan Lovells has abandoned the system of once yearly reviews in favor of more frequent periodic reviews.  This is very good news and for some very good reasons that also will be discussed in my new book, What Millennial Lawyers Want, scheduled for release in the summer of 2018. Here are some of the reasons cited in the article about the decision by Hogan Lovells: Playing to the employment market:  The desire for constant performance evaluations are a characteristic of Millennial lawyers; Developing a program that is focused on growth…

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You’ll Pay for This: Choosing The Right Repayment Plan

After going to law school, I like to think that I have a pretty high threshold for the “I have no idea what I’m doing” feeling and can ultimately figure most things out with enough research. However, when it was time to figure out which repayment plan I should use to start paying back my law school loans, I was in tears of confusion in 5 minutes flat. I was immediately paralyzed by questions, such as “Why are there so many options?”, “Why do they all sound the same?”, “How do the payments range from $0 to $3,000?”, “How do…

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To be a Woman and to be “Workplace Ready”

For a man, the common mantra is “seize the day.” For a woman, the common mantra is “act accordingly.” Women are conditioned to believe their self-worth is based on following rules and being "good." The ideal woman projects grace, cooperation, and compliance.  She tailors herself to be acceptable and pleasant.  She accommodates and sidesteps her wants for the greater good. Unfortunately, this outlook can leave one professionally stagnant. Being assertive, firm, and steadfast are required to achieving personal and professional objectives. But these traits are often downplayed by women for fear of being rejected or worse, "unlikeable." I remember my first day at work. I was a fresh graduate…

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Delaying The Bar? It Could Reduce Your Debt

The bar exam: in many ways, it’s the culmination of your law education. Pass, and you get to start your career. Fail, and you’ll be sidelined. So if the bar is so important, are there any good reasons to delay? One of the leading reasons for postponing the bar exam among graduates is feeling under-prepared. In recent years, a spate of predatory and often for-profit law schools have left students loaded with debt and lacking sufficient knowledge of the law. And considering the price of taking the bar, and the time lost to test prep and job searching, delaying could…

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Can Art Increase Productivity in Law Firms?

Some people naturally assume that art in the workplace is merely decorative. But what if art is more than something we look at? What if it actually plays a role in how we think, process, and work? Well, research suggests that it does. In fact, the relationship between art and productivity is so strong that many law firms are incorporating art in an effort to boost output. The Relationship Between Art and Productivity Outside of trendy startups and tech companies in Silicon Valley, most office workspaces are pretty muted and conservative. Words like sterile, clean, and sanitized come to mind.…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Attention Women Lawyers:  The Facts on Pay Disparity

April 10th was Equal Pay Day, which draws attention to a subject that is very important to all women in the workforce.  That includes all women lawyers, of course, so I want you to have the facts you need to protect yourselves and get what you deserve. As a source for this information, I looked to an article on by Mark Cohen, Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of the Board of Advisors at Elevate,a law profession consulting entity.  Pay equity can be a complicated subject, so looking at a little history and applying it to the current conditions is not a bad idea. …

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Drive Your Journey: Determining the Best Social Media Platform for You

What social media platform should you focus on when working on building your professional brand? As the typical attorney answer would be, “It depends.” The advice is often given that you should be where your target clients or audience is online. While that is valid advice, the key to starting to building your brand online is to, first, be where you will enjoy it most, because, if you enjoy it, you are more likely to be consistent. Consistency is going to be the way to get noticed. Once you dominate one platform, then you can move onto others. Below are…

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