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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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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

This month, in light of the Roseanne tweet fiasco, I am changing the usual Q&A format of my column to address some of the other lessons for lawyers from the debacle. The main lesson, of course, is don’t be offensive or demean people. Hopefully, that needs no further explanation. I spend significant time teaching about strategies lawyers can use to exercise good judgment, build relationships and enhance their trust and credibility. From that perspective, the Roseanne incident provides a case study of actions to avoid. The analogy is not perfect, because the Twitter incident was extreme. But there are still…

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Is Personal Injury Law the Right Specialty for You?

Law is an exciting field if you enjoy championing a cause and exacting justice. It also provides a comfortable living for attorneys who are good at their job and have a passion for it. It’s essential to select a specialty of law that you really enjoy. Many law students consider personal injury for their practice. This is opportunity to work closely with people and, though it’s not without its stresses, the issues in personal injury law are often simpler, more clear-cut, than those in other specialties such as criminal defense or tax law. But is it the right profession for…

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How Can the Military’s Rules on Professionalism Help You?

You probably know that members of the military follow certain rules, regulations, customs, and traditions, from the requirement to wear a uniform to rules on how we interact with others. You may not know, however, that you can use military rules to boost your professionalism and personal brand in your own job. As an officer in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps, I am evaluated not only on the quality of my work product, but also less tangible characteristics like leadership and military bearing. Military bearing includes the way I walk, talk, wear my uniform, and interact with others.…

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LSAT Prep Has Staggering Costs for Certain Students

Recently a young Native American woman and aspiring lawyer asked me if I knew any free or low cost LSAT prep courses.  I had previously tried to dissuade her from law school--just as my grandfather had given me 29 Reasons Not to Go to Law School before I enrolled--but alas, she, like I, was determined.  I didn’t know much about LSAT prep but soon felt the shock of the $1300 price tag.  Soon thereafter, the $1300 grew much more significant when I realized the enormous negative impact of high-cost prep courses, especially on low-income people and people of color, but…

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Why Your Law Firm Needs Strong Cybersecurity

Like usual, it's a hectic workday at the office. Meanwhile, you get an email that includes an attachment. You don’t remember asking for the memo, but you download the attachment anyway. Warning! Your alarm bells go off, and it turns out to be malware. It's disrupting your computer and all the other computers in your law agency now.   This was the position Jessica Mazzeo and Fran Griesing were facing during July of 2016. The computer arrangement for their humble Philadelphia law firm of 12 attorneys was affected by malware. The firm reached out to their outsourced data technology service.…

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Your Guide to Contract Services

Most people in the business world enter into contracts with other parties for the provision or receipt of certain goods or services. The contract symbolizes the agreement between the two parties. The contract may be oral or written. Elements of a Contract For a contract to be deemed as valid it must have certain elements. These include capacity, offer, mutual acceptance, consideration, agreement, and legality. Capacity. The parties entering into the contract should have the ability to understand what they are agreeing to. Minors, intoxicated people, and mentally incompetent adults do not have the mental capacity to enter into contracts.…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Retaining Valuable Associate Lawyers—- But for How Long and Why?

For those of you who care about what is going on in Big Law, here is a new development worth checking out --- and with critical eyes. Weil Gotshal & Manges announced last week that the firm "hopes to improve associate retention by cutting the wait for partnership" from 9 1/2 years to 7 1/2 years.  Sounds good, right?  Still a long time to wait for partnership, but better by two years.  The firm also stated that "substantially all" of the 7 1/2 year associates will be promoted to partner or counsel. That takes a little more explaining.   New partners…

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Networking Tips from Bobbi-Sue Doyle-Hazard, Asst. Gen. Counsel - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

Last month, we were introduced to Bobbi-Sue Doyle-Hazard, Assistant General Counsel to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bobbi-Sue graduated in 2007, the crux of the US recession. After waitressing and building her legal skills through CLEs, Bobbi-Sue took on a few clients as a sole practitioner. A very early adopter of Twitter (she even has her first name as her handle! @bobbisue), Bobbi-Sue used Twitter to comment on her life, eventually being profiled in the Boston Business Journal. As a result of the story, a local businessman hired her as in-house counsel at New England Cryogenic Center. Through Twitter, Bobbi-Sue was…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Seasoned Lawyers are Critical as Mentors for All Young Lawyers

Sometimes you just read something that you know is wrong.  Not just wrong, but Wrong, Wrong, Real Wrong. Well, that happened to me just the other day.  I was reading the Above The Law blog, and I came upon an article captioned "Why Today's Seasoned Lawyers Shouldn't Mentor Newbies."  Because I have written so much on mentoring, including in my new book to be released this summer, the article immediately interested me.  In that new book, What Millennial Lawyers Want (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers), I argue that young lawyers want more  --- not less --- attention from senior lawyers.  I argue that it is the isolation…

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