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Ms. Pre-JD: Interview with NY AAG Kristen Vogel

This past Spring and Summer, during my internship in the Attorney General’s Litigation Bureau, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Vogel served as a model for the approach I hope to bring to my professional life. My primary lesson from her about soft skills as a female professional was an unspoken one: there is a delicate balance that should come naturally. Kristen always spoke her mind, but made it clear that her opinions were unbiased. She dealt with everyone in the same way, had patience, and stated otherwise negative things in a matter of fact way. While I may have been afraid…

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annajo

Barriers To Women Taking The Bar Exam

The bar exam is a rite of passage and major source of stress for all new lawyers, but for women in the profession, there are unique challenges. When coupled with the standard challenges that exist for both genders, it’s clear that women face an uphill battle when it comes to passing the exam and pursuing long, successful careers in the Field. Challenges Women Face The bar exam is something that law students dread from the moment they enroll in law school until the second they receive confirmation of a passing score. And it doesn’t matter who you are, there are serious…

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jjembapa

Failure Turned Inside Out: The Not So Gentle Ladies of the United States Congress

The women that serve daily on behalf of the American people are fierce trailblazers in their own right. As a means to seemingly promote gender equality, there is a new term that has been floating around the United States Congress. You see, as of late congressional members have been referring to their female House representatives and Senate members as “gentle-ladies.” (Example: The gentle lady from California will now address the House.) Now whatever your personal opinion is on the alluring appeal (or lack there of) of the term itself, there is one thing I think that we can all come…

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annajo

Inter-Law Firm Dating: Is It Ever a Good Idea?

When you’re an attractive, single woman at a law firm, dating opportunities are plentiful, but how you handle such situations will likely have an impact on your career as well as your personal life. Make sure to proceed with caution. Tips for Making an Office Romance Work According to one study on marriage, more than 37 percent of couples meet for the first time at work or in school (which makes these the number-one meeting locale for future married couples). Office romances are more commonplace than you might think. When you examine office romances in particular, 39 percent of workers…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Should Avoid the Heat

Yes, it is very hot this summer in most parts of America, but this is not the kind of heat I mean. The heat I am talking about occurs when boys and girls start fooling around on the job.  There is no place for this in the law profession, and I hope you know it.  I made it clear to you in my first book, Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law (Aspen Publishers 2009).  Presenting yourself as a professional to avoid mixed or wrong sexual/relationship messages is serious business and needs…

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madhaviseth2

To be a More Zealous Advocate, See Yourself in Your Clients

I have been blessed to have my parents, siblings, teachers, and friends as my lifelong advocates. These people have helped shape my beliefs through good conversation and have shown me how important it is to approach all challenges with optimism and grace. However, the attorney who enabled my family to immigrate to the United States from India was also my advocate. Without his work, I would not have had the opportunity to grow personally and professionally here. His advocacy inspired me to become an attorney and pursue externship experiences which would enable me to use my skills to serve and…

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tammyzhu

Join the Conversation: What For?

“To what purpose?  This was why they started us here [at the tennis academy] so young:  to give ourselves away before the age when the questions why and to what grow real beaks and claws.” – David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest I realize that my posts to date have largely focused on how to increase retention and success of women and racial minorities in high-powered, male-dominated institutions where it takes mentors and sponsors in order to rise up the ranks.  Sometimes these articles make me feel that I should try to stay and make it, that my success is tied…

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Jmnakamoto

You’ll Move Mountains, Kid: By Mastering Minutes as a Mommy!

When I began law school as a single mother of two small children, I did not fully appreciate how much hard work it was going to take to be both a successful law student and a good mother at the same time.  It has been extremely hard.  At times, I have been very overwhelmed, stretched far too thin, and daydreamed about how nice it would be to have a personal assistant, babysitter and secretary at my disposal.  Since law school consumes a lot of brainpower and time on an everyday basis, it’s important to learn how to master your minutes…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: I am new at the firm, and I have a legal assistant who has already saved me several times. She is invaluable, and I wanted to show my appreciation, so I invited her to lunch. At first, she eagerly accepted, but as the date was approaching she declined, saying she thought it was better if she did not go to lunch. How can I show my appreciation without having things get awkward? A: Yes. I realize the reference to “the date,” was not intended as a pun, but that may be part of the issue. Your legal assistant may…

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bg3orge

Washington State Family-Leave

The Seattle Times recently reported on a "revolutionary" law, one-decade in the making. Washington State is joining California, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington D.C. in mandating employers pay workers' salaries while they take time off for the birth of a child. The Washington State law allows 12 weeks of leave at 90% of income (higher than any other state mandating the pay). This law, which has technically been on the books since 2007, is funded by weekly paycheck contributions from the employee and the employer and will take effect in 2020. I'm sure you can imagine how…

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