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It’s February Bar Season. But It Doesn’t Matter If You Pass. No, Really.

Eighteen years ago this month, I was sitting for the Bar Exam in New York. I was already barred in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and had been practicing law in New Jersey and Philadelphia for several years, but still the New York Bar Exam was sitting like a roadblock to my future that February.  Or so I thought.  I had just taken a new position in the Mass Torts Department of Skadden Arps in New York City. One of the Hiring Partners called me in December 1999 to convey the offer to me while I was sitting in my Newark,…

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#MillennialMom: Law Student, Leader, and MOM!

Shortly after I launched #MillennialMom on Ms. JD last month, I got a DM on Twitter (you can follow me @kmlarkinwong).  "Did you know that THREE of the ABA Law Student Division's Leaders are Moms?  I think this is column worthy!"  You know what, I agree!  So I reached out to the #MillennialMoms who are leading the lawyers of the future and asked them a few questions about being law students, leaders, and Moms.  Two of them were able to be interviewed between school and Mom Life!    First, a bit of biographical information: Name: Meredith Parnell ("MP") Law school: Harvard Law…

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From Paralegal to Associate: Are you still doing “office housework”?

I recently read an article written by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on women doing office housework.[1]  It couldn’t ring truer to my ears than now.  As a paralegal, it is your job to do all the admin tasks being delegated by the attorneys.  But as an attorney, I somewhat still am asked to do those admin tasks on top of the workload of an attorney.  Recently, during a trial, not only was I expected to do all the preparation for the trial, I was also expected to put the exhibits together, and prepare the binders.    What is one supposed to…

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10 Habits of Wealthy Lawyers

Setting yourself up for financial success isn’t about making one good decision. If willpower was all it took to get rich, we’d all have a million dollars by 3pm and on a flight to a tropical island by 7pm. Unfortunately (or fortunately really), building wealth is about changing behaviors through developing new habits. And just like any habit you’ve ever changed, it’s not something that happens overnight. You’ll have to build these habits over time. Here are my top 10 habits of financially successful people. Habit 1: Paradigm Shift People that are successful with money believe that money is working…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers:  LOVE YOURSELVES!

Today, Valentines Day, is a day for celebrating love.  We buy cards with red and pink hearts and poetic verses expressing our love, we share classic red (the color of love) roses with our loved ones, we have intimate candle lit dinners demonstrating our love, and we thank the powers that be for the opportunity to love whomever we wish. Oh, wait a minute .... you say you are caught in the office and not able to participate in the Day of Love?  You cannot see yourself clear to taking a few hours off in the name of love?  And…

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A Galentine’s Day Reflection on the Value of Female Friendships

           Today is Galentine’s Day, a completely made up holiday popularized by a TV show, Parks and Recreation, that hasn’t aired in years. Unlike Valentine’s Day, this “holiday” is intended to honor female friendships rather than romantic relationships. To say the least, the episode which featured this holiday and the character who invented it, Leslie Knope, was memorable. As Malcolm Gladwell tells us, a “sticky” message from an extraordinary communicator can carry an idea far and wide. Yet, I don’t think that the show or Leslie Knope are the only reasons that Galentine’s Day caught on.…

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Don’t Be An Investing Clown

The stock market just finished a great year. For every dollar invested on January 1, 2017, in an index fund tracking the S&P 500, the market returned a whopping 19.42% in appreciation by the end of the year. That’s not even taking into consideration the dividends paid. If you add in those, the index investor saw a return of 21.83% on each dollar invested (less fees, which of course should be kept to a minimum). Those are exciting numbers. What does a 21.83% return get you? Well, it doubles your money every 3.3 years for a start. You could get…

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10 Qualities of a Good Lawyer

To become a lawyer is to become a person of many hats. Law schools will teach you some of the skills you need, but they cannot teach character. In order to become a “good” lawyer, you have to naturally have certain qualities. Some of these qualities you have discovered within yourself in your time as a law student, but others may need to be worked on. Below are some of the qualifications of becoming a good lawyer in any field: Good communication skills Lawyers must be orally articulate, have good written communication skills and also be good listeners. In order…

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The Elephant in the Room: Paying Off Law School Loans

As someone who has been through four years of undergraduate and another three years of law school, you know better than almost anyone just how expensive student loans can be. The question is, will you pay them off or let them control your life for decades to come? Short-Term Sacrifices Lead to Long-Term Gains When you’re young and starting out in your career, it’s often hard to see the big picture. The palpability of the moment leads you to believe that your present experiences will be indicative of your future reality, when the truth is that you sometimes have to…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Thanks for the great insights on the questions that start this column; here is another one: How do you manage stress? Just send an e-mail here, tweet to @babysharklaw, or post a comment here. Easy! I will compile a roundup for a future column. I thank you, and your fellow lawyers thank you! Q: It is hard for me to track all my time. I can be in the office for long days, and I end up without much billable time. Do you have any time-tracking suggestions? A: Yes. Tracking time is one of the less fulfilling aspects of law…

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