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Laura Bladow

Ms. JD and Latham & Watkins LLP Present: Cutting to the Front of the Line: OCI Preparation Skills

Ms. JD and Latham & Watkins LLP Present:  Cutting to the Front of the Line: OCI Preparation Skills Directly From The Source Rising 2Ls and 3Ls - worried about upcoming on campus interviews? Need to perfect that resume and revamp your interview skills? Not sure your LinkedIn Profile is up to par? We are here to help you jump start your on campus interview success! On July 21st, Ms. JD, and Latham & Watkins LLP will host Cutting to the Front of the Line: OCI Preparation Skills Directly From the Source, a boot camp for on campus interview success.  Ms. JD and a faculty of experienced attorneys will…

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Passion Forward: Leaving My First Dream Job

When I decided to make a career transition away from the traditional legal sphere, I had committed to living passion forward and I quickly determined that I would only look for jobs at startups in the fashion tech space.  I live for fashion and I’m very into tech - this is where I would, inevitably, find my dream job. In February 2013, I began my search by attending as many fashion tech events as I could and I had coffee with everyone and anyone that would make the time.  I formed some amazing relationships and met so many people that…

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Susan Smith Blakely

More About That Pesky Student Loan Debt For Lawyers

This week has been disappointing for any of us who are hoping that Congress will do something to relieve the debt crisis for all student loan borrowers, including, of course, young lawyers.  As reported by Above the Law earlier this week, between 2008 and 2012, the median debt burden for recent law school graduates increased by 54 percent, from $83,000 to $128,000.  By comparison, student debt for medical students increased only 22 percent during that same time period.  I guess the presumption is that lawyers are going to make so much more money over time than doctors that we just…

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Kristin Holland

Mentors Matter: How to Say Goodbye (or Aloha) to Your Mentor

I’m moving from Los Angeles to Hawaii.  This is a dream come true for me.  I’m excited and scared and thrilled and pretty much dumbstruck that it’s really happening.  Despite all of my joy and amazement, telling my mentor at work this happy news was the hardest work phone call I’ve ever had to make.   He had no idea that I was planning the move, because I didn’t tell him or ask for his advice.  I had already made up my mind.  My decision was based on many factors, and nothing he could have said to me would have changed…

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Law School through My Lens: Advice for the Creative Law Student

When I received my acceptance letter, my mother and I did a happy dance in the living room. My dream came true – I was going to law school! I started my photography business about 2 years earlier and so naturally I packed my things along with my camera gear, without batting an eyelash. I was determined to continue being creative and moved from Toronto to Ottawa to begin my journey. The choice wasn't a surprise to the ones closest to me. They believed I could do it all. Before law, I managed extra-curricular activities while studying since elementary school. To them…

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Susan Smith Blakely

OnRamp Fellowship for Women Lawyers Re-Entering Practice Is a Big Success

Finally.  Yes, finally we are seeing some progress addressing the very low retention rates for women lawyers --- even if it is in the form of mitigation.  Getting back into law practice after being absent for any significant amount of time is tough going, and there has not been a lot of progress on that issue in the past.  Years ago, maybe 2008, I was a panelist in a program at Washington School of Law at American University on the subject of re-entry.  The personal stories from program participants were chilling for anyone hoping to make that happen.  Other law…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Get the Official Green Light to Wear Dresses to Work

Women in business, and that includes women lawyers, are now free to wear dresses to the office.  So sayeth the Washington Post.  Thank goodness.  We all know how much fun little dresses are, as compared to the standard fare pantsuits of prior decades, and, according to a leading news source, we are now free to wear them on the job and enjoy the experience. Even though most of us already knew this --- because we watch TV shows like The Good Wife and Scandal --- it is good to know that the Washington Post is on our side.  After all,…

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How Maya Angelou Can Help Us Be Happier Lawyers

The contrast between Maya Angelou’s joyful life and the misery of so many lawyers is unavoidable.  Yesterday, as I listened to remembrances of her, I was struck by how vibrant and full her life was, so unlike the lives of many lawyers.   According to the Dave Nee Foundation, lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer depression than non-lawyers; some studies show as many as 37% of lawyers suffer from depression.  What did Maya Angelou do so differently than we lawyers do?  Maya Angelou is, of course, unique and nobody can hope to replicate her life.  But we can learn…

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Attorneys Across America:  Featuring Elizabeth Levy

This is the second post in Ms. JD's "Attorneys Across America" series, focusing on women attorneys practicing law from sea to shining sea.  We hope that the insights provided by the featured attorneys are helpful to those who are navigating the job market and considering pursuing careers in different practice areas and various geographic locations. Last month I spoke with Suzie Scanlon, a partner at the virtual law firm of Berger Legal LLC and Co-Founder and Managing Director of Bliss Lawyers.  This month I spoke with Elizabeth Levy, Counsel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Ms. Levy advises the…

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3 Essential Tips for Women Embarking upon their Law School Journeys

FIND MENTORS OUTSIDE OF YOUR LAW SCHOOL EARLY ON As a woman, and especially as a woman of color, it is sometimes difficult to trust women within your law school who may be competing for the same opportunities. You may begin to doubt if such women have your best interests at heart, and peer mentoring can at times seem disingenuous. Moreover, 2Ls and 3Ls who may have not been accepted to the firm of their choice or may not have gotten onto the journal of their dreams may unconsciously discourage you from applying to certain opportunities. Since they could not…

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