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Through the Looking Glass—Observations from Five Years Out: Confidence

As a young female attorney, both confidence and authenticity are essential to survival. Early in my career I struggled with both—and even do now—until I figured out that without the latter, you simply cannot find the former. As a young lawyer, I found confidence elusive. I was constantly worried I made a wrong decision, said something inaccurate or foolish to a partner, or looked ridiculous to opposing counsel. I would make a decision, act on that decision, and spend the next week second-guessing myself. I consistently looked to external sources—colleagues, friends, superiors—to affirm my confidence. It was a never-ending cycle.…

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Heather Asher

Ms. JD Partners with NYU Law Review to Re-Launch its Annual Law Review Diversity Survey

Ms. JD is thrilled to announce that it has partnered with the New York University (NYU) Law Review to re-launch its annual law review diversity survey, conducted since 2010. The survey measures gender and racial diversity on the flagship law reviews or law journals of all American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law schools. Past reports can be found here, here, and here. To celebrate this new partnership, Ms. JD and NYU Review will host a panel discussion on February 25, 2015 from 6-8 pm at the New York office of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, a Ms. JD sponsor.  Event details…

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Month 2: Time to take off those training wheels.

Your second month at your job is usually the time when you are expected to start working more independently. This is also the time when your boss, i.e., a partner at the law firm, will start expecting you to pump out some billable hours. During this time at one of my previous jobs, I remember feeling excited about being able to finally work on my own. But I was also pretty nervous that I wouldn’t be able to produce enough billable hours because I had a week long vacation (planned before getting hired, of course) coming up. Needless to say,…

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VERSUS: Prosecutor v. Public Defender

Whether it is during the latest Law and Order: Special Victims Unit or a national news headline that sends a chill down our spines, criminal law is an area of the law that completely captivates us. I was recently afforded the wonderful opportunity to speak with two amazing women attorneys who practice criminal law in Detroit, Michigan: Danielle Hagaman-Clark, an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney at the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and Kristin LaVoy, an Assistant Defender at the Michigan State Appellate Defender’s Office. While Detroit has a very rich and deeply historic culture, it is still one of the nation’s toughest…

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How Women Can Succeed in Law

It is no secret that despite the percentage of women among American lawyers having increased from 5% to about 33% within the last forty years, it is still rather unusual for a woman to get to the top of a large law firm. Hence the question: how can a woman build a successful career in this sphere? What does it take to rise to the top? Here are a few suggestions. 1. Be an Expert One may think that it goes without saying, but truth is, there is a percentage of women who are looking to capitalize on equal opportunities law…

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The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

For decades, employers have vetted employees’ performance on the basis of their mastery of whatever knowledge and technical skills are required to produce the best results. This evaluative process, however, infrequently takes into account the ability of an employee to work effectively with others and ignores undermining behaviors that impair working relationships. Since the early 1990s researchers have linked a series of personal traits to productivity and profitability in the workplace. These traits—self-awareness, self-discipline and empathy—form the crux of what is now commonly referred to as “emotional intelligence” or “EQ.” The importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace cannot be…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers as Negotiators

Last week we witnessed an epic event.  Two women led the US-Cuban negotiations in Havana.  We have seen women, like Former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Hillary Clinton on the world stage as negotiators many times before, and Angela Merkel of Germany and other women heads of state around the world have done their fair share of negotiating at very high levels, but seeing both sides represented by women is very significant, as evidenced by the press coverage last week. Women make excellent negotiators.  Women lawyers may make even better negotiators.  Certainly, Hillary Clinton is one, and she did…

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From Hawaii’s sandy beaches to Iraq’s sandy deserts…and back (Part II)

So in my last blog we discussed all the “deployment preparation” that went into my first deployment to a combat zone as a JAG. Well, now it’s time to talk about the deployment itself . . . Most service members go through Kuwait on their way to Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s a good place to stop to get accustomed to the weather (depending on the time of year you are arriving) and overcome jet lag. As my plane touches down in Kuwait, I have no idea that I would be one of 280,000 women to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan…

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10 Success Tips for Reluctant Networkers (part 1)

If you hate face-to-face networking, you're not alone. If the top-of-the-list most-feared activity is speaking in front of people, how can launching a conversation with a stranger be far behind? I used to hate networking events, myself. I simply wouldn't go to them. Eventually someone dragged me to an event where lo and behold, I met a woman who became a great friend. After that, things got a little easier - but I'm still judicious about the events I choose to attend. Networking with strangers can be lively and fun, or it can be a shoot-me-now experience. Here are some…

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Recommended Video Podcast Series with Professor Nancy Leong: The RightsCast

On Wednesday, January 28 at 2 p.m. ET, University of Denver Sturm College of Law professor Nancy Leong – a specialist in civil rights, constitutional law and civil procedure – will launch an innovative video podcast series about civil rights called The RightsCast. The first episode will feature a discussion with UC Hastings professor of law Scott Dodson on his new book about United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  You can preview their discussion here:  Each week, Professor Leong will speak to a different scholar about his or her research via Google Hangout. That video will then be…

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