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Tips for building a Legal Career when you have Caring Responsibilities

In many law school lecture halls, you will now find at least as many women as men.  There are also more students starting higher education (or retraining for a career change) in later life than ever before.  The logical consequence of this is, that more people than ever are having to balance home life commitments with the demands of studying.  And few career paths are as demanding as law! While it isn't only women who have to deal with caring responsibilities, the reality is that we tend to be the ones performing balancing acts more often.  And it's not just children…

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Too Afraid To Ask

I asked for a promotion last Monday. A coworker submitted his two-weeks notice, and I walked into my boss's office, full of nerves and anxiety, and asked her to move me to his spot. Well, there's more to that, let me clarify: I work as an Assistant Public Defender and I am currently assigned to handle misdemeanor criminal cases of indigent defendants. On November 30, I will have completed two years in the office. I am the longest-serving attorney at my level, and I have built a solid reputation through my work. Well, at least that's what my coworkers tell…

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Forge Your Own Educational Path to Paralegal Career Success: Certificates, Degrees, and More

Do Paralegals Need a Degree? Seasoned paralegals may remember a time when a high school diploma or GED was enough to enter the legal profession. As the legal field evolves and employers seek to increase efficiency and decrease costs by hiring more paralegals, the job requirements also are evolving. Today’s paralegals not only conduct research and handle trial preparation—they are also responsible for filing patents, managing eDiscovery projects, and more. Most employers now prefer to hire candidates with solid education and experience to carry out these important responsibilities. Eighty-five percent of all paralegals obtain some form of paralegal education, whether…

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Ms. JD Pre-Law: “Table of Contents”

Are you a pre-law student or professional? Read this post first! Hello and welcome to Ms. JD Pre-Law! Our goal is to serve as a resource to, and build a supportive community of, pre-law women around the country. Whether you're a college freshman just starting to develop an interest in the legal profession, or if you already know that you're going to law school this Fall—we have something for you! In addition to organizing in-person events, we also regularly post interviews and other articles on the wider Ms. JD blog. The list below serves as a helpful index to many…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: Failure is a State of Mind

Name: Ryan S. Ragland, Esq. Professional Title: Municipal Trial Counsel, Hamilton County Public Defender Sector: Public Law School: The Ohio State University Years Practicing: 1.5 years  Area of Specialization: Criminal Defense “I am passionate about making sure they are humanized.”  Full disclosure: the woman I am featuring in this month’s edition of Failure Turned Inside Out is one of my best friends in the entire world. And while I may be a bit biased here, I think that her poise, maturity, and depth as a human being is awe-inspiring because these characteristics speak to the qualities that true carriers of…

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The Fear of the Unknown

I started taking my son to an early learning center when he was three months old so that I continue going to law school. He has attended that same school since and is now two and a half. That first day was rough. So rough, that I made my husband drop him off and I still cried. I will never forget it. But the tears were short lived because I knew it was the right thing to do. I knew that I was doing something that would benefit my family in the long run. I also knew that I was…

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Ms. JD Interview with Katrina Lee, Law Professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law

Today’s guest on the Ms. JD Pre-Law blog is Professor Katrina Lee from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where she teaches business of law, legal negotiations, and legal writing. She is also author of the new business of law coursebook, “The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice.” Prior to academia, she was a litigator and equity partner at Nossaman LLP. Professor Lee earned both her law and undergraduate degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Hi Professor Lee! Let’s start with: What is the business of law? Can you share some of the themes…

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The Benefits of Small Group Gatherings within the Legal Community for Women

Becoming a powerful female attorney or law school Juris Doctor of Law (J.D.) graduate in today’s grueling professional circle is no small feat for many in today’s society. May I first start out by applauding all of my fellow law school graduates and attorney groups for completing this perilous journey while many others failed or strayed too far from the path. Being a Ms. JD law school survivor or attorney in any city means you need to build and continue connections with people in the professional community at all times. Reach out with a phone call, text or social media…

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Get The Call Back: Navigating the Legal Job Fair

Last month, we talked about successfully navigating the on-campus interview (“OCI”) process for rising second year law students. I had the privilege yesterday to recruit at the Northeast Region, National Black Law Students Association’s (“NEBLSA”) job fair at New York Law School. I never participated in a job fair while in law school (I did only OCI) so the process was all new to me. True to form, I left thinking about how to provide you with some helpful tips on navigating the job fair process which, like OCI, can be quite exhausting. Let me set the scene: The potential…

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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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