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Microaggressions Experienced By Women in Law School

Having just finished my first month of classes as a 1L at law school, I see now how classes, cold calls, and reading assignments can really wear people down and precipitate impostor syndrome. While we fight off self doubts, it is particularly disheartening to also have to defend ourselves from microaggressive commentary—little hints here and there that suggest people’s surprise that I am Harvard material. For example, sometimes when I said I was going to Harvard Law, my conversational partner of the moment would ask, “But did you get accepted?” In response, my internal monologue was usually something like: Ah,…

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Want Career Advice? Look Within First

Most likely, we are all familiar with Robert Frost’s famous opening stanza:             “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,             And sorry I could not travel both             And be one traveler, long I stood             And looked down one as far as I could             To where it bent in the undergrowth.” And most likely, we have been confronted by analysis paralysis at one point or another in our lives. It oftentimes casts a shadow on the plethora of career advice received from various sources – fellow students, professors, seasoned attorneys, mentors who…

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ga2368@columbia.edu

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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“They is starting law school next week:” Gender-neutral pronouns are awkward at first but worth it.

My Law and Public Policy class begins next week.  But before we jump into reading cases and writing briefs we will introduce ourselves and share our preferred pronouns.  I prefer “she/her/hers.” Every year I have two or three students who prefer “they/them/theirs.”  At first I thought this was a ridiculous waste of everyone’s time. We have legislative processes to learn!  Executive orders to scrutinize! But, I’ve come to appreciate the practice. It reminds me to be mindful of people unlike me and I hope it signals to the students that our class values inclusion. In 2015, the press was already…

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ga2368@columbia.edu

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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Creating Work-Life Balance in the Legal Field

I had the pleasure of speaking with attorney and mother, Elise Buie, last month about achieving balance between work and life while maintaining a law career.  Of the many things that Elise brought to light for me, I think the thing that stuck with me the most is the fact that in terms of providing appropriate accommodations for pregnant or nursing women, we have come so far. I have nursed and pumped in some pretty awful, dirty places. The ferry bathroom is at the top of my list (both in the terminal and on the ferry). But, I have also nursed…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: You Are Your Own Competition

Name: Zoe Kasujja Professional Title: Student Law School: Nottingham Law School NTU Year in Law School: 2nd Specialization: LLB in International Law Plans to Use Your Law Degree: Zoe intends to use her legal degree as a foundational degree and add onto it by also obtaining a Master’s degree in international affairs and human rights. I took my talents across the pond. From the quick facts above you can probably tell that this month’s feature is not about a licensed attorney, but instead about a young woman just beginning her legal education. What you may not be able to tell, however,…

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Write Like It Means Something to You

As a law student, your writing is the key to your academic success. If you can’t write, you can’t pass a law school exam, let alone excel in your studies. Yet, it’s not really your writing, is it? Think about it. You get told what to write, when you should be writing it, who to address, how long you have to write it, and exactly how you should say it. You spend a lot of time answering other people’s questions—namely, your professors’—in their very precise and particular way. As a 1L, I found the process to be difficult and tedious…

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Unsolicited Advice From a Law Professor: Surviving Final Exams

During my undergraduate years one of my friends mastered the art of maximum performance on minimal effort.  She rarely studied.  She often chose to sleep late over attending class.  She purchased the course textbooks only sometimes.  Other times she “purchased” the text the day before the final exam, studied that night, then returned it in time to meet the bookstore’s 24-hour return policy.  She reasoned that, if she could earn “B” grades with minimal effort, it was not worth the extra effort to go for the “A”.  For intelligent and intellectually gifted individuals like my friend, this approach may have…

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What is Law School Really Like?

You may be a junior in college, looking into law school applications for next year, or preparing to take the LSAT. Maybe you’re still in high school, and thinking about whether you want to become a lawyer one day. Or maybe you’re a paralegal, and you know exactly the area of law that interests you, and how a J.D. can help you gain the skills you need. Regardless of where you are in your academic or professional career, you may be wondering what the law school experience is actually like. What kinds of classes do you take in your first…

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