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Deconstruct to Become You: The Path to Professional Transformation

Whether you are 25 years old and fresh out of law school or 65 with forty plus years of life and professional experiences behind you, the path to professional reentry or transformation often requires a deconstruct: an uncomfortable period of questioning traditional assumptions about identity, what it means to be a lawyer, and how best to make a meaningful contribution and/or simply make a living. And, at the risk of discouraging you from reading further, characterizing this stage as “uncomfortable” may in fact be a gross understatement. Law school taught us to identify, research, and analyze complex legal issues; to…

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Discover 3 Secrets to Becoming A Rainmaker: So You Can Chart The Course For Success In Your Practice

Dear Ms. JD, Imagine taking a leap forward in your practice in just a few hours. Imagine cutting away months of hesitations and false starts. What if you could find simple cost effective solutions to bring in better clients without breaking the bank?  Imagine your stress levels going down. What would that world look like for you? Let me share the good news: It IS possible for you to increase your revenues without breaking the bank account or reinventing the wheel. How? Join me on my new FREE  training call – 3 Secrets To Successful Rainmaking – exclusively for attorneys who are…

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valerie lherrou

No Longer Extraordinary: forging paths to success

Recently I attended a lunchtime discussion with a group of women lawyers in a law firm conference room to discuss women's negotiation styles. The discussion was centered around an ABA program (which may be offered for CLE credit in some states—it is not in mine) titled "Negotiate Your Way to Success: Best Practices for Women Rainmakers." Since there was no CLE credit involved, the meeting included some of the exercises in the CLE materials, but also branched out into a general discussion of how women's negotiating styles may differ from that of men—and how that plays out in law firm life.  The discussion…

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Taking the Stress Out of Maternity Leave

Congratulations, you are pregnant! Now, what? Immediately upon learning of your pregnancy, begin organizing a comprehensive game plan for how to tackle your caseload over the next few months.  Putting in extra work early in one’s pregnancy – and demonstrating to your colleagues that you indeed have a fool-proof plan of action for your maternity leave – will allow for a much smoother transition later on. Telling your Boss Telling your boss that you are pregnant can be daunting, but you can set the right tone for your maternity leave from the beginning if you walk into the meeting with…

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Law & (Dis)Order: What About Your Friends?

First and foremost, if you didn’t immediately break out into dance when you read the title of this month’s blog, I implore you to use this as the soundtrack of this piece. Now that we have that out of the way… Last month we talked about motivation, its sources, and how quickly it can slip away. This month, let’s talk about those people who come into our lives for a reason, a season or forever: friends. When you initially think about unemployment and trying to find public interest work, friendships may seem to rank below search engines, networking, and resume-building - but…

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Warren Buffet, Zen and the LSAT

I grew up in a household where I was taught to say “yes” to all opportunities, because one never knows where an experience may lead. At the same time, I was encouraged to decide quickly which new experiences deserved greater and continuous focus.  If the chance of learning or experiencing something new could not be justified as worthy of my time, I need not even consider it a second longer. Second-guessing was essentially worthless by that standard. This efficient and seemingly pain-free way of shuffling through life choices was, and remains, difficult to consistently follow. The pay-off, though, can be…

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Tina G

Women and Mentoring: Seeking Input

Dear Ladies of Ms. JD, As a third-year associate, I have been blessed with having wonderful mentors, both men and women. However, I have also found that women-to-women mentoring relationships are not always as strong as those between men.  So, I've decided to delve deeper into the issue and I am currently working on an article on the topic of mentoring among women lawyers (and professional women, generally) and I would love your input. It is my goal to include a section, within my article, depicting real life experiences: the highs and the lows of the mentor-mentee relationships among women.…

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Kristin Holland

Mentors Matter: Some of the Best Advice I’ve Received from Mentors

I've been practicing law for 18 years.  In that time, I've externed for a Federal Bankruptcy Judge and worked at three different firms.  I've read many articles on how to make it in a man's world, how to succeed in BigLaw, how to attain work life balance and how to be happy.  Here are some of the best bits of wisdom I've accumulated from mentors over these almost two decades: (1) Hard working lawyers beat lazy lawyers 99% of the time. Here's the truth: preparation is probably more important than the highest I.Q. in most legal situations.   If you are…

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Today, I Turn 30: Top Ten Memories

Happy 30th Birthday to ME! Because I have no time to celebrate, between work and studying for another bar examination, I decided to reflect on the time that has passed and list my Top Ten Favorite Memories from the past decade. 10. DaRez and Coogee, Australia. Ten years ago tomorrow, I embarked on an exhilarating study abroad experience in Australia. I met some of the most sincere, risk-taking, and intelligent people while there. The six-month adventure influenced my perspective and led my family to suspect that I will eventually move there one day. I have gone back twice more since then. 9.…

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Personal Branding Corner: All We Have Is Time, Right?

In this world where we are all running around in a hurry trying to get who-knows-where, stop and think to yourself: what's the best thing you have to give? If we look at what we know to be "for sure" in life, we'll find that besides death and taxes, time is a sure thing. What do I mean by this?  We only have so much life to live.  So how much are you giving to your life and where?  Your time and where you choose to put it really are in your control.  If you think otherwise, then you are…

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