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DouglasParker

Your First Criminal Law Case: How to handle it?

Doing anything for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience. Handling a criminal law case for the first time is no exception. Imagine having someone else’s criminal record and future in your hands. The thought is enough to make anyone’s head spin. Being nervous is completely normal and is nothing to be ashamed of. Even the top criminal defense attorneys still experience this, especially for clients with a previous criminal record. If you are facing your first criminal law case, know that being nervous is natural. However, ask long as you keep your head clear, everything will be fine.…

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mjtimko13

Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - An Interview with Jennifer Frankola Crawford

For this month's post, I am thrilled to feature my fellow CUNY Law alum, Jennifer Frankola Crawford. Jennifer is an experienced attorney, arbitrator, and human rights advocate with blue-collar/working-class roots. As an arbitrator, Jennifer hears cases and renders decisions based upon New York State’s Insurance Law. In addition, Jennifer maintains an active practice in education law, representing families of children with learning disabilities and developmental delays. Further, Jennifer engages in pro bono work involving human rights issues, including handling immigration/deportation cases, and she collaborates with other lawyers to design and host CLEs.  In this interview, Jennifer describes how her family's history, including her parents' immigration to the United States, influenced her career trajectory. She also offers excellent advice to first-generation…

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MsGabbyD

The Best Career Advice I’ve Been Given: Watch Your Feet

I’m clumsy by nature. Not the cute clumsy, where you fall into a handsome man’s arms, but the stub your toe and break it kind of clumsy.  I quickly found that I could either live in steel-toed boots or watch my feet as I walked. My favorite summer sandals don’t come in steel-toed options, so down I look. Growing up, this was my parents’ greatest annoyance. They would take me to an art museum, and I would stare at my feet, to the beach, and I would stare at my feet, to a beautiful view, and I would stare at…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession – An Interview with Devon Holmes

For this month's blog post, I am excited to feature my interview with Devon Holmes, Esq.  Devon is a first generation legal professional from Hazard, Kentucky.  Devon serves as an attorney for Social Security Administration's Office of Appellate Operations and she is passionate about public interest law.   In this interview, Devon explains how growing up in Appalachia helped shape her career trajectory.  She also shares thoughtful advice to first generation law students.   Could you tell Ms. JD blog readers about your background and what prompted you to apply to law school? I was born in Hazard, Kentucky, a town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  My parents were a…

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Caambridge

Bar Classes, Clinics, Electives, & More

Law school is an interesting experience, to say the least. While in law school, it feels as though time is moving at a glacial pace, but before you know it, the time has flown by, and you are closer to the finish line than you realized. With this being said, class selection is crucial because there are a plethora of classes to take in only a short amount of time. Three years seems like a long time until you realize that it is not nearly enough time to take all of the classes you are interested in and that are…

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marisatashman

Taking Care of Your Future Self During an 80-Hour Week

Like many young ambitious women in the wake of Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement, I often have to make choices between two options that are both necessary: “sleep or work out?”  “meditate or call my mom?” Beginning my career as a litigator at a large law firm in Los Angeles, I’ve been forced to make these choices all too often, eventually transforming into a thought-cycle of not being balanced enough, which inevitably transforms into being hopelessly imbalanced.  Layer on psychosomatic GI issues, migraines, and an unexpected back injury, I turned to a wellness “industry” filled with preachers on becoming perfectly…

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robertaoroberts

Healing Hurt With High Heels:  How One Aspiring Law Student Helps Others Heal from Domestic Violence

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, [1] so this article shares the story of a pre-law student who started her own nonprofit organization for survivors of domestic violence after surviving domestic violence herself.  I am honored to share this conversational interview I had with Ronshanda “Nikki” Chaney about how she found purpose from her pain and in turn helps others heal through her novels and organization, Heel My Heart.  --- Nikki, thank you so much for taking time to answer questions for me as the October member spotlight for Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind!  Let’s start off with…

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Stratus Admissions

Top 3 Cliches To Avoid In Your Law School Personal Statement

Editor's Note: All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.  You’ve taken the LSAT (and hopefully scored well), built a strong academic record in college and pursued internships that offered valuable life experience and prepared you for a career in the law. You are now ready to apply to law school. Bear in mind that law school Admissions Committees (AdComs) read thousands of these essays per year and come across the same overused themes and logical fallacies. When you begin to compose your personal statement, your mind blanks. You think to yourself, “I know that I’m an interesting…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession – An Interview with Rexanah Wyse

For this month's post, I am delighted to feature an interview with Rexanah P. Wyse, a first generation attorney and former prosecutor dedicated to changing the narrative for vulnerable populations.  Rexanah currently works for the federal government where she serves on a policy team that is focused on youth homelessness, criminal justice, racial equity, human trafficking, and ending homelessness for families.   Could you tell Ms. JD blog readers about your background and what prompted you to apply to law school? My lineage is directly tied to Sierra Leone in West Africa.  A small developing nation with a powerful history of…

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Caambridge

Law School Activities

Several 1L law students have asked me what activities they should look into joining while in law school. They also have asked me the practical benefits of joining organizations in law school. The short answer is that joining an activity will significantly enhance the law school experience. Activities are a great way to meet new people and an even better way to strengthen leadership skills and gain practical tools necessary for the practice of law. What organizations an individual should join depends greatly on what you seek to gain from the organization. For instance, many law school students seek to…

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