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Burning the Midnight Oil

I stayed up until midnight writing a paper. As I was writing, I was intermittently caring for my two week old son and my two and a half year old son. My oldest had a hard time getting to sleep tonight (of course!) and we were in and out of his room until 10 p.m. My youngest was sleeping - the newborn life! Every time I looked over at him sleeping I thought about the classic advice you get when you have a baby: "sleep when the baby sleeps." Yeah, I would have loved to do that instead...but law school…

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Finding the Line: A Crash Course in Law School Boundaries

Reflecting on my law school years always fills me with a solid mixture of nostalgia and terror. I am one of those weirdos who really loved law school, but that “ish” was hard, particularly the first year. Everything was brand new, and I, like many others, went through a lot of personal growth. This required redefining and resetting my own boundaries with the people who were in my life before law school as well as learning to navigate new boundaries with my law school peers, professors, and administrators. This was a challenging balancing act, which I handled more gracefully at…

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Finals with a Newborn

I took a final exam on Tuesday - the only regularly scheduled exam I was able to make. My baby was just 11 days old. This was honestly the hardest exam I have ever had to take (and not in terms of content). Usually when I take an exam, the time flies by, but this time it was the longest three hours of my life. Not only was I away from my baby for the longest amount of time since his birth, but I also was fighting sleep (in a freezing cold room!). I'm going to be honest, my desire to…

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How to Become a Top Lawyer and Love Doing It

If you do good work and can promote yourself, career doors will open for you. As a new female lawyer or soon to be lawyer, there are many things to learn as you develop who you are and what you will do in your career. One key facet to master is learning how to promote yourself at work and build a book of business. As a lawyer you will need to learn how to market yourself and communicate your expertise to clients early in your career. If you can do that effectively, you will be an asset to any firm. If you…

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5 Step Financial Checklist for New Lawyers

It’s the season of first-year associates and newly minted lawyers starting their legal careers. I hope that you’ve successfully passed the bar, moved to the new city and are now beginning to find your way around the office. Beginning your first job summons plenty of emotions and there’s no lack of things to do. Here’s a financial checklist to help make sure you start your career on the right path. 1. Don’t grow into your income. No matter whether you’ve started in Biglaw or are working for the government, your starting salary is likely larger than anything you’ve earned previously.…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Learning the Value of Authenticity in 2017

After reading the application requirements for the 2018 Writers-in-Residence program, I was reminded of career advice I received this past Summer that permanently changed my path: “You have to be really good at what you do and you have to look for opportunities to expand what you do.” A simple answer from Esta Stecher, in response to someone asking the million-dollar question: “How can we become as successful as you have been? Any tips?” The answer was so simple that you could hear the eye-rolls from people around me, as they remarked on how obvious the advice was. For me,…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: Asking for a Friend

Sometimes the desire to help others is not enough. Before ending this column, I thought it was important to share my own story with my readers. It was a bit odd being the interviewee, but I pushed myself to answer some of the same questions I have been asking other women during this past year so this journey with you all could come full circle. For me, becoming a lawyer has always been a means to an end. I knew very early on that it would be the first step to evolving into a diplomat or politician championing the civil…

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The No. 1 Piece of Career Advice I Have Received Is Two Words Long

“Follow up.” Follow up after a networking event, follow up after a meeting, and follow up with yourself.  This two-word piece of advice is applicable to career, school, and life, and has served me well (when I actually consistently apply it).  “Attend networking events” is a popular piece of career advice given to young professionals.  But how many of us are guilty of going to a networking event, having engaging conversations and exchanging contact information, only to let the person’s business card sit in your purse for months until you realize you forgot to email them to follow up? While…

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My Bar Exam Journey: From Pregnant to Pissed to Passing

It felt good to have the Bar Exam on the calendar, even if it was four months away. Lilli was nine months old; she had slept through the night about three times. I looked forward to using my brain to master legal subjects I never learned in law school. And then I discovered I was pregnant again. So began the winter of endless, excruciating, pregnant drudgery. I pulled myself out of bed and spread Cheerios on the high chair so I could get dressed. I schlepped to the conference room on the second floor of a beige building next to…

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App Happy: The Personal Statement

Que the Sports Center theme music.  This critical portion of the application often draws looks of panic from applicants and many ambiguous answers from admissions departments. The Personal Statement should seemingly be simple. Who has a better understanding of who you are and why law school is right for you right now than you? Unfortunately, it often does not feel this way. What It’s Not: A personal statement is not a statement of purpose. A statement of purpose, typically used for graduate school admission, provides a summary of your experience in the context of your professional aspirations. It essentially sums…

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