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Emily Snider

The Power of One

The more experience I had consciously trying to "change" things, the more I realized that in order to affect big changes, a person simply needs to take individual action. My individual action, I decided, was to become a lawyer.I think a lot of women learn from their mothers how to behave in the world. Sometimes we learn from talking, sometimes from just watching. My mother was a woman who made her own decisions. She didn't make a big fuss about something before she did it. She would think about something, make a decision, and act. When I was in the…

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Anonymous

Steps

Though the challenges facing women in the legal field today seem overwhelming, countless women have paved the way. I think of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I think of Senator and presidential contender Hillary Clinton. I think of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.There are many challenges facing women in the legal field today. For example, a recent study has found that women lawyers in general receive on average 80% of the salary received by men who are equal to them in seniority. Like many other women in other fields, women in the…

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Erin Wiley

Meet Louise Arbour

I have come to realize that role models and mentors play important parts in the lives of aspiring female lawyers. I knew that I wanted to study law when, in 2000, I attended a presentation by Louise Arbour, former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, and now United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. As a fifteen year-old young woman, I was inspired by the intelligence, passion, and concern for the world which she demonstrated. I was also moved by the contribution she has made in the world through her work in the field of…

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Sarah J. Dreisinger

My Mothers, My Mentors, My Sisters… My Strength

I have been surrounded by intelligent women for much of my life. Perhaps the most inspiring is my mother. An educator, administrator, and consummate professional, my mother has seen it all. From being a young teacher in the New York City public school system to receiving her doctorate just last year, she has come far. More than her academic and professional achievements, however, my mother is most proud of her motherly achievements. Despite her demanding schedule, family came first. My mother has taught me to value the time I spend with those I love. Although my mother has had little…

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My mentors in juvenile justice: Julie Darnieder and Tanner Kilander

I find it exciting and invigorating to be entering a profession that for centuries was dominated, if not entirely occupied by males. Strangely, entering the legal profession did not strike me as a momentous accomplishment until I received my first law school acceptance letter and my parents were beaming from ear to ear. Especially my mother, because she never had the opportunity to complete her undergraduate schooling, let alone study at the graduate level. But I realize she gave up her education to stay at home to give my brother and I the life that she never had. Without my…

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Elexis Holzberg

Attorney 2.0

My father is an attorney, and everyone says how similar we are. But I like that I am the "girl version." I grew up idolizing my dad. He is elegant and charming, easy on his feet, a fast-talker, brilliant, commanding and compassionate. My dad is an attorney. He is everything the movies and media painted as an archetypal lawyer. And I thought the world of him--still do. Strangers, friends, family, all gushed how similar the two of us were--our eyes, our hair, our personalities. I beamed in his presence. I soaked up his ferocious liberal politics. I listened intently as…

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Anonymous

You are my role models

(To the women in my law school classes) The women who came before me made great strides in the study and practice of law, strides I didn't fully appreciate until I was studying law myself in an environment where I felt respected and where I was surrounded by other smart, capable women and powerful, inspiring female faculty. Because I know that this has not always been the case, I remain indebted to the women who came before me, for it is through their work breaking through barriers and challenging preconceptions that now, pursuing a law career has become an empowering…

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Vanessa Gonzalez-Vinas

Ways Around the Old Boys Club: Networking, Committees, Working Groups

As a woman entering the legal profession I look forward to applying the skills I have learned both academically and socially in the workplace. I have had the opportunity to witness women in different situations succeed and I have also learned from past mistakes that I've made in various social settings with regard to gender equality. Historically, the legal profession is a field dominated by men, but that is slowly changing. There are certain advantages that men have because of this historical dominance and that includes the "ol' boys network" for finding jobs and being promoted. However, I don't want…

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Manamana

Are They All Neanderthals?

Kalokagathia wrote earlier this week in Introductions Matter about potential problems arising from simple introductions, and it reminded me of a discussion we had Monday in my Professional Responsibility class (of all places) about male-female relationships in the workplace. It wasn't just romantic relationships (although that was part of it), but also mentor-mentee and co-worker relations that were discussed. And it appears that there is a lot of tension going on these days between the sexes. I think that women are frequently given conflicting advice: on the one hand, we're told that to make it in the law, you need…

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Harold Hongju Koh

Remarks at the conference “Legally Female: What does it mean to be Ms. JD?”

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years. Dean Harold Hongju Koh of Yale Law School opened the national conference entitled “Legally Female: Ms. JD” co-hosted by Yale Law Women at Yale Law School on March 31, 2007 with the following remarks. Four years later we're gearing up for another conference - have you registered yet? Welcome and Congratulations to Yale Law Women for all you have done to put today’s conference together. In the 1992 vice-presidential debate the third party candidate began by asking “Who am…

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