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Truths about Big Law and Finding Joy in Your Tribe: A Transparent Dialogue with Jennifer House

Self-Proclaimed “Law Firm Refugee” Jennifer House spoke with me on some truths working in Big law and how her move to Netflix was one of the best decisions for her. Jen is a Harvard Law alumna, mother, wife, and attorney. In just one hour, Jen kept things very real on her experiences as a black woman working in a field that doesn’t necessarily cater to women—especially women of color. Jen, reflects with me all her experiences: the good, the bad and the ugly. It was absolutely refreshing to hear her perspective on the disparities that women who look like her…

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paigemrgreene91@gmail.com

It’s Time To Beat The Burn Out: The Importance of Well-Being In The Legal Profession

THE CURRENT CLIMATE Burnout, stress, anxiety, depression – whatever you want to call it – if you’re in the legal profession there is a chance that you’ll feel it at some point in your career. Lawyers are constantly reaching for a professional-personal life balance, and the pressure to deliver can feel enormous for even the most confident and most competent lawyers. Unsurprisingly, burnout starts in law school. A 2014 research survey on law student well-being revealed that law students might have higher rates of anxiety and depression than other graduate students. (Jerome M. Organ et al., “Suffering in Silence: The…

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nbrittan@vols.utk.edu

Studying Abroad in Law School

Studying abroad is a wonderful opportunity for students to expand their world-view through international travel and cultural immersion.  It provides more than just Instagram-worthy photos; it is a beneficial experience that can enable both personal and academic growth. For law students, studying abroad is especially advantageous since we live in such a global economy and law has become increasingly international. Additionally, exposure to foreign governments, legal systems, and jurisprudence can help American students better identify the strengths and weaknesses within our own system. As future lawyers and leaders, this perspective is critical if we wish to make positive changes within…

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Elizabeth Tolon

Creating Balance through Routine

As I go through my final semester of law school, I reflect on what I’ve learned since starting two and a half years ago.  For me, law school has been challenging, invigorating, fun, and full of surprises.  When I walked into class on my first day of law school, I had no idea what to expect.  I had no idea what textualism meant or how the Rules of Civil Procedure influence litigation.  I didn’t know what the Socratic method was and I didn’t understand the curve.  After my first day of classes, I felt a little like Elle Woods after…

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shanicehinckson@gmail.com

Ms. JD Herstory Series: “Empowering” – Paige Griffith

The Ms. JD Herstory Series is a project associated with the “Her Story ” themed 2018 Ms. JD Conference. It is a blog posting series that features summaries of interviews with members of the Ms. JD family conducted by Shanice Hinckson, a 2017-2018 Ms. JD Fellow. These summaries portray each person’s account of the influence Ms. JD has had on their lives. Furthermore, it highlights Ms. JD as an important contribution to the legal community and an advocate for stories that refrain from marginalizing the woman’s perspective. Empowering As a former Ms. JD Fellow and current board member, Paige Griffith…

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How Stacey Hallerman Created Her Own Destiny with a Relentless & Inspiring Desire to Take Initiative

Stacey Hallerman is the definition of finding a need and filling it. For 6 years while working for a boutique food and drug law firm, she realized that her firm was outsourcing intellectual property work to other law firms and took it upon herself to learn trademark law. She bought books and studied IP law, specifically trademark applications that normally would be delegated to other firms. Inevitably by learning IP law, Stacey saved her firm thousands of dollars and grew as an IP lawyer. With every positon that Stacey took on, she made a point to never leave the firm…

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A Conversation with 2018 Ms. JD Honors Reception Keynote Speaker Lily Y. Hughes

“Always remember that no matter the toughest challenge that you’re facing, have faith that there is always an end to it.  Choose joy while going through hell, buckle up, know you are growing stronger and there will be light on the other side” were the last words that Lily Hughes gave me before ending our call. When Lily Hughes was only 11 years old she and her family immigrated from Hong Kong to East LA.  Lily’s mother was illiterate even in Chinese, and her father repair shoes during the day and was a busboy at night. From a young age,…

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How Following her Instinct and Passions took Heather Washington from the Law Firm to the Film Set

Go to law school, work for a firm, make lots of money, rinse wash and repeat. The typical story for most attorneys was not the path set out for Heather Washington. I had the opportunity to speak with Heather and pick her brain on how she became the Feature Film Executive that she is today. Heather is a Howard University and University of Pennsylvania Law School alum, and she relentlessly followed her inspirations in the Entertainment business. After working for two prestigious law firms, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP and DLA Piper, Heather found her calling and her passion in…

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Michelle Banks: How Risk Taking and Dedication to Supporting Women Led her to a Successful Career

Michelle Banks is one of 2018 Ms. J.D "Her Story" Conference Key Note speakers. As a former EVP Sustainability & Global General Counsel, Michelle is currently an executive coach, a frequent speaker on leadership, and a nonprofit board member. Michelle completed her education at UCLA and continued to give back, not only through her organization LEAD but as an Executive Coach to corporate counsel. Michelle started her career by taking huge leaps of faith. At the first opportunity, Michelle flew to Japan and worked as the only woman at one of the largest Japanese trading companies. Her leaps of faith, perseverance, and confidence in herself, helped shape her career as…

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shanicehinckson@gmail.com

Ms. JD Herstory Series: “Inspirational” – Maleaha Brown

The Ms. JD Herstory Series is a project associated with the “Her Story ” themed 2018 Ms. JD Conference. It is a blog posting series that features summaries of interviews with members of the Ms. JD family conducted by Shanice Hinckson, a 2017-2018 Ms. JD Fellow. These summaries portray each person’s account of the influence Ms. JD has had on their lives. Furthermore, it highlights Ms. JD as an important contribution to the legal community and an advocate for stories that refrain from marginalizing the woman’s perspective. Inspirational “When I think of her story, I think about the movie ‘Hidden…

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