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Ms. JD Staff

The Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law

Last week, the New York City Bar Association hosted the Annual Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law. The bar association founded the lecture series in 2000 to honor Justice Ginsburg's commitment to advancing women's rights. This year's lecture was delivered by Melanne Verveer, the newly appointed Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. The ambassadorship was created earlier this year, making Verveer the director of the Department of State’s new Office on Global Women’s Issues. Justice Ginsburg introduced Ambassador Verveer, highlighting the importance of the Ambassador's agenda in helping women around the world develop their talents "without…

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Ms. JD

Working with Men to Advance Women in the Profession

Editor's Note: Ms. JD's annual conference, Avenues to Advancement, was held November 20-21 in Chicago. These are notes from the "Working with Men to Advance Women in the Profession" panel. Michael Morkin, a partner at Baker & McKenzie, noted that when he told his children that he was coming to speak on this panel, his 13-year-old daughter didn't understand the need for a conference focused specifically on helping women advance in the profession, which led him to hope that perhaps for the next generation, gender won't play a role in advancement within the profession. All the panelists shared Morkin's enthusiasm…

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Ms. JD

2010 Writers in Residence

Ms. JD will continue to accept applications for the 2010 Writers in Residence Program through December 31, 2009: Do you feel your creative spirit fading as you work tirelessly to perfect your legal writing skills? Do you miss composing prose that is not in the passive voice or that does not require bluebooking? Would you like to share your experiences as women entering the legal profession? Ms. JD is currently seeking law students and young professionals to serve as 2010 Ms. JD Writers in Residence. The Writers in Residence program will consist of a small group of columnists who will…

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Sarah Dunn Davis

Suit Filed against the National Conference of Bar Examiners over Testing Accommodations

Stephanie Enyart is a 2009 graduate of UCLA School of Law. We introduced Ms. JD readers to Stephanie last year, after the ABA Student Division's magazine featured a story about her experience as a legally blind law school student and her role in founding the National Association of Law Students with Disabilities. In law school, Stephanie used software programs that scanned written material and read it aloud while reproducing the text in a magnified visual format. She uses the same blend of software in her current position as a clerk with the Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit organization in Berkeley,…

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jessie

Ms. JD’s Third Annual Conference on Women in the Law: Avenues to Advancement

In just 30 days, hundreds of Ms. JD readers, NWLSO chapter members, and women attorneys from around the country will gather on Northwestern Law School's downtown Chicago campus for Ms. JD's 3rd Annual Conference on Women in the Law: Avenues to Advancement. We have an incredible slate of speakers and panelists including: Michele Mayes, VP & GC Allstate Insurance Andrea Zopp, VP & GC Exelon Corp. Cathy Lamobley, former GC Shell Oil Co. Sue Bettman, VP & GC R R Donnelley & Sons Co. Lee Miller, CEO DLA Piper Judge Joan Lefkow, Northern District of Illinois Corrine Wood, former Lt.…

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Janet

A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything

The Shriver Report: A Woman's Nation Changes Everything, released this week, focuses on a vast array of issues facing women in the workforce, from health to education, media to marriage. The comprehensive examination of women in the labor force includes data points, policy suggestions, academic research, and reflective essays. This report describes how a woman’s nation changes everything about how we live and work today. Now for the first time in our nation’s history, women are half of all U.S. workers and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families. This is a dramatic shift…

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The Natural Rights Objection:  A Reply to Judith Jarvis Thomson’s “A Defense of Abortion”

In her landmark essay A Defense of Abortion, the eminent American moral philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson argues as follows: if you were kidnapped, sedated, and attached to another person in order to serve as their kidney dialysis machine, you would not be obligated to stay connected to them – even if disconnecting yourself from them would result in their death. Similarly, women who become pregnant should be able to detach themselves from their fetuses, since their fetus has no right to use their body without their consent. (Try to think of their conception of “bodily ownership” as being essentially the…

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Ms. JD

10 Ways to Combat Diversity Fatigue

By Dr. Arin N. Reeves DIVERSITY FATIGUE (di.VUR.suh.tee fuh.teeg): According to WordSpy.com, a web site dedicated to tracking new terms that have appeared multiple times in major media, “diversity fatigue”—a form of mental exhaustion brought on by the constant attention required to create or increase diversity in work settings—is now an official part of the workplace lexicon. The concept of diversity fatigue first appeared in a New York Times (April 6, 1998) article on how the nation’s newspaper editors wanted to roll back the goals of increasing diversity in the newsrooms because “there’s a widespread sense of diversity fatigue.” Since…

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Ms. JD

Toward Inclusive Meritocracies: Examining the Relationship between Merit and Diversity in Large Law Firms

by Arin N. Reeves, President, The Athens Group (Ed. Note: This article was originally published in the 'Diversity Insider: Dedicated to Creating a Diverse Profession,' a publication for the 'DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar.') According to The American Heritage Dictionary, a meritocracy is a “system in which advancement is based on individual ability or achievement.” Many law firms pride themselves on operating as meritocracies embodied by this definition. Individual ability and achievement is carefully examined in future hires, and attorneys who have been deemed to be worthy of inclusion in law firms are rewarded and advanced based on…

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Janet

Ms. JD Public Interest Summer Scholarship Honorable Mention: Jennifer Siepel

Ms. JD is pleased to feature Jennifer Siepel, recipient of the Ms. JD's Public Interest Summer Scholarship Essay Contest Honorable Mention Award. Here is her essay submission:When interviewing with the judge for whom I will clerk this summer, we began discussing my career aspirations. I told her the classes I most enjoyed and those I was excited to take. She began to share stories of her years in law school over thirty years ago and what her life was like when she was a new attorney. She explained she was the only female in her firm (if not the town).…

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