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Ms. JD

Election Victories for Women Lawyers

Contested seats go to women in Wake's district court: Three women -- Jacqueline Brewer, Christine Walczyk and Anna E. Worley -- earned spots on Wake County's District Court benches, beating out their male opponents in Tuesday's election. The three races at the District Court level were the only contested ones in the Wake County Courthouse, with most of the 11 District Court judges running unopposed for re-election. A historic victory for Alvarez: Democrat Anita Alvarez won her bid Tuesday to become the first Hispanic and first woman state's attorney in Cook County, handing Republican Tony Peraica his second countywide election…

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Ms. JD

Michelle Obama: Lawyer and First Lady

Michelle Obama, lawyer and wife of President-Elect Barack Obama, is now about to assume the role of first lady. In honor of this event, Ms. JD offers this brief biography of Michelle Obama: Michelle Obama was born on the South Side of Chicago, and graduated with her undergraduate degree from Princeton University. She then attended Harvard Law School. While there, she participated in political demonstrations, especially advocating for the hiring of a diverse faculty. Upon graduation, she returned to work in Chicago. Michelle Obama worked for the law firm Sidley Austin, on the staff of the Mayor of Chicago Richard…

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Clippings: Envisioning a Successful Female Presidential Candidate

Kate Zernicki makes some predictions about who, after Senator Clinton, will be the next serious female contender for the Presidency: That woman will come from the South, or west of the Mississippi. She will be a Democrat who has won in a red state, or a Republican who has emerged from the private sector to run for governor. She will have executive experience, and have served in a job like attorney general, where she will have proven herself to be “a fighter” (a caring one, of course).She will be young enough to qualify as postfeminist (in the way Senator Barak…

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Southern Ms. Part III: Networking

This week the female clerks in my building are gathering for our second "Wine on Wednesday." Wednesday was chosen because that's when the male clerks in the building hold practice for their all-male basketball league. For many years I've heard the stories about the exclusion of women from valuable athletics-based networking events. Whether it be the company softball team or the annual super-bowl pool, these always seemed like tell-tale signs of latent discrimination. I've also heard about the mani-pedi events firms organize for women to compensate, and then how these events were terminated due to IRS crackdowns. Having never been…

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The Permanent Clerk

Working with a law clerk at a federal court as an externship, I became amazed at how much work these permanent clerks actually accomplish. The permanent law clerk and her secretary essentially run the courtroom and chambers, assigning our work, going through the docket and giving the judges his cases, and even briefing him on every case.Although the law clerks and the secretaries do tend to be women, the law clerks, for the most part, are all practicing attorneys who at one point practiced in the private sector and have a degree of specialization in some area of the law...…

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Observations of a Judicial Extern

I am spending my summer working for a (female) judge. Since there is not much on the site regarding women in government jobs, I have decided to share some observations I have made over the past few weeks. There are over 30 externs working where I am situated. There are about twice as many female externs as male externs. I have several thoughts as to why this may be the case, but of course they are just my thoughts, and are not substantiated by much (or any) investigatory work on my part. It seems most (if not all) of the…

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Sabrina Ross

From Rural Nicaragua to Corporate America, Women Change Landscapes

My experience as a woman entering the legal profession is perhaps as much about history as it is about the future.In part, my entrance is shaped by my pre-existing commitment to using the law to advance equality where the nexus of race, gender, disability, and other qualities currently locates inequality, both de facto and de jure. I will start with an example of this commitment, and the view it affords: working in Nicaragua, I would often assess the results of our organization's small grants to feminist projects. One day on such an assignment, equipped with a two-minute brief on the…

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Security screening

I personally experienced the changing face of the U.S. legal profession on Capitol Hill when I attended a hearing held in a Senate office building as a member of the general public. The security detail posted at the entrance treated me like a Senator.

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