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Ms. JD is Now Accepting Applications for Its 2018 Writers in Residence Program!

Ms. JD is currently seeking applications for our 2018 Writers in Residence Program. The Writers in Residence program was started in 2010 and is a select group of practicing attorneys, alternative career individuals, pre-law students, current law students, and other professionals who contribute monthly articles for one year to the Ms. JD blog on a topic of their choosing. Some blog titles this year were: Concrete Ceilings and Open Doors: Women of Color & The Law, Drive Your Journey, Monthly Mantra: Finding Health and Wellness in the Law, Failure Turned Inside Out, The Road Less Traveled: Alternative Legal Paths, The M in…

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“Keep Your Tunnel Vision”

  I received this advice before I got to law school and never understood the importance until it was March. And I still didn’t have a summer job. When you see all your classmates around you, with paying jobs, it’s hard to realize that you’re also worthy—even though you don’t have a job. As a first generation law student, you don’t necessarily have the same resources as a normal law student. So, you have to go above and beyond to find those resources. My first year, around the time the people were going through OCI, I used the advice from…

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Choose Critics Carefully.

In my 20’s, I wanted to do everything. In my first career as a teacher, I sought out constant feedback from supervisors and colleagues about specific areas of improvement. I was – and am – ambitious. I love feeling like I’ve worked hard and done a job well. I’ve always found deep meaning in the work that I do, and I like going above and beyond to contribute to whatever team I’m on. During and after projects, I constantly asked for feedback on how I was doing and what I could do better. I asked both supervisors and colleagues for…

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The best career advice I’ve ever received is this question to ask yourself

It was my first day back at work as a litigation associate after my Dad had suddenly died two week earlier. Rebecca, a partner at the firm, invited me into her office to see how I was doing. I wanted to tell her that the world seemed different. People looked different. Even my usual large cup of Peet’s coffee with a splash of cream tasted different. Instead I said, “Hanging in there” with a half smile. Part of me wanted to go home and crawl under the covers and part of me wanted the distraction of work. “Go home.” she…

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Career Satisfaction is Not Always a Straight Line

  During my second year of law school I had the good fortune to clerk for a bankruptcy court judge. When he had breaks from the bench, we sat in chambers discussing cases. Sometimes we talked about my career goals. At that point, the only thing I was sure of was that I wanted to try cases. My most memorable conversation with the Judge provided me with the best career advice I ever received. It went something like this:             Judge:  What kind of life do you want to create?             Me:  Oh, ok. Um,…

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Ms. JD Writers in Residence Program

When I think of all of the advice I have received over the years, there are several tips that resonate in my mind. However, the most important piece of advice would not be considered advice at all. Instead, it was discouragement that ended up being my greatest flame of passion. I had always been relatively successful when it came to school and prided myself at my intellectual achievements. I knew from a very young age that I needed to go to college and I knew I wanted to become a lawyer in the 6th grade. Thus, every step I took…

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What is the number one piece of career advice you have received

I was always told that you should find someone who is doing exactly what you want to do and you should ask him or her how they did it. I found a mentor who I considered to be very successful and we had a long conversation about the path he took and the obstacles he faced. Among the wealth of information I learned from that conversation, my favorite was this: make sure you get involved in the community and make sure you pay it forward.  He told me that being a great lawyer isn’t all about your work product; rather…

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On the Best Piece of Career Advice I’ve Received…

    The best piece of career advice I have received came from David Thornburgh, President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy.  I had the chance to hear him speak at a conference, and his words have stayed with me and have since helped me make multiple decisions. Thornburgh warned a crowd of graduate and prospective graduate students about the danger of letting one major goal get in the way of your other goals.  That simple advice changed me and challenged my beliefs.  Was it actually possible that the path to success was more like a road trip with friends…

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Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good…

I tend to be a perfectionist.  And it is often not a good thing.  Perfectionism holds me back.  It keeps me from doing things in order to avoid making mistakes or embarrassing myself by showing the world something less than my best.  It makes me miss opportunities. A few years ago a former colleague and very good friend sent me a simple text regarding an action I was not taking because I didn’t think I could do it well enough.  She texted, “Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good...”  She certainly didn’t coin the phrase, but she said it at a…

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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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