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From Paralegal to Associate: Are you still doing “office housework”?

I recently read an article written by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on women doing office housework.[1]  It couldn’t ring truer to my ears than now.  As a paralegal, it is your job to do all the admin tasks being delegated by the attorneys.  But as an attorney, I somewhat still am asked to do those admin tasks on top of the workload of an attorney.  Recently, during a trial, not only was I expected to do all the preparation for the trial, but I was also expected to put the exhibits together, and prepare the binders.    What is one supposed…

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A Galentine’s Day Reflection on the Value of Female Friendships

           Today is Galentine’s Day, a completely made up holiday popularized by a TV show, Parks and Recreation, that hasn’t aired in years. Unlike Valentine’s Day, this “holiday” is intended to honor female friendships rather than romantic relationships. To say the least, the episode which featured this holiday and the character who invented it, Leslie Knope, was memorable. As Malcolm Gladwell tells us, a “sticky” message from an extraordinary communicator can carry an idea far and wide. Yet, I don’t think that the show or Leslie Knope are the only reasons that Galentine’s Day caught on.…

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Interview with Linda Mercurio, Esq., Founder of Transformative Impact

Linda Mercurio is the Founder of Transformative Impact, a company providing coaching, training, and consulting services to transitioning attorneys. From 2008-2016, Linda served as the Founding Executive Director of the American University Washington College of Law Lawyer Reentry Program - a program she designed and implemented. I've followed with admiration Linda's career path for some time now, and when I reached out recently to tell her so, she sent back a same time photo of her desk with my book, Lawyer Interrupted, atop her own "To Be Read" pile.  I love when life sends us those moments of impactful connection. You…

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The Olympics and Me Too - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

In honor of today’s Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics, I thought we would take a brief look at women’s participation in the Olympics. The Olympics have not always been, and it can be argued, continues to be hostile to women’s involvement. In fact, though the Olympic games in Ancient Greece included foot races for unmarried girls, women were banned from the first modern Olympics in 1896.  Women’s involvement in the Olympics and sports, in general, were openly criticized by the founder of the Modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin. According to the Baron, participation in sports destroyed a woman’s…

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Welcome 2018 Writers in Residence

We are excited to introduce the 2018 Writers in Residence, which consists of a small group of columnists who provide monthly articles on the Ms. JD Blog. Our online community provides a forum for dialogue and networking among women lawyers, law students, and pre-law students. In the past, our writers have given rise to some of Ms. JD's most inspiring, hilarious, and provocative content to date. I’m excited to introduce this year’s Writers: Amy Impellizzeri: Lawyer Interrupted Ani Torossian: Ms. Cyberlaw Brittany Wiegand: Selfie with no filter: the 1L life Claire Parsons: Tips from a New Equity Partner who Never Thought She’d Make…

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Drive Your Journey: Preparing for an Online First Impression

These days, when someone goes to buy any product, they look online for reviews, to compare prices, and more. Certainly, in many instances when someone is looking to engage or hire an attorney as an employee, service provider, speaker, or other role, they also utilize the convenience of searching online, and that individual’s first impression may be based upon what he or she sees online. This presents an opportunity for attorneys. You can shape your digital presence, so that your digital presence show you to be a credible professional and someone with whom others will want to work. The top…

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Statistically Weeping: One Law Student and Her Depression

The first rule many of us are taught in legal rhetoric classes is often issued as the commandment to know thy audience and purpose. Audience and purpose – who are you writing to and what for? Which audience? The legal community: those practicing out in the wild or law students, grinding out the hours somewhere in their first, second, third year. This audience can extend beyond those lines too. To those who love and care about anyone falling into those categories. The point being, the audience needs to be wide reaching. I’d prefer as many people as possible to fill…

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Rising Up: How Good Etiquette Can Advance your Career

How many of you consider proper etiquette to be an essential part of your personal and professional success? Etiquette matters and I will be blogging about this very topic in 2018. Etiquette is much more than rules, thank you notes, and proper forks. Rather, etiquette is both specific manners that govern behavior and principals or guiding concepts that are the basis of all manners.  Manners can change with the times or vary among cultures. Principals like respect, consideration and honesty are timeless and consistent everywhere around the globe. Manners and their principals are specific factors that influence relationships, and relationships…

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Advice for Effective Retooling

I have coached many attorneys who are retooling whether learning a new area of law after having practiced for a few years or starting over with a new employer in a new area either as practicing attorney or in a non-practicing role.  In fact, I’ve done so twice over the course of my career – once shifting from a corporate generalist position to being the lead employment and labor lawyer for my first in-house role and, second, when I left legal practice to focus full-time on attorney professional development.  Retooling can represent a tremendous opportunity to grow and expand your…

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The Mindful Mindset: Handling Rejection the Mindful Way

"Success is a lousy teacher.  It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose." - Bill Gates Let's face it, we all get rejected at some point.  For most of us, the emotional pain of being rejected can feel destabilizing and take us away from the path to success.  An unfortunate by-product of rejection is that it can create negative self-talk and criticism, which then cuts away at our confidence and perhaps even leads us to avoid situations where we think we could be rejected again.  This can send us away from opportunity, growth, and professional development.  Don't let yourself get…

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