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The Story of Nancy Gertner: A Woman Defined by the Movement

Since my post last month, in which I wrote about the dearth of women at the highest levels of the legal profession, I’ve learned about a variety of notable blue-stockinged lawyers, which has somewhat pleasantly deflated my conviction. In addition to reading about Lisa Blatt, Russlyn Ali, Dale Cendali and the dozens of other panelists attending the HLS Women’s Law Association’s Conference this Friday, I also had the recent privilege to interview a paragon of female empowerment, Judge Nancy Gertner.  When I asked Gertner if she was a feminist, without a moment’s hesitation, she responded, “Yes.” She paused as if…

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A Run in Her Stockings: How the Fabulously Average Law Student…Excels at Extracurricular Activities  

Now that the spring 2011 semester is in full swing, this is an excellent time to get involved around your law school community! Whether you are a 1L, 2L, or 3L, extracurricular activities can give you leadership experience and aid in showing employers that you are a well-rounded student. Extracurricular activities also allow you to interact with students from other graduating classes, including incoming students.Here are a few tips on how to maximize your law school extracurricular experience:Participate in organizations you are truly interested in: Do not be afraid of being judged by others. If there is an organization you…

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Sarah Ferguson

Going Public: Choosing Your Path

So, you’re in law school (or maybe a recent grad) and you’re assessing your career trajectory. Your school hosts lawyers in various fields, your professors discuss their previous careers in practice, your friends talk about their summer internships. There are so many options! How to narrow it down? It’s not easy, but if you think you may be leaning towards public service, there are some indicators that show it may be just the path for you. I know, I know, last month I stated that there’s no list you can check off to determine if the public sector is right…

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Jamie Bence

From the Seat of Power: Lisa Kaeser

This month's column features Lisa Kaeser, who currently serves as a senior program analyst in the Office of Program and Public Liaison at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) at the National Institutes of Health, HHS. She works as a liaison between the NICHD’s leadership and its many constituencies, which include Congress, the scientific and research advocacy communities, and the public. Prior to joining the NICHD over ten years ago, Ms. Kaeser worked for over a decade in women’s health research and policy issues at The Alan Guttmacher Institute, and before that for…

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Breaking Chains to Build New Links - Networking within the Law School!

For the last several months, I've been looking at how networking varies in different legal fields.  This month, however, I'm going to take a hiatus and post on something slightly different.  I’m posting on law school networking because of a couple personal experiences I’ve had in the last few weeks.       Now, for some of you Law School Networking means attending bar review on Thursday nights, making friends among your classmates, or spending some extra time with a professor.  I think all of those things are important parts of law school networking.  (Indeed, you can hear me and many other…

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Hua Wang

Talking Leadership with Dr. June Robinson

Talking Leadership: Conversations with Powerful Women is a set of conversations with women who have embraced leadership and power.  All of these women have realized how to overcome the major challenges women still face in achieving visibility, building support, setting boundaries, and influencing up.   They come from diverse personal, academic, and professional backgrounds.  Through a series of candid conversations, these inspirational women leaders will share their successes and challenges in their pathways to power.   Dr. June Robinson is a Professor of Clinical Dermatology at Northwestern University Medical School.  She played a critical role in defining early melanoma, recommending narrower…

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Making Your Womanhood Work for You: Cross-Examination

Making Your Womanhood Work for You: Ever wonder if the rumors that male law students get cold-called more frequently than female students is actually true? Or whether firm hiring partners will actually dock points if you wear pants to an interview? "Working your Womanhood" highlights common (and not-so-common) issues that women face in the legal arena, and effective ways that women have coped with these issues. From the classroom to the workplace, I'll explore the experiences of women in the field who have dealt with balancing their femininity with their legal careers. Effective cross-examination takes particular and specialized skill—a delicate…

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Beginning at the end: Will this be on the exam?

Will This be on the Exam? Answer: Yes.  This is the first thing any successful first year law student needs to know.  The second thing she needs to know is that her best resource for advice on surviving school is an older student.  This column is dedicated to that scared 1L, and it offers advice from a source that can say, "Been there, survived that."  By the end of my second year of law school, I will have been a teaching assistant for three different courses: Civil Procedure, Property, and Constitutional Law.  As a teaching assistant, I sit in on…

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Jennifer Guenther

Money Matters…but how much as a first year attorney?

Twelve years out of law school and I am thrilled!  I finally have less than $20,000 in student loans left to pay.  But then I think, “Wait a minute, I am twelve years out of law school and I still have almost $20,000 in law student loans to pay??  What happened?!”   I will tell you what happened, I failed to realize early on, much like many of my brethren, that the financial decisions you make at the beginning of your career will affect your choices well into your future.Here’s a fact:  The average law school graduate now walks away with both…

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20/20: Reflections on Life in the Law

20/20 Reflections of Life in the Law: If you could rewind time, what would you do differently and what would remain the same?  Some of the best mentors are those who can let their guard down to share stories of disaster averted, recovery from failure, and the right choices they've made along the way.This column is a series of reflections from women at different stages of their legal careers exploring where they went right or wrong.  Let their lessons serve as guideposts to carving out your own path in the legal world. where they wish they'd shifted gears.  However, I’d…

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