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Naming It, Claiming It: Play to Win

Note: On January 1, my husband and I made a resolution for the New Year: we would move to California's Central Coast before the end of 2010. This series chronicles the career component of our journey as I attempt to make connections, build a network, and, hopefully (fingers crossed!), find a legal job in the next twelve months. Here are the first, second, and third posts in the series.My dad is a gambling man. He frequents casinos, scratches lottery tickets, has a string of lucky numbers that he uses to enter the California Lotto on a weekly basis. I do…

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Mikki Collier

Couture-At-Law: Peep-Toe Gate

 Recently, a non-lawyer friend who works in education asked my advice on what to wear for an upcoming interview.  She wanted to wear an outfit that was indicative of her professionalism and sincerity for the position, but she also wanted to showcase a bit of her personal style.  We were going back and forth, tossing around ideas when she said the unthinkable “It’s too hot, I don’t want to wear a suit.” WHAT?  Even in the blazing heat with the mercury nearing 150 degrees, lawyers must always, ALWAYS wear a suit to an interview. It’s not even an option. But…

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An OWLS View: The Signs of Aging vs. The Times of Anti-Aging

Droopy eyelids, wrinkled or sun-damaged skin, and sunken cheeks don't help older law students look as alert or prepared  as they may be for an assignment or interview.  Signs of aging may be mistaken for evidence of being tired, hung over, out of shape, etc.  Many OWLS I know want to look their best for upcoming interviews.  Some older students choose to have cosmetic procedures to freshen up and believe it will make them more competitive in the job market.  At a recent law-school fund raiser, which included attorneys from the community, procedures such as peels, facials, and injections were…

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Ursula Furi-Perry Esq.

Ms. Prof: Five Lessons for New Associates from Bar Prep

Another bar exam is behind us, and my fingers are crossed for everyone who sat for the test.As I assisted students with bar preparation, both individually and in study groups, it struck me that there were some great parallels between the nerves getting to bar applicants and the nerves that get to recent law grads who are starting a new job. The same advice that I give to bar applicants is sound advice for new associates. For example:First, don’t count yourself out. I’ve seen too many students “give up” on a particular type of question because they “just aren’t good…

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Swearing Off Talking About Appearances

You heard it here first:  I will no longer be talking (or blogging) about other women's professional attire.  In roughly 10 years of professional life I've received "constructive criticism" from other women about every conceivable aspect of my appearance: shoes, makeup, pants, skirt, name, voice, handshake, walk, posture, jewelry, bag, you name it. And for the most part I've taken it in stride, knowing the advice-givers were well-meaning, more experienced, and in a position to make or break various opportunities for me. This, despite the care and pride in my wardrobe and the fact that the advice is often conflicting.I've…

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Ashley Dawn Rutherford Esq.

Savvy Shopper-At-Law: Sophisticated Casual Friday Ensembles on a Budget

I have to confess. I despise casual/jeans Fridays. Casual Fridays are a recipe for disaster for law students, lawyers, and administrative staff alike. And, Jeans Fridays are even worse. This column is dedicated to mastering casual and/or jeans Friday on a budget.In a recent poll, the blog Corporette asked “Can you Give Unsolicited Advice to Interns?” The central theme throughout most of the responses was “casual” in a business environment is different than “casual” in a social environment. Bottom line: it is important to know your audience. As to whether a more senior employee will tell you whether you are…

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Breaking Chains to Build New Links: For the Public Interest Lawyer

A few months ago, I started a feature to look at how networking and self promotion varies for different areas of the law.  You can see the feature on government lawyering here and the feature on networking for large law firms here.  This month, I’m covering networking and self promotion for the public interest lawyer. I am deeply indebted to Lucy Quacinella, Principal and Founder of Multiform Advocacy Solutions in San Francisco, and Julia Harumi Mass, Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California for their contributions.  Through Multiform Advocacy Solutions, the small law firm she founded after many years in-house…

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Paula Edgar

Esquisite Paths: Rhonda Powell

Rhonda Powell is someone I truly admire.  She is intelligent, savvy and charismatic. She has a formidable sense of confidence that leads you to believe that she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to.   Rhonda’s path has led her to many different positions, including being an assistant buyer at Bloomingdales, an associate at three law firms and in-house attorney at two large corporations. During our conversation, we discussed, among other things,  having patience during times of adversity and her current position, which combines her love of food and her legal/business skills.  I was inspired by Rhonda’s Esquisite Path and…

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Me and the Boys

Forget the Linen Closet:  Reflections on My First Week as a Lawyer in a Law Firm

In preparation for my first day, I bought a new blouse and ironed my favorite suit.  Knowing that I was professionally dressed and looked nice was a little confidence booster that helped me put aside those first-day jitters. After paperwork and a short orientation with the office manager, I was taken to my new office, where a desk, a laptop computer, empty bookshelves and bare walls were waiting for my arrival.  Once my e-mail was all set up, I went ahead and sent the Boss an e-mail to let him know I was ready to work.  The first day assignments…

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Small Firm Life: Managing Up

When I read workplace success books and articles or receive career advice from mentors everyone always reminds me of the importance of “managing up.” The concept of managing up is to try and work with your boss to obtain the best results for both your boss and the company.  Rather than kissing up to your boss or trying to change him/her, the idea is to try and understand your boss and use these tools to your advantage.  I think it is a great concept on principle but I have always found it difficult to put into practice.  My boss is…

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