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Sarah Ferguson

Going Public: Taking the Leap

Going Public will be targeted at those women, particularly those who are still in law school, who have an interest in pursuing a career in public service. The column will explore aspects of  “going public,” from deciding as a law school student to pursue a public sector career, to finding jobs and internships that may lead to successful public sector careers, to the experiences of female lawyers who have careers in the public sector. Though there are many different areas of public service, this column will focus primarily, on careers in government and politics.There was no “defining moment,” no “a-ha!…

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Jamie Bence

From the Seat of Power: Alexa Chappell

From the Seat of Power will focus on interviews with women lawyers working in the federal government. This column will explore the unique challenges and rewards of government work, including why these women chose their paths, how they got there, and what they hope to do next. The interviews will focus on balancing personal and professional goals as well as advice for aspiring civil servants.This month's column features Alexa Chappell, Associate Director in the Office of the Intergovernmental and Public Liaison at the United States Department of Justice. Alexa received her bachelor's in public finance from the School of Public…

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To Law, or Not To Law Part I: Generation ??? – What You Really Need To Make It Through Law and Life

The new generation of kids is smart.  Crazy smart.  I know everyone thinks that, and I am still young enough that I get told that too, however this is a generation of people being brought up with televisions in nearly every room, courses being taught on their ipods, and commercials that don’t last more than 30 seconds because the average American cannot hold focus for any longer (*This is an actual fact taken from the Department of Marketing at ESPN).  I just passed the bar and am, for all intents and purposes, considered a lawyer by the Virginia State Bar. …

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Gift Giving at the Office

Determining who in your office you should give a gift to and how much you should spend on that person can be a matter of office politics.  In some offices, there is a culture of giving and if you ask around people will tell you who you should give gifts to and how much is typically spent.  In other offices there is a set policy.  Unfortunately, in my office there is no identifiable culture or set policy. My first holiday season with my firm as a full time associate was in 2008, the economy had crashed, our salaries reduced, and we…

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The End Is Only The Beginning: ‘Tis the Season…for Bar Results

Over the past several months, Facebook statuses around the country have announced new members of state bar associations.  For many new lawyers, passing the Bar marks the culmination of years of hard work and commitment.  They’ve finally obtained all the credentials necessary to practice the profession they have chosen.  The only remaining step is being sworn in.However, as I prepared to update my Facebook status to announce that I had passed the California Bar, I was a bit conflicted.  On one hand, passing the Bar was a major accomplishment for me.  Being the first lawyer in my family, I took…

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Frank Kimball

What A Marine Pilot Told A New Wall Street Lawyer

In September 1977 I joined New York’s Shearman & Sterling as a new associate. We were paid $25,000 a year.  The toughest, smartest businessman I’ve ever known wrote me a note which I still have in a folder behind my desk.  He said “Congratulations on joining Shearman & Sterling. I’ve checked them out and it looks like a great place to start. But one thing Frank.  If when you get there they can only pay you $10-15,000 a year, keep the job because it is a good job.”  As a survivor of the Depression and the terrible recession that followed…

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Frank Kimball

You’re Not Networking - You’re Connecting

My New Year’s Resolution for 2011 is to banish the word networking. It’s become tiresome, predictable, and cliche ridden, conjuring up images of people working rooms, collecting cards, and investing way too much time in LinkedIn, Facebook, and updating the synch software on their Blackberry. The word for the new year is Connecting. Until you take the final step of connecting - personally, old school - the network is incomplete and useless. Once you connect it’s the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. Plus, and this is top secret, it’s fun. Since human beings came out of the caves and formed…

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Vado Porro

Rally for Girls’ Sports Day: What I won by playing sports

Editor's Note: The National Women's Law Center has organized the efforts to Rally for Girls' Sports Day. What did I win by playing sports?  I didn’t play sports until I turned eighteen, so I won some different things than people who played sports growing up.  When I left for college, I decided to play ice-hockey, and joined the team at the University of Maryland.  Maryland is a state that still doesn’t see a ton of women’s ice hockey, so I had a fairly unique opportunity to learn the sport in a supportive environment.  This experience was immensely valuable and I…

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Naming It, Claiming It: Arrived

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, third, fourth, fifth, and final posts in this series. It's hard to believe that the holiday season has arrived, that we are decorating a tree, sipping eggnog, and thinking about resolutions to for 2011. It seems like…

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Not Home for the Holidays

I can’t explain how delighted and pleased I am to have the house to myself. My husband and children left two days ago to drive ten-hours and spend the holiday with his family.  They will be gone for five full days.  As a 3rd year law student, with final exams and papers due in the next few weeks, my family knew I couldn’t spare the time to join them.  Although I have been studying, writing, and wasting little time, so much feels different.  I can do as I choose without feeling guilty- or at-least worried.  There is no one to…

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