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katalintarjan

What does a legal career look like for you?

Most people when they think ‘lawyer’ they think about attorneys arguing at court. But legal careers are actually much more diverse than what you see on those legal shows on TV, that’s why it’s important to learn about different career paths before you decide on one.   Do you know those personality tests that ask you to go back to your childhood to find out what it is you want to do with your life? I love those! It always makes me kind of proud to find out I am doing the exact same thing that I imagined for myself…

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PaulaMJones

Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: When To Say ‘No Thanks”

"You cannot swim for new horizons until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."  William Faulkner When I first graduated from law school I had a successful interview at a small firm.  We discussed employment terms, including salary and a start date and they told me they would send a formal offer letter.  The letter never arrived and after leaving several phone messages over the next few weeks, I finally was told that the firm was not going to hire anyone new.  I still remember the devastation I felt after finally realizing that my very first job…

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Caambridge

Setting Intentional Goals in the New Year

January 1st brings a new beginning. It is the start of a new year and is the perfect time to set new goals to achieve. Many people use January 1st as a time to plan out what they want to accomplish for the upcoming year, and they use it as a time to reflect on the year before. January 1st typically feels like a fresh start, and that anything is possible. The issue is that halfway through January, life tends to set in, and before many people know it, they are reverting to bad habits and putting their goals off…

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jennyrpatten

An In-House Counsel’s Maxims for 2020

As I prepared for my last column as a Writer in Residence for Ms. JD, I decided to conclude with something that reflects my own personal approach to my in-house practice.  Although I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, every December I jot down some guiding principles that I use to refine my mid- and long-term professional and career goals.  Below are four maxims I’m taking with me into my in-house practice for 2020: Fight the Inertia.  Inertia is, by definition, a tendency to remain at rest or remain unchanged. With any new initiative or project that you…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - Collective Wisdom of 2019

As a 2019 Ms. JD Writer in Residence, I had the privilege of interviewing some truly inspirational first-generation lawyers/lawyers with blue-collar roots.  I learned about their unique paths to law school and the legal profession, and the challenges associated with becoming the first person in their family (or possibly in their community) to become a lawyer.  These women also shared some great advice, which I compiled below.  It is my hope that first-generation attorneys will continue to share their stories and mentor and support other trailblazers who are climbing up the ladder.    Collective Wisdom of 2019: You Can Do It! “You deserve to be where you…

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mjtimko13

Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - An Interview with Jennifer Frankola Crawford

For this month's post, I am thrilled to feature my fellow CUNY Law alum, Jennifer Frankola Crawford. Jennifer is an experienced attorney, arbitrator, and human rights advocate with blue-collar/working-class roots. As an arbitrator, Jennifer hears cases and renders decisions based upon New York State’s Insurance Law. In addition, Jennifer maintains an active practice in education law, representing families of children with learning disabilities and developmental delays. Further, Jennifer engages in pro bono work involving human rights issues, including handling immigration/deportation cases, and she collaborates with other lawyers to design and host CLEs.  In this interview, Jennifer describes how her family's history, including her parents' immigration to the United States, influenced her career trajectory. She also offers excellent advice to first-generation…

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jennyrpatten

You’ve landed the in-house job, now what?

Landing a new in-house position can come with an initial feeling of exhilaration, but the change associated with moving to a new company, or moving in-house for the first time, can feel daunting and intimidating.  I’ve moved to a few different in-house departments over my decade of practice, and while each organization has been different, I’ve learned a few core maxims that help set myself up for long term success.  1. Expect the unexpected.   No matter how much research you’ve done on the company or the industry, or how many people you interviewed with prior to accepting the position, you…

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XpYmu98NtP

The Mental Load: Holiday Survival Guide for the Time-Crunched Professional

As year-end approaches, many of you are undoubtedly feeling equal parts cheer and….mind-blowing stress. As if keeping your usual responsibilities in check wasn’t already enough to make you feel like you’re walking a daily tightrope, we’ve now reached the lovely time of year where we get to add on innumerable extras. Like finding an outfit for the office party that simultaneously conveys professionalism and a touch of festive glitz; ensuring the Elf of the Shelf doesn’t inadvertently arrive a day later than precisely the same day she flew into town last year (don’t think for a second that three-year-old children of…

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Caambridge

Managing Final Exam Stress

Nothing makes a law student more anxious than the thought of final exams. A semesters worth of knowledge typically all comes down to one exam. In law school, certain classes’ final assessments will be in the form of a paper, and other classes may have midterm examinations, but the grade in most courses is determined by one final examination. With the sheer though of finals typically comes anxiety and panic. All law students understand that grades matter and that one moment could be a determining factor in an entire law school career. Below are three quick tips for manage stress…

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erikastallings

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

Build real relationships. I put an emphasis on relationships because we currently live in a culture that repeatedly exhorts people to network. But it’s easy to go to an event and collect business cards. It’s another thing to building a relationship with another person. This does require time and energy, along with the willingness to be vulnerable and curious about the person you’re trying to build a relationship with. In a busy profession such as the law that may seem daunting. But I can attest from first hand experience that the investment is worth it. In the fall of 2017…

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