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Am I wearing too many hats? Learning how to juggle it all. Being black just got harder . . . .

In the midst of a pandemic, we’re still being murdered, subject to racism, unjustly accused of violent acts . . . and the list, distastefully, continues. There’s one hat that I can never discard, and that’s being black. I’m a mother of a young black boy, a daughter of a black father and a sister to black brothers. As tensions rise surrounded as a result of the injustice, lack of human decency, brutality and racism, there is no escaping my reality. There are times when I feel hopeless. With tears of fear running down my face, I shouldn’t have to…

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Techlegality: The Intersection of Healthcare, Law, and Tech – Interview with Damika W. Barr

There is no question that technology is shaping the future of healthcare, especially now. I recently had the opportunity to sit down (virtually) with Damika W. Barr, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Verily Life Sciences. Wearing many titles, Damika is a wife, mother, attorney, thought leader, and healthcare champion. Throughout the course of our discussion, Damika shared great insight into her career path and how she navigates a role uniquely positioned at the intersection of healthcare, law, and technology. I enjoyed every moment of this interview, and I hope the same for you.  VW: Let’s get right…

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Desiree Goff

Major Minority Inventions and Milestones

I have been stunned, saddened and angered by the events this week as I am sure those reading this are. But this isn’t the first time. I question how I can help, what I can write or say or DO to change the systemic issues affecting our society. I am certain that many of our readers experience covert and overt acts of racism frequently. In our careers as lawyers, we often only ACT once the damage is done. Often the prerequisite of a case is the question of “what are the damages” or “what is this case worth?” As attorneys,…

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Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: Academic Excellence Will Only Get You So Far

“You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.” - Thomas Wolfe My friend’s 16-year old daughter loves to cook.  She takes the culinary class offered at her school, pores over the glossy photos in cookbooks and makes a mean pineapple chicken.  When I asked if she was going to pursue culinary arts in college she sighed and said that she didn’t want to work in the restaurant business.  She explained that the hours were terrible and a lot of restaurants fail. My stepson is really good with kids.  It is…

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Dear Bar Taker: You Are Not Alone

There is no denying that those of you taking the bar exam this summer or fall are under an incredible amount of stress. You are tackling a significant milestone in your legal career, and you are doing it against the backdrop of truly unprecedented times. This is tough. But so are you. Below are some of my tips on keeping yourself connected and sane during bar prep. Everything I suggest may not work for everyone, but I do think they are worth considering. Celebrate. Before you start putting oversized post-its covered in bar prep notes all over your bedroom wall…

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On May 17, 2020 NASA unveiled The Artemis Accords. The Artemis Accords are a set of principles and processes where The United States and other countries agree to a common set of principles that refer to how the moon is to be explored. According to NASA, the raison d’etre of this Accord is to “establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space”. Bilateral Artemis Accords agreements, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty are aimed at “creating a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for the…

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Work ethics – six things you should not do if you want to be taken seriously at work

Everybody wants to be liked at work. Well, everybody wants to be liked in general, but for most of us, it’s work where we spend the most of our time. Since we see them every day, it’s especially important to maintain good relationships with our co-workers, which is not always easy to do. Here is a couple of things that could easily ruin it.   Being notoriously late Things happen. Even the most punctual person can be late sometimes, but not all of the time! If being on time is the exception, it shouts that this person cannot be trusted.…

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Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: Building and Maintaining a Practice with Clients You Love - Webinar

Editor's Note: Ms. JD 2020 Writer in Residence Paula Jones is offering a free webinar on Tuesday, May 19. Check out the details below!  Please join me for this complimentary webinar, enabling you to realize a client base with whom you truly love to work. In this webinar, you'll:  · Learn how to network to find clients you love · Learn what to listen for, to identify which clients will work best with you · Figure out if your client values your services – within the first ten minutes of meeting · Learn to heighten your sense of awareness about…

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Desi Advocacy: Spotlight on South Asian Women in the Law - A 1L’s Reflections During the Pandemic

This month, I chose to write about my own experiences dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and its related consequences as a first-year law student.  “We’re just worried about you dhana (sweetheart),” my mom said, her mouth contorting in a deep frown. “You’re all alone out there. What if you get sick? Who will take care of you? Who will take you to the hospital if something happens?”  I reassured my parents, who were Facetiming me from Northern California, that I was self-isolating. I most likely would not get sick, and I should just wait it out, I told them. Still,…

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The Influencers: (She was a) Frontier Justice

Some people might dispute whether Esther Hobart Morris was actually a judge. Technically, she was a Justice of the Peace and a non-lawyer to boot. But she was hearing cases before the first women law students had entered law schools. I’d say she counts.  Judge Morris’s life reads like a John Ford western. As I learned more about her, I pictured Harry Carey, Jr., as her hard driving, hard drinking husband and the inimitable character actress Marjorie Main as the judge herself, loud spoken, sarcastic, and a little rough around the edges - just like you might expect of a woman who…

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