10 Qualities of a Good Lawyer

To become a lawyer is to become a person of many hats. Law schools will teach you some of the skills you need, but they cannot teach character. In order to become a “good” lawyer, you have to naturally have certain qualities. Some of these qualities you have discovered within yourself in your time as a law student, but others may need to be worked on. Below are some of the qualifications of becoming a good lawyer in any field: Good communication skills Lawyers must be orally articulate, have good written communication skills and also be good listeners. In order…

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Interview with Linda Mercurio, Esq., Founder of Transformative Impact

Linda Mercurio is the Founder of Transformative Impact, a company providing coaching, training, and consulting services to transitioning attorneys. From 2008-2016, Linda served as the Founding Executive Director of the American University Washington College of Law Lawyer Reentry Program - a program she designed and implemented. I've followed with admiration Linda's career path for some time now, and when I reached out recently to tell her so, she sent back a same time photo of her desk with my book, Lawyer Interrupted, atop her own "To Be Read" pile.  I love when life sends us those moments of impactful connection. You…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Beware:  Social Media Posts Could Cost You Your Job

From time to time I write about the use of personal social media and the caveats for women lawyers.  In fact, my recommendation consistently has been that you get off personal social media all together.  But, I know how attached some of you are to instant feedback and gratification, so I continue to write about it.  You need to be reminded about the pitfalls of using social media on a regular basis.  Eyes and ears are everywhere. Here is a scenario and question posed on a website addressing this issue.  The answer to the question may surprise you because many…

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A Galentine’s Day Reflection on the Value of Female Friendships

           Today is Galentine’s Day, a completely made up holiday popularized by a TV show, Parks and Recreation, that hasn’t aired in years. Unlike Valentine’s Day, this “holiday” is intended to honor female friendships rather than romantic relationships. To say the least, the episode which featured this holiday and the character who invented it, Leslie Knope, was memorable. As Malcolm Gladwell tells us, a “sticky” message from an extraordinary communicator can carry an idea far and wide. Yet, I don’t think that the show or Leslie Knope are the only reasons that Galentine’s Day caught on.…

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4 Tips and Best Practices for Your Final Year of Law School

Law school is so challenging and time-consuming that it’s easy to lose perspective and forget this is just the beginning. Your focus should be less on surviving and more on preparing yourself for your first job in the real world. 4 Tips for a Better Final Year of Law School The final year of law school is challenging on so many levels. Not only are you taking classes and preparing for bar exams, but you’re also thinking about career opportunities and scheduling job interviews – all while trying to retain your sanity and maintain at least a couple of social…

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Mentoring Hangouts Episode 1: Networking and Branding

Hello Everyone, My name is Nana J. Adu, and I am a pre-law student at Rutgers University. I am also the founder and president of Rutgers NBLSA Pre-Law. I have learned throughout my time as president that networking and personal branding is a must. If i did not connect with the people I did, this organization would not have been founded. With that being said, it was a pleasure being included in the discussion of something I love to do which is networking. On January 6th, I had the amazing opportunity to join Genevieve Antono, Nikki Datta, and Katie Larkin-Wong on Google…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Thanks for the great insights on the questions that start this column; here is another one: How do you manage stress? Just send an e-mail here, tweet to @babysharklaw, or post a comment here. Easy! I will compile a roundup for a future column. I thank you, and your fellow lawyers thank you! Q: It is hard for me to track all my time. I can be in the office for long days, and I end up without much billable time. Do you have any time-tracking suggestions? A: Yes. Tracking time is one of the less fulfilling aspects of law…

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Welcome 2018 Writers in Residence

We are excited to introduce the 2018 Writers in Residence, which consists of a small group of columnists who provide monthly articles on the Ms. JD Blog. Our online community provides a forum for dialogue and networking among women lawyers, law students, and pre-law students. In the past, our writers have given rise to some of Ms. JD's most inspiring, hilarious, and provocative content to date. I’m excited to introduce this year’s Writers: Amy Impellizzeri: Lawyer Interrupted Ani Torossian: Ms. Cyberlaw Brittany Wiegand: Selfie with no filter: the 1L life Claire Parsons: Tips from a New Equity Partner who Never Thought She’d Make…

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Announcing the 2018 Ms. JD Honors Recipients!

We are thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2018 Ms. JD Honors Awards! Sharing Her Passion Award - To a woman who has practiced for more than ten years who is inspiring younger women lawyers through sponsorship, mentorship, and sharing her passion for the practice. Awardee: Leslie Richards-Yellen Women's Strength in Numbers Award - To two or more women who have partnered with one another to create a unique program, business, or organization. Awardees: Enieda Roman and Betty Francisco with the Latina Circle Road Less Traveled Award - To a woman who is using her J.D. in a unique, non-traditional, way to pursue an issue or cause that…

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When The Law Breaks Your Heart

Law school taught me a lot of things. It taught me how to read a case, write a brief, argue an issue, and drink as much coffee as humanly possible. Among the things that law school didn’t teach me, however, was how devastating it would be the first time the law broke my heart. In all fairness, I’m not blaming law school for this – I have no idea how you teach someone what it will feel like when you watch a family torn apart and can’t do anything to stop it. For those of you who haven’t faced this…

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