Ms. JD Honors - Submit Your Nominations!

Ms. JD is proud to continue honoring exceptional women and men making contributions to the advancement of women in the legal profession through Ms. JD Honors. The Ms. JD Honors Reception will take place in connection with Ms. JD’s next annual conference at the University of Miami School of Law on March 9, 2018. The Ms. JD Honors awards will celebrate those who demonstrate passion for their careers and share that passion with other men and women. Nominations are due by Wednesday, October 4, 2017.  Below is a description of the awards and instructions for submitting nominations.     Woman of Inspiration…

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Monthly Mantra: Finding Health and Wellness in the Law

Mantra: I am responsible for my own peace and will find breathing space regardless of my surroundings. It’s August and many of us are packing up and heading out of town for family vacations, reunions, or much needed solo retreats. August’s sleepy energy beckons us all to slow down. In one way or another, we all lead hectic lives. Whether you are billing hours, applying for a second-year associateship, preparing for trial or navigating maternity leave, the legal profession presents unique stressors. The stress associated with balancing our personal and professional lives is a constant we can anticipate will continue;…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Interview with NY AAG Kristen Vogel

This past Spring and Summer, during my internship in the Attorney General’s Litigation Bureau, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Vogel served as a model for the approach I hope to bring to my professional life. My primary lesson from her about soft skills as a female professional was an unspoken one: there is a delicate balance that should come naturally. Kristen always spoke her mind, but made it clear that her opinions were unbiased. She dealt with everyone in the same way, had patience, and stated otherwise negative things in a matter of fact way. While I may have been afraid…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: If I am going to miss a deadline, does it help to tell the attorney who assigned the work the reason that I can’t make the deadline? A: Usually, no. Think of it this way: If you go to a restaurant and your food takes an eternity to arrive, are you less hungry because the “kitchen was backed-up”? Are you less annoyed? Probably not. You just decide the restaurant is mismanaged. There are some times that providing an explanation will soften the blow. For example, if you are working around the clock on a high-profile matter, you may get…

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Barriers To Women Taking The Bar Exam

The bar exam is a rite of passage and major source of stress for all new lawyers, but for women in the profession, there are unique challenges. When coupled with the standard challenges that exist for both genders, it’s clear that women face an uphill battle when it comes to passing the exam and pursuing long, successful careers in the Field. Challenges Women Face The bar exam is something that law students dread from the moment they enroll in law school until the second they receive confirmation of a passing score. And it doesn’t matter who you are, there are serious…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: The Not So Gentle Ladies of the United States Congress

The women that serve daily on behalf of the American people are fierce trailblazers in their own right. As a means to seemingly promote gender equality, there is a new term that has been floating around the United States Congress. You see, as of late congressional members have been referring to their female House representatives and Senate members as “gentle-ladies.” (Example: The gentle lady from California will now address the House.) Now whatever your personal opinion is on the alluring appeal (or lack there of) of the term itself, there is one thing I think that we can all come…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Should Avoid the Heat

Yes, it is very hot this summer in most parts of America, but this is not the kind of heat I mean. The heat I am talking about occurs when boys and girls start fooling around on the job.  There is no place for this in the law profession, and I hope you know it.  I made it clear to you in my first book, Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law (Aspen Publishers 2009).  Presenting yourself as a professional to avoid mixed or wrong sexual/relationship messages is serious business and needs…

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Sneak Peek of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert, 3rd Ed.

Law school applications are just around the corner (some law schools begin accepting applications on September 1!) In order to prepare, you may want to check out The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert, 3rd Ed. by Ann Levine, a law school admissions consultant, founder of Law School Expert, and author of the book. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann in the past and have read both of her previous books. They provide thorough answers to many law school application questions and include helpful sample essays in an easy-to-read format.   Topics in the book include GPA and…

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Inter-Law Firm Dating: Is It Ever a Good Idea?

When you’re an attractive, single woman at a law firm, dating opportunities are plentiful, but how you handle such situations will likely have an impact on your career as well as your personal life. Make sure to proceed with caution. Tips for Making an Office Romance Work According to one study on marriage, more than 37 percent of couples meet for the first time at work or in school (which makes these the number-one meeting locale for future married couples). Office romances are more commonplace than you might think. When you examine office romances in particular, 39 percent of workers…

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To be a More Zealous Advocate, See Yourself in Your Clients

I have been blessed to have my parents, siblings, teachers, and friends as my lifelong advocates. These people have helped shape my beliefs through good conversation and have shown me how important it is to approach all challenges with optimism and grace. However, the attorney who enabled my family to immigrate to the United States from India was also my advocate. Without his work, I would not have had the opportunity to grow personally and professionally here. His advocacy inspired me to become an attorney and pursue externship experiences which would enable me to use my skills to serve and…

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