claireeparsons

Now Accepting Applications: 2020 Writers in Residence Program

Ms. JD is currently seeking applications for our 2020 Writers in Residence Program. The Writers in Residence program was started in 2010 and is a select group of practicing attorneys, alternative career individuals, pre-law students, current law students, and other professionals who contribute monthly articles for one year to the Ms. JD blog on a topic of their choosing. Some blog titles this year were: "The Mental Load: Learning to Say No", "Five Tips to Maximize Your Efficiency When In-House", "Why Can’t Law Firms Retain Their Female and Minority Lawyers? Because Conformity is Exhausting", "Purpose Over Paycheck" and many many…

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editor

Meet Ms. JD’s 2019 Fellows

Ms. JD is proud to announce this year’s outstanding class of 2019 Fellows! This year’s fellows are from schools from coast to coast and present a broad spectrum of experience and legal interests.  The 2019 Ms. JD Fellowship Winners are: Maia Bartee, University of North Texas at Dallas College of Law Aubre Dean, Syracuse University College of Law Idia Egonmwan, Howard University School of Law Cristina Gil, American University Washington College of Law Alana Glover, University of Baltimore School of Law Candace Goldman, Southern University Law Center  Nina Neff, University of Wisconsin Law School  Rima Sawhney, California Western School of Law …

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XpYmu98NtP

The Mental Load: Don’t Fix What Isn’t Broken

As I write this blog post, I’ve just wrapped up my daughter’s fifth Halloween dressed as an owl – and she’s only seven years old. So basically, she has chosen to dress like an owl every year that she’s been capable of making her own costume decision. She’s not particularly obsessed with owls the other 364 days of the year, and it continues to surprise me that she sticks to her tried and true costume choice while her peers now delve into popular movie characters or seize the opportunity to don glittery makeup and colored hair. Yet my daughter, thus…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Why Young Lawyers Need Business Plans

As a young lawyer, a business plan may be the farthest thing from your mind.  Billing hours, making your numbers, trying not to look stupid to the partner and, well, just surviving in law practice in the early years are what occupy you.  I understand and remember. But, don't dismiss having a business plan as some other-worldly exercise that is not worthy of your time.  It is more than worthy. I have been preaching --- yes, preaching --- to young women lawyers about the importance of career plans for over a decade, and business plans are the same thing.  All…

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jennyrpatten

Multi-Tasking Self-Care and Professional Development: Podcasts

Like most working professionals, I spend a significant part of my morning and late afternoon commuting to and from the office.  My 30-45 minutes to and from daycare drop-off and the office often are the only time that I have truly to myself, and for a number of years, I’ve spent that time listening to music, participating in work-related conference calls, or using the time to call a friend or family member to catch up.  However, as work and family duties and responsibilities have gradually eroded the time I used to spend for myself, I realized that my commute may…

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Millennial Women

Playing the Long Game

It’s officially Fall! And you know what that means—football season! As we cheer on our favorite teams,* we thought it would be a perfect month to break out our sports analogies. This month, we’re focusing on playing the long game in terms of your career. We’re familiar with these concepts in sports, but they are also true when it comes to careers. What we mean by this is: looking at your career over a period of several years—maybe even a decade or two—instead of just looking six months to a year ahead. It’s tough sometimes, especially as relatively new or…

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marisatashman

Taking Care of Your Future Self During an 80-Hour Week

Like many young ambitious women in the wake of Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement, I often have to make choices between two options that are both necessary: “sleep or work out?”  “meditate or call my mom?” Beginning my career as a litigator at a large law firm in Los Angeles, I’ve been forced to make these choices all too often, eventually transforming into a thought-cycle of not being balanced enough, which inevitably transforms into being hopelessly imbalanced.  Layer on psychosomatic GI issues, migraines, and an unexpected back injury, I turned to a wellness “industry” filled with preachers on becoming perfectly…

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Susan Smith Blakely

How Women Lawyers Are Perceived:  The Double Bind

Perception can be more important than fact.  I learned that when I was Chief of Staff for an elected official.  Politics is ripe for misperception, but the applications go far beyond that setting. Women often are the unfortunate recipients of misperceptions.  And that is especially true of women lawyers.  For example, women lawyers often are judged in a harsher light than their male counterparts when they display assertiveness, self-promotion or anger, according to a survey conducted by the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of Law for the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the Minority Corporate Counsel…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Are You Addressing Your Workplace Wellness?

Wellness is a big deal in the legal world today.  Not wellness as in healthcare law.  Wellness as in the mental and physical health of lawyers. We know that statistics support a concern about drug and alcohol addiction among lawyers, but until recently the effects of anxiety and depression had not gotten as much attention.  It was a 2016 landmark study by the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation that revealed to me just how widespread and alarming the problems have become among lawyers. Anxiety and depression experienced by law professionals are serious and…

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Stratus Admissions

Top 3 Cliches To Avoid In Your Law School Personal Statement

Editor's Note: All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.  You’ve taken the LSAT (and hopefully scored well), built a strong academic record in college and pursued internships that offered valuable life experience and prepared you for a career in the law. You are now ready to apply to law school. Bear in mind that law school Admissions Committees (AdComs) read thousands of these essays per year and come across the same overused themes and logical fallacies. When you begin to compose your personal statement, your mind blanks. You think to yourself, “I know that I’m an interesting…

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