Carol Simpson

Hanging out my own shingle: what being Ms. JD means to me

My summer internship is over. I spent 10 weeks totally immersed in public interest law, and as a result I have completely changed what I had so carefully planned to do after graduation. No longer do I plan to remain an academic, nor do I wish to pursue a job at a large firm. More than likely I will open a solo practice so I can do public interest law. Some of this change may also go back to how I got to attend law school. Just at the time I was preparing to take the LSAT, my younger son, then…

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Carol Simpson

Playing “the gender card” in the courtroom

This past week I attended court for the first time in my three years in law school. Actually attending a real court has not been part of any of my courses to date, so this was an event that was particularly interesting. I was attending an evidentiary hearing in federal court, after having written the analysis of an important change of facts in the case. The hearing was before a female judge, and both the plaintiffs’ attorneys are female, as well. When the defendant’s attorneys arrived, there were two men and one woman. It was obvious that their plan was…

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Carol Simpson

Avoiding burnout on the Death Row defense bar

Each week during our internship, the legal staff has an “Intern CLE,” or some sort of legal lecture. Sometimes we watch a video on some aspect of public interest law, followed by a Q&A with an attorney practicing in that field. It may be someone working in criminal defense, legal aid, a lobbyist, or a legislative aide. We even watched Good Night, and Good Luck. The interns get to learn a little about other areas of public interest law, and can network with attorneys in other non-profits. And it serves as a little break in an otherwise intensive work week.We…

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Carol Simpson

Generation gap or gender gap? Mother and son enroll in law school together

Being an older woman in entering the legal profession has been an interesting experience. It is difficult to determine if my experiences are more a factor of my gender or my age, but I know that my experiences have been significantly different from those of my son, with whom I am attending the same law school in the same class. Having a background as a professor in another professional school dominated by women, I see considerable differences in how women are treated and welcomed to the profession.The first difference is in how novices are hired and trained. In my previous…

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