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…

read more

claireeparsons

How to Get Leadership Positions to Build Your Practice

Ask most experienced attorneys how they built their practice and they’ll tell you they “got involved” in the community or professional organizations. Maybe this advice doesn’t always use the term “leadership” but that’s what it means. If you really want to “get involved” and build your reputation, you need to do some real work rather than just paying a membership fee and adding your name to a list. This may be a little scary for young attorneys, since it is easy to think that you haven’t paid your dues long enough to qualify as a leader. It may be easy to…

read more

claireeparsons

5 Reasons Why Mentoring Is Good for Mentors

     Lack of mentorship for female attorneys is often cited as one of the reasons that women still have not achieved parity in the legal profession. Most of the time when people talk about mentoring, however, the focus is on the benefits that such a relationship offers to the mentee. As a new partner, I certainly appreciate this since I know that, without good mentors, I never would have made it. Still, I have been struck over the last year how much relationships with younger lawyers have benefitted me in positive way. I have always believed in the idea…

read more

claireeparsons

Why Women Lawyers Should Consider Service on a Public Board or Commission

This week, a historic number of women were elected to Congress and a record number of women ran in and won other races nationwide. If I had to pick a single word to describe this situation, it would be this: awesome. We need more women and diverse voices in government. But what you may not have heard about in the coverage of the recent elections is that the need to increase the representation of women extends to unelected government positions as well.  In particular, women do not make up a fair proportion of the people serving on state and local…

read more

claireeparsons

How to Deal with Microaggressions as a Female Attorney

“Are you the court reporter?” After 3 years of law school, 2 bar exams, and a little over 1 year of practice, that was the question I received upon arriving at a deposition I was set to defend. It also happens to be the same question many other female attorneys get at depositions. The question in my case was, I believe, an honest mistake. Yet, the frequency with which it and questions like it are asked suggests to me that it is not just a mistake. Indeed, I have also been asked whether I “work for” an attorney, I am…

read more

claireeparsons

How I Got Over My Fear of Asking for Things for Me: I Treated Myself Like My Own Client

Editor's Note: This post was previously published on September 18, 2018; however, this advice is quite helpful in ending 2019 on a successful note.  In my practice, I routinely ask for—nay demand—things on behalf of my clients without a second thought: produce the documents, dismiss the complaint, find in my client’s favor, etc. But, when it was time for me to take a step forward in my own career, I was startled to see how hard it was to ask for things for me. To be honest, it felt downright unnatural. This had always been a problem for me. I…

read more

claireeparsons

5 Things Busy Lawyers Can Do to Find the Time to Exercise

     Late last year, I started exercising regularly again after a long period of doing hardly anything at all. It wasn’t until this happened that I realized how much I missed physical activity. Law practice, after all, is not something that lends itself well to movement or even sensory stimulation. Instead, lawyers often spend long hours cooped up in an office and huddled over a computer or stacks of documents. We also tend to keep long hours, have little control over our schedules, and may feel at the end of the day like we have little else to give.…

read more

claireeparsons

Plant Seeds to Make It Rain: 5 Things New Lawyers Can Do to Begin Developing Business

     When I was a new attorney, I knew that I needed to develop business in order to advance in my firm. I had a lot of anxiety about that at the beginning because there was no well-marked path that I could take to make it work. This is not surprising since even established rainmakers will tell you that new business development is hard work,and studies keep coming out suggesting that female attorneys struggle even more than their male counterparts with it.      It was a happy accident for me that my dad went back to private practice…

read more

claireeparsons

An Ode to the Martys: A Father’s Day Reflection on RBG and Work Life Balance for Women Lawyers

      RBG, a documentary about the lif­e of Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, is a surprise hit of the summer. If you haven’t seen it yet, the movie does not only focus on RBG’s “notorious” legal career, but also delves deeply into Ginsburg’s marriage to her husband, Marty. After seeing it twice, I’d argue that RBG is a love story and, in my opinion, a love story many women lawyers really need because it shows us a great example of how two professionally successful people made their careers and their marriage fit together.      If you…

read more

claireeparsons

15 Ways (Some Appropriate) to Answer the Question “How Do You Do It All?”

I spoke on a panel for a bar association event a few weeks ago. Though I was there to talk generally about lawyers as leaders in the community, the well-meaning moderator unexpectedly asked only me and the other female panelist the dreaded question: “how do you do it all?” The other panelist, who was clearly a tactical genius, quickly directed me to answer first. Having no time to fume or react emotionally, I just answered it. It was only later when several women from the audience independently asked me if I could believe the question that the frustration set in.…

read more

 1 2 > 

Join Us

Contribute to our blog and join the discussion.

CREATE AN ACCOUNT

Newsletter

Enter your email address to receive regular updates, news, and events.

Connect with us

Follow or subscribe