jessie

Parallel Problems: Brain Drain at the NIH

The National Institute of Health, a primary public funder of American scientific research and the largest biomedical research facility in the U.S., recently released the results of a study of women's reasons for departing from their scientific careers. Like law schools, undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral programs in the sciences are comprised of nearly equal numbers of men and women, but the upper eschelons of scientific academia continue to be imbalanced. The study found that family considerations are the major reason for the continued departure of women from these disciplines. The study cited a lack of self-confidence as the other major…

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jessie

Clerkship Applications: 2Ls start your engines

No this is not a post encouraging you to break the rules and apply early. But just because your clerkship application isn't due until the fall of your 3L year doesn't mean you don't need to think about it now. A clerkship application consists of a cover letter, resume, transcript, writing sample and letter of recommendation. They all require forethought. Here are the steps 2Ls need to take now to be well positioned to apply next year:Transcript: Yes you need strong grades, but that's not all. Try and take challenging classes, i.e. not too many "Law ands." (No judgment here…

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jessie

NYC Event: Working Mothers-Who’s Opting Out?

WORKING MOTHERS: WHO'S OPTING OUT?Tuesday, October 16, 7 p.m., $8 admissionThe New School, New York CityWollman Hall, 65 West 11th Street, 5th floor (enter at 66 West 12th Street) You've read the articles--and gotten angry at the debate. Are vast numbers of working mothers bolting the career track--or dreaming of doing so? Are elite women betraying feminism by staying home with their children? Or do the Opt-Out stories rely too heavily on anecdotal evidence--while shoving aside actual labor statistics and working families' needs? JOIN US as some of the KEY THINKERS and CRITICS of the "opt-out" storyline DISCUSS & DEBATE…

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jessie

Men, Ms. JD, and the Inevitable One-liner

Editor's Note: As part of Ms. JD's 5th Birthday celebration, we'll be looking back at our favorite posts over the years.Why is it that every time I tell a man about Ms. JD the response is always something along the lines of: "Oh yea I've been thinking about starting a support group for mysoginists" or "Are you planning an upgrade to Mrs. JD"? Seriously, after a year with the organization I can count on one hand the number of times I've gotten a sincere, rather than dismissive, reaction. It's not just that the individual jokes themselves are not particularly clever…

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jessie

Office Romance: No Longer so Hush Hush?

A recent article in the New York Times about office relationships indicates they are becoming more acceptable to upper management. This reminded me of a warning I received as a summer law clerk: don't date another associate-it will be held against you. At the time, the advice was given to me in the context of the many ways in which women are held to double standards in big firms: men are not penalized for "hooking up" with the cute summer, but those cute summers are. I never ended up at a big firm and I never dated anyone in my…

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jessie

Opt-Out Continued

Remember Lisa Belkin of "Opt-Out Revolution" fame? Well now Ms. Belkin has published another piece on "stalling" career women. This time the focus is on small business owners. According to the Center for Women's Business Research, of the 10.4 million business owned by women, only 3% have an annual revenue exceeding $1 million. Belkin's article profiles a number of microenterprise groups trying to increase that number. To be fair, Belkin does include the view of Marsha Firestone, founder of the Women Presidents' Organization, who finds the term and idea of "stalled" career women is "a little insulting." I think this…

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jessie

Southern Ms.

Until now I’ve lived in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. So when I moved to Memphis last month I was expecting culture shock. It has been shocking . . . but for the most part, it’s been shockingly nice. Seriously, to a person who has never been exposed to it before, true southern hospitality is unimaginable. So what else have I discovered besides the kindness of random strangers? I had plans for a series on shocking exposes of backwardness, but so far I have only curiosities to report:This week I learned that the biggest, fanciest firm in Memphis…

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jessie

Reflecting on the Bar Exam

Last week I sat for the California Bar exam. Like other law school exams and traditions the bar exam has been criticized as being insufficiently gender-neutral. It's a racehorse style exam, which rewards quick thinking and automated recall rather than reflection. This is not the best measure of many women's abilities or knowledge of a topic. You know what, though? I'm used to dealing with whatever possible disadvantage that test format might create for me. Here's what I'm not used to: having to carry my tampons in a clear plastic bag for inspection by my proctor, not to mention having…

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jessie

Can Dad Boil the Water?

Leslie Kaufman's article in The New York Times, entitled "Mom Puts Family Back on the Table," left me so confused. Cannabalistic title aside, her solution to the basic work-cook conundrum was baffling. She details how, despite working full time and not getting home until 7:30pm most nights, she is able to put a healthy and varied menu on the table for her family. The solution? Spending her Sunday planning, shopping, and preparing. Also her babysitter pitches in.   I can relate to the desire to sit down with family each night. It was a priority in my house growing up,…

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jessie

Out of the Frying Pan…

I graduated from law school on Friday. Woohoo! Only not so much, because I spent half of commencement stewing over the less-than-inspiring words of our commencement speaker. About halfway through her speech, our speaker, an extremely accomplished public interest lawyer and mother of two, changed course and addressed her comments to the women in the graduating class. "You can have it all, as long as you are willing to compromise," she encouraged us.I know I have to compromise. But I think I'm going to have to compromise, because I'm an adult, not because I'm a woman. And as far as…

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