kerriannstout

Ms. JD’s Report Card: 2018 Annual Conference “Her Story”

On March 8th and 9th of 2018, Ms. JD hosted its annual conference at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. The theme of the conference was “Her Story,”  and many of the talks and panels focused on the different journeys of the speakers. This was my first time attending a Ms. JD conference, and I was not sure what to expect, as I was attending by myself. I must say I was pleasantly surprised! It was a very welcoming environment, the Ms. JD staff was extremely kind, and there were lots of opportunities to meet and interact…

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kerriannstout

You’ll Pay for This: Choosing The Right Repayment Plan

After going to law school, I like to think that I have a pretty high threshold for the “I have no idea what I’m doing” feeling and can ultimately figure most things out with enough research. However, when it was time to figure out which repayment plan I should use to start paying back my law school loans, I was in tears of confusion in 5 minutes flat. I was immediately paralyzed by questions, such as “Why are there so many options?”, “Why do they all sound the same?”, “How do the payments range from $0 to $3,000?”, “How do…

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kerriannstout

You’ll Pay For This: It Is Time To Dig Out Of Your Financial Hole

Welcome back! So far, we’ve covered the bleak reality of the student loan crisis and learned how to read our student loan statements (all highly riveting, I assure you.) This month, we are ready to discuss how to start digging yourself out of the financial hole in which you find yourself. Now, you may be wondering why you should take any advice from me -what with my $200k+ student loans and all - about paying debt off. Well, my husband and I used the following 6 tips to pay off over $60,000 in 2 years (and managed to save money towards…

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kerriannstout

More Women, Less Problems? 5 Predictions On The Implications Of More Women in The Legal Profession

It is an exciting time to be a woman in the legal profession. I am definitely not suggesting that things are all “rainbows and butterflies” for female attorneys or that there isn’t still a lot of work to be done to close gender gaps. However, in 2016 women made up the majority of law students in the United States for the first time. In 2017, also for the first time, A-list included gender among equity partners as a ranking factor in determining which law firms are best. And, the wage gap - while still present, is narrowing. The tide is…

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kerriannstout

You’ll Pay For This: What In The World Does Your Student Loan Statement Say?

I would compare reading about law school loans to watching a car accident happen. You don’t really WANT to watch it, but you also can’t seem to turn away. This month, I am rewarding your curiosity with a more in depth analysis of how student loans work. As you may recall from last month, I spent a good deal of time (almost 2 years) after graduation completely avoiding the fact that I had student loans at all. A big part of the reason I was so scared to even look at my student loan accounts after I graduated was that I…

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kerriannstout

You’ll Pay For This: The First Step Is Admitting You Have a Problem

I owe $226,020.79 in federal student loan debt for my legal education. Let’s start at the very beginning. I was extremely fortunate to have my undergraduate education paid for through a mix of scholarships and parental-aid. When I graduated with my shiny new B.A in Modern Languages and Cultures (yeah, I know), I had no clue what I wanted to do, and I had no concept of how different my life would be with student loans breathing down my back. In my infinite 21 year old wisdom, I decided “I don’t know what I want to do, so I will…

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kerriannstout

Finding the Line: A Crash Course in Law School Boundaries

Reflecting on my law school years always fills me with a solid mixture of nostalgia and terror. I am one of those weirdos who really loved law school, but that “ish” was hard, particularly the first year. Everything was brand new, and I, like many others, went through a lot of personal growth. This required redefining and resetting my own boundaries with the people who were in my life before law school as well as learning to navigate new boundaries with my law school peers, professors, and administrators. This was a challenging balancing act, which I handled more gracefully at…

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kerriannstout

The Career Advice That Changed My Life

Do the work even when you’re scared. Like many lawyers, I was born prewired with a deep fear of failure. I spent a large portion of my life letting fear drive my decision making and avoiding pursuing the things that scared me. If I was unable to see a clear path to success on something, I found every excuse not to do it. In law school, this manifested in my “missing the deadline”  to write-on to law review, applying for “safe” internships, and skipping important networking events because I was “too busy.” I was also in blissful denial of exactly…

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kerriannstout

Ms. JD Interviews Lawyer- Turned Professor and Health and Wellness Coach

Danielle Kocal is the Director of Academic Success at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, runs a thriving health and wellness business, and is a real-life superhero mom to two young girls. However, this is not what Professor Kocal thought her career and life would look like today when she applied to law school in 2003. Back then, she was on a mission to become an environmental lawyer. But, life did what life does, and while in law school, Professor Kocal realized her true passion: teaching. It’s lucky for her students that she had this realization! Since…

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