mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession – An Interview with Rexanah Wyse

For this month's post, I am delighted to feature an interview with Rexanah P. Wyse, a first generation attorney and former prosecutor dedicated to changing the narrative for vulnerable populations.  Rexanah currently works for the federal government where she serves on a policy team that is focused on youth homelessness, criminal justice, racial equity, human trafficking, and ending homelessness for families.   Could you tell Ms. JD blog readers about your background and what prompted you to apply to law school? My lineage is directly tied to Sierra Leone in West Africa.  A small developing nation with a powerful history of…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue:  Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession – On Foie Gras & Food Faux Pas

As I mentioned in my first blog post, I experienced heightened self-awareness about my blue-collar roots once I entered the legal profession.  For this month’s blog post, I wanted to share some of my awkward workplace encounters involving food.  I am fully aware that these awkward food encounters are trivial in comparison to larger socioeconomic issues such as structural inequality.  However, I think it’s important for us first-generation lawyers to share our personal experiences, frustrations, and lessons learned.     As a newly minted lawyer, I found that the majority of my coworkers appeared to possess sophisticated palates and expansive culinary vocabularies.  Casual lunchtime conversations typically revolved around food (in addition to work…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - Finding Purpose and Giving Back

As I continue to move forward in my career and slowly chip away at my student debt, I feel more compelled to pay it forward.  I often wonder whether us “Straddlers” and first generation lawyers have a greater propensity to engage in volunteer work, perhaps as a way to reconcile the duality of gratitude (for how far we have come) and guilt (for what we may have left behind).    I attended a pro bono training several years ago, sponsored by an area bar association.  At the time, I had been feeling a little uninspired by the daily grind of my work in healthcare…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Embracing Your Blue-Collar Roots and Overcoming Self-Doubt

For this month's post, I wanted to write an article about "impostor syndrome."  While scrolling through LinkedIn, I noticed a recent post referencing "imposter syndrome."  Cue feelings of self-doubt.  So I quickly did a Google search of "impostor or imposter" and discovered that both versions are acceptable.  Nevertheless, my inner critic started questioning whether I should do more research (out of fear of making an egregious grammatical error) or, just select one way to spell it, be consistent throughout the post, and move on with my life.  Oh the irony!  By now, you're likely familiar with impostor syndrome and its prevalence in the legal profession.  In the 1970s, two clinical psychologist coined the phrase “impostor phenomenon” to describe…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - An Interview with Melissa Green

For this month's post, I am thrilled to feature an interview with Melissa Green, an energetic, enthusiastic, and compassionate attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability law.  Melissa is the daughter of blue-collar workers and the first person in her family to attend and graduate from both college and law school.   Could you tell Ms. JD blog readers about your background and what prompted you to apply to law school? I grew up in rural Maine and was the first person in my family to attend college.  After college I became a high school teacher for about six years, then applied to law…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue:  Have no shame in your networking game

Back home in Niagara Falls, I learned that it was somewhat shameful to get a job or any other advancement opportunity due to “having connections.”  Perhaps this is due to some deeply rooted “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality mythology that seems to exist in my hometown.  Nevertheless, I have since come to accept that this is simply not true.  Networking is integral to achieving career success in virtually any field, and this is especially true in law school and the legal profession. Believe me, I understand that networking events can be awkward and downright painful, even for individuals from…

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mjtimko13

Something Blue:  Exposing my Blue-Collar Roots on a Blog

I have wanted to share my thoughts about bringing blue-collar roots to the legal profession for over 10 years, but conversations about class are difficult and uncomfortable.  Moreover, revealing some aspects of my personal life on a public forum is pretty scary.  Let me start by saying that I did not grow up in poverty.  I am also keenly aware of the privilege I have by virtue of being white.  I know there are many stories out there about extraordinary people who overcame tremendous obstacles to escape poverty and achieve success.  My story is much more ordinary.  Nevertheless, I still struggle to maintain…

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mjtimko13

What is the number one piece of career advice you have received?

I received invaluable career advice back in the early 2000s, which was before I even thought about going to law school and when people still “snail mailed” resumes.  Although I have changed professions since that time and technology has drastically evolved, I continue to benefit from this advice today.  As a graduate student in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration at Canisius College, my professor, who was also the director of the program, taught me about the importance of membership in professional associations.  In fact, part of the curriculum included attendance at a national student affairs professional development conference.  I learned how membership in…

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mjtimko13

Ms. JD’s GEF netWORKING out Fundraising Series at Yoga Heights in Washington, DC

Join Ms. JD’s Global Education Fund as we get Stronger Together at Yoga Heights in Washington, DC! It will be a great opportunity to have fun, get fit, network, and make a difference for our scholars in Uganda. When: Wednesday, April 8 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EST) Where: Yoga Heights 3506 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010                                   Admission: $25. This fee includes one hour of yoga (suited for all levels of experience) plus a 30-minute post-workout networking session. $15 of each admission fee…

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mjtimko13

Pay It Forward - An Interview with GEF Keynote Speaker Maria Jurua

Below is an excerpt from an interview with Maria Jurua. Maria served as a keynote speaker for the Global Education Fund's first networking and fundraising event in Washington, D.C. The event also featured keynote speaker Alice Waguthi Kinyua. Both Maria and Alice are graduates of Makerere University in Uganda and fellows at the Georgetown University Law Center.  Editor's Note: Ms. JD's Fourth Annual Global Education Fund (GEF) Benefit will be held on August 22, 2016 from 6:30-9 pm at Doc's Lab in San Francisco.  Each year, the Ms. JD Global Education Fund has made it possible for two young Ugandan women to pursue their dreams of becoming lawyers by attending the law program at Makerere University in Uganda.  The…

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