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The California Minority Counsel Program: Spotlight on Burnham Brown

The California Minority Counsel Program (CMCP) is a nonprofit organization founded 26 years ago in order to promote diversity within the legal profession. It aims to provide attorneys of color access and opportunity for business and professional development. Its members include attorneys, corporate and public agency law departments, as well as both minority- and majority-owned law firms. One such majority-owned firm is Burnham Brown, a nearly 40-attorney firm based in Oakland, California. Its newest partner, Aimee Hamoy-Perera (pictured above), recently spoke to Ms. JD about the firm’s involvement with the CMCP. Burnham Brown became a member of the CMCP two years…

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You’re Never Too Old for a Mentor

Yes, you can still benefit from a mentor. After almost ten years of being a lawyer, one of my biggest missteps was not having a mentor. And part of me now feels like it’s too late – like I should be the one to be mentoring someone else, not the other way around. Taking the long view, however, I realize that it’s never too late to seek mentoring. After all, my working life will hopefully continue for at least the next thirty years! I still have a lot to learn. There are many benefits to having a mentor at all…

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GEF’s Spotlight on Women’s Rights & Education Series: Ebola’s Impact on Liberia’s Schools

Along with Sierra Leone and Guinea, the CDC has designated Liberia as a country with widespread ebola transmission. Ebola has impacted all facets of life in Liberia, including putting a halt to the educational system. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ordered all schools closed since the end of July 2014.  They are not scheduled to reopen until March at the earliest. Even prior to the ebola outbreak, schools in Liberia were struggling with low literacy and school attendance rates – 43 and 34 percent, respectively. The country suffered through two brutal civil wars spanning from 1989 to 1996 and 1999 to 2003 - wars that made extensive use…

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OnRamp Fellowship – Second Pilot Kicks Off

Ms. JD is pleased to provide an update on the second round of the popular and successful OnRamp Fellowship. In addition to the four founding supporters of the Fellowship -Baker Botts, Cooley, Hogan Lovelis, and Sidley Austin - eleven additional law firms have joined the second pilot.  They are Akerman, Baker Donelson, Blank Rome, Crowell & Moring, Fenwick & West, Fish & Richardson, Fried Frank, Jenner & Block, K&L Gates, Orrick, and White & Case. The application period is now open with more than 50 fellowship positions across the country in various practice areas. Positions are available in Atlanta, Birmingham,…

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Announcing the OnRamp Fellows - the Selection Process

Ms. JD has been following the launch of an innovative program that pairs talented female lawyers returning to the workforce with big-law firms for a one year paid fellowship.  You can read more about Ms. JD’s coverage of the program here, here, here and here. The nine incoming fellows for 2014-15 pilot program are Sheila Bridges, Dora de la Rosa, Dana Glenn, Heather Hewitt, Mary Klumpp, Yvette Lanneaux, Mimi Ophir, Lori Trujillo, and Pamela Zdunek. You can read their full bios here.  The pilot firms are Baker Botts, Cooley, Hogan Lovells, and Sidley Austin.  Fellows are assigned to a variety…

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The Healthy Lawyer: Genetically Engineered Food

 With the election just a day away, many state ballot initiatives have been overshadowed by media coverage of the hard-fought presidential race.  TV ads that do address state initiatives are so partisan they make it difficult for voters to decipher the truth.  One of the more controversial initiatives on the California ballot this upcoming election would require labeling of genetically engineered (“GE”) foods, also known as genetically modified foods.   What are GE Foods? GE foods are those that have had their genetic material altered in some way, often by the insertion of genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria.  …

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The Healthy Lawyer: Try Something New

Being a lawyer can be interesting and challenging, but it can also be tedious and boring.  Most lawyers have probably experienced both sides of this spectrum at some point in their careers. Perhaps you have the opportunity to work on interesting cases, but at other times find yourself reviewing mountains of seemingly indecipherable financial documents on a case you wish would just go away. Whatever the situation may be, everyone is unique and will be bored or challenged by different aspects of her job.  If you feel like you’re stuck in a rut at work, any unhappiness or dissatisfaction you…

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The Healthy Lawyer: Sugar - Your Best Frienemy

Sugar: the ultimate frienemy. On the one hand, it’s your best friend –it’s comforting, it’s there when you need it, it makes you feel good, and it boosts your mood.  Like a true frienemy though, does it actually have ulterior motives? Perhaps it’s really doing you more harm than good, especially in the long run. Maybe it’s sugar that’s contributing to that extra weight gain, cardiovascular disease, and even (gasp!)…wrinkles.It is not hard to understand why humans love sugar. It boosts energy levels, albeit in the short term. Of course, it’s delicious and makes everything taste better. What would your…

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The Healthy Lawyer: The Vitamin Conundrum

The grocery and drugstore shelves seem to be overflowing with every imaginable type of dietary supplement.  Dietary supplements include vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanicals.  Over half of American adults take multivitamins, and dietary supplements are an almost $30 billion industry.  It is therefore no wonder there are so many types of vitamins and supplements, from multivitamins to fish oil, and an equally wide array of brands. With countless options available, I know I have gotten overwhelmed and frustrated.  Your health care provider is the best person to offer guidance regarding which particular vitamins and supplements would be most beneficial for…

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The Healthy Lawyer: Perinatal Depression

My Trip to Sacramento I recently spent a memorable day at the California State Capitol attending a press conference, expert panel discussion, and visit to legislators’ offices on the topic of maternal mental health.  May is National Maternal Mental Health Awareness Month, or as it’s known in my home state of California, Perinatal Mental Health Awareness Month.  Approximately 15 to 20 percent of all women experience some form of pregnancy-related depression or anxiety. I was surprised to learn that untreated depression is the number one complication of pregnancy, more so than gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. In the United States, pregnant…

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