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Ms.J.D. Interviews Lawyer-Turned-Business Owner Courtney Anderson

There is a long-standing view that it is difficult for lawyers to turn off their legal training and become entrepreneurs.  Though the two are not mutually exclusive, the argument is that lawyers think from an analytical view that makes them risk-adverse takers unlike the entrepreneur who knows that in business you must take risk.  Whether or not this is the rule is hard to say, but if it is then there is always an exception.  Take for instance, Courtney Anderson, co-owner of Vibe Ride, an indoor cycling studio in Atlanta.  Courtney was a business major in college, attended Harvard Law…

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Law School Reform: Accepting GRE scores and what it means for LSAT takers

Law schools have been struggling for the last several years with low enrollment, high tuition and low bar passage rates.  As a result, law schools have been experimenting with getting back to the pre-2008 momentum when law schools around the country flourished. The first experiment began in 2013 when then President Barack Obama endorsed a 2-year accelerated J.D. program.  The accelerated program was designed with the intent to allow prospective students who were hesitant to apply to law school because of the mounting debt the opportunity to complete law school sooner with less debt.  Although some law schools like New…

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Who is a Lawyer?

In the U.S., there are several titles that are used to describe lawyers.  First, let's take a look at the definition of lawyer.  According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a lawyer is one who is licensed to practice law.  Simple enough.  But various titles such as esquire, attorney, attorney-at-law, partner, counsel, associate, or law clerk are often used interchangeably to describe someone who, in essence, practices law – but what do these titles mean? Word origin of commonly used titles Before exploring the difference in titles, let’s look into the word origin of the two most commonly used titles – lawyer…

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The Benefits of a Judicial Internship: An Interview with Hon. Wilma Guzman.

The legal profession has many unique experiences to offer a future attorney.  One way of gaining experience in the legal field is through an internship with a judge.  Serving as a judicial intern can have a lasting impression on the direction of your career as an attorney because not only can an internship help you to be a more favorable candidate to potential employers, it also exposes you to different court processes you would not get in law school, including the thought processes of a judge and lawyering skills of other attorneys. I interviewed Justice Wilma Guzman, an accomplished magistrate serving…

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STUDY: WOMEN LAWYERS LIKELY TO TAKE BACKSEAT IN LEAD COUNSEL OR TRIAL ATTORNEY ROLES.

“The study of law was unusual for women of my generation.  For most girls growing up in the 1940s, the most important degree was not your B.A., but your M.R.S.” – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In the last three decades women have entered the legal field at a similar rate as men.  However, despite women making up over 40 percent of the profession, women lawyers have not advanced at nearly the same rate as their male counterparts.  In fact, the gender gap gets larger with each step up the ladder. In a recent study sponsored by the American Bar Foundation…

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WOMEN IN CORPORATE LAW: CLAUDETTE CHRISTIAN, HOGAN LOVELLS

In 2014 and 2015, Claudette Christian was named by Lawyers of Color as one of the most influential minority lawyers in the country.  Claudette is a partner at the global legal firm, Hogan Lovells and former co-chair of the firm’s Global Board.  She is currently the Office Managing Partner of the firm’s offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil.   Claudette has an extensive legal background of more than 30 years of domestic and international commercial and corporate transactional experience, including in the areas of project development and finance, public-private partnerships and multilateral institution financing.  A graduate of…

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Alternative legal jobs with FINRA: An interview with Susan Schroeder, Deputy Chief, Enforcement Dept

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is an independent non-profit organization, independent of the government, working to protect investors through regulation of the securities industry.  FINRA’s independent regulation plays an important role in America’s financial system by enforcing high ethical standards for broker-dealers and their associated persons.  At no cost to the taxpayer, FINRA brings the necessary resources and expertise to regulating and enhancing safeguards for investors and ensuring that broker-dealers are operating with integrity. FINRA writes and enforce rules governing broker-dealer activities, examine firms to ensure that they are complying with those rules, foster market transparency, as well as…

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A Part-Time Law Program Equals Full-Time Studying

When I made the decision to apply to law school, I barely gave full-time attendance any thought.  I was returning to school after more than 5 years and was instantly attracted to the idea that I could pursue a law degree through a flexible, part-time workload without giving up too much of my life.  I did not even give a second thought to 4 years of studying.  In fact, I thought, “what’s another year to 3 years, it will be over before I know it.” During my first 2 years, I had very few good days where I enjoyed law…

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Free Money: Scholarship Opportunities for Minority Law Students.

You decided to go to law school and now you’re in. You check your school’s tuition and see that the cost of attendance is rising and the price tag looks like a nightmare. The cost of a juris doctorate is steep and with future graduates facing job uncertainties in a tough legal market, the financial burden of law school can be daunting. While accepting mountains of debt is a tough decision to make, it is one that could be made less difficult if funding were more accessible. To help reduce the cost of law school, there are a number of…

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