2010 writers in residence
The Road Less Traveled
Some of us are obsessed with the road less traveled -- the one everyone told us to bypass, the one studded with the most colorful array of those ugly orange-coned roadblocks. "Everyone" said that I, as a hearing-impaired or deaf individual, should really choose a career other than that of a lawyer. And barring that, certainly an area of law other than litigation. "Everyone" said that I, as a woman, should not go into intellectual property litigation, especially patent litigation, an area that remains largely populated by men. "Everyone" said that I, without a strong technical background, should not take on patent cases involving particularly complex technology such as semiconductors, chemical compounds and multimedia. So I did . . . and became a technology geek on e-discovery issues as well. The word “can’t” really can be the most powerful motivator. Perhaps if "everyone" hadn't told me not to, I would have chosen a different path. But que sera, sera. This column will focus on my thoughts and experiences as a woman, and as a person challenged with a disability, along various forks of the road less traveled. Also featured will be interviews or guest columns from women who can provide their own views, tips and stories about having fun with roadblocks and chopping them down to size.
Confessions of a Non-Networker
If there are associates in law firms who enjoy networking, I have not met them. In fact, I would be willing to bet that most associates and law students are like me - nervous in a crowd of strangers, hesitant to insert oneself into a social situation, and alternately mystified or depressed at the thought of developing a professional network. This monthly blog will track my progress in attempting - for the first time- to incorporate networking into my legal career. I promise to include the good, the bad, and the ugly - and since I don't know how things will turn out, it will be a shared adventure!
Skirting the Middle
As a legislative liaison, policy advisor, and general go-to girl, I've found myself steeped in debates over breastfeeding jurors, illegal midwifery, and cleavage on billboards. Every month in Skirting the Middle, I will offer a new discussion of different political issues that I see affecting midwestern women at a state and local level, and what the men and women in power are saying (or not saying) about them.
The Prosecution Rests
This series will focus on women prosecutors, and their unique and varied career paths. We will explore how women prosecutors balance the demands of a complex career with often equally demanding personal and family lives. We will look at what it is like to prosecute criminal cases, perhaps hear about some of their more interesting trials, and learn how being a public servant impacts private lives.
This column is dedicated to the legal practitioner who wants to maintain a professional look--be it on an interview, on the job, or in the courtroom--without sacrificing sophistication and style. I will discuss where to find clothing items, what is appropriate based on the situation, and helpful anecdotes from others in the field. I look forward representing your fashionable pursuits!
This column will serve as a platform to highlight the unique and inspirational paths of women attorneys of color in New York City. Through in-depth interviews, I hope to delve into details about their law practices, their triumphs and their struggles. In addition to their fantastic legal careers, I plan to explore the private lives of these professionals to discover the methods in which they balance their careers with the demands and desires of family, friends, socializing, etc. The column will also include their thoughts about the culture of NYC and how it correlates to the energy they bring to their practice. The column will feature one on one interviews as well as my commentary on their personal anecdotes, advice and recommendations.
Ms. JD has graduated and accepted a job in academia! Follow Ms. Prof as she discusses pressing issues facing women in legal education, from the perspective of both an academic and a recent law grad--from the recruitment of women professors to struggles with complacency in legal education, from realistic and unrealistic expectations of (and for) women in legal education to the images of women law students in legal education and pop culture.
From the Desk of a Working Mom
Applying life's lessons towards a successful career in the law- From the Desk of the Working Mom is not about balance, but setting priorities and taking control of those things that you can in order to find connections with your family, friends and colleagues to build a more successful and fulfilling law practice.
Breaking the Chain to Build New Links
As women, we often feel "chained" by our own fears about networking, career building, and self-promotion. I am no different. This monthly column will address some of those thorny issues in an effort to break the chains so that we can build new links. We are often chained in by questions like: How do I introduce myself to people and make good conversation at cocktail receptions? What's the best way to ask for someone's card and what are the best strategies for following up? How do I promote myself within my school, firm, or business without sounding like I'm bragging? Are social networking sites appropriate or even useful for networking and career advancement? And how do I make sure that I'm not one of "those" women people use as an example of what not to do. Hopefully each month will offer new insights and tricks that we can employ to build our careers our way. If you have a topic you'd like addressed, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
An OWLS’ View
The column will compare and contrast perspectives and experiences of Older Wiser Law Students to those of younger students. Learn how law school can humble and demean a once successful professional. Explore what drives OWLS to seek a legal profession at this stage in their lives. Understand how younger and older students are perceived by professors, faculty, and potential employers. Imagine being mistaken as a student’s parent, a professor, or an administrator. Feel the guilt of putting law school ahead of your kids and husband. Determine if OWLS are motivated less by money than their younger colleages. Appreciate what we can share and learn from each other. Realize that you become old when you look to the past, and remain young when you anticipate the future.
Deal Makers and Breakers: Profiling Female Powerhouses in Business and Media Law
Are you interested in becoming the next General Counsel for a Fortune 500 Company? Do you want to make partner at your Am Law 100 law firm? Each month, I interview and profile female movers and shakers in high profile and traditionally male dominated legal careers. Whether you are a law student or a practicing attorney, learn how these extraordinary women broke into their respective fields, how their backgrounds helped them achieve success, and how you can attain similar positions.
Room With A View: Reflections From A Headhunter and Hiring Partner
As a lawyer in two mega firms for 15 years , a hiring partner for 6, and a headhunter for 18, I’ve seen tremendous change in our profession. I’ve interviewed, counseled, or hired more than 5,000 women lawyers and law students. Women have made tremendous progress in the profession since the 1970's but the journey continues. Room With A View will balance the views of an outsider and the experiences of an insider on controversial issues relating to the advancement of women lawyers. I will take controversial stances on the people, process, and road blocks that stand in the way of women, and offer practical advice on how to advance your career. The column will encourage caution about assignments that are good for a firm but terrible for your career. I will discuss blunt truths about sexual harassment and discrimination, identifying and selecting career paths, developing portable business, avoiding the pitfalls of the ‘administrative dungeon,’ practicing and parenting, and other issues. It’s an honor to participate as a Writer in Residence for Ms-JD and I welcome your comments, reactions, and suggestions. Frank@KimballProfessional.com
What Not To Do
The "What Not to Do" column for female law students features tips and advice for female law students about the job search process and on-the-job missteps. Learn from female law students as you read about what not to do, so that when it's your turn, you put your best foot forward. And of course, have a few laughs along the way.
Small Firm Life
Small Firm Life is dedicated to the majority of attorneys who work in small to mid sized offices or firms. As a result of the close quarters, the atmosphere at small firms is often more casual and it can be difficult to balance professionalism and friendship. Although I work for a large firm nationwide, the office where I work is made up of six attorneys and twenty staff. Like it or not, our office operates like a dysfunctional family. Each month I will be writing an article on small firm life and offering tips for success in a small firm environment based on my experiences.
Ask Miranda Pennoyer
Why do lawyers insist on using Latin? Ask Miranda Pennoyer. What does this recent Supreme Court decision mean for practitioners? Ask Miranda Pennoyer. This column is dedicated to finding levity in the law, using made-up questions and humorously incorrect answers as the means for poking fun at our profession. Need legal advice? DON’T ask Miranda Pennoyer. But if you want a good laugh each month, Ask—well, you get it.
Running from the Law
Running from the Law will explore the academic, social, physical, and professional benefits of participating in sports and other athletic activities. I am an ice hockey player and long distance runner; and I was always picked last in gym class. I never thought that I would like sports, or be considered an athlete, but I feel that the experiences and skills that sports have given to me, both as a law student and as a woman are invaluable. I hope to share these experiences with Ms. JD readers through this column.
Lawyering and Living for Less
Lawyering and Living for Less is a column for the law student and young lawyer in the new economy, and for anyone seeking to live more frugally in difficult economic times. It will focus on how to navigate the beginning of your career without spending beyond your means and how to maintain a lifestyle on a lower income.
Forget the Linen Closet: Balancing Family with Your Legal Career
Finding balance is a difficult task for working professional mothers. We must deal daily with the pull of guilt for not falling into the "typical" role of housewife and mother, and being proud for achieving something that our grandmothers and mothers could not. Looking to women who have been down this road and found success as mothers and as attorneys is key. As the working mother of three young boys, two of whom were born during law school, I would love to share my experiences, practical tips for making it easier, how to keep up your marriage, as well as what things you can (and should) let slide.
Savvy Shopper-At-Law: How to Build a Successful Professional Wardrobe on a Budget
According to the ABA Journal, almost one third of law students graduate with more than $120,000 of student debt. Yet, new attorneys are expected to begin their careers looking sharp and professional. Unlike men, women don’t have the option to simply change their tie each day. Women have to actually plan their outfit in advance. As part of the Writers in Residence program, my column Savvy Shopper-At-Law will provide young female law students and lawyers with ideas on how to develop a crisp, classic wardrobe while still being conscious of the financial struggles that many new lawyers face. Each month, Savvy Shopper-At-Law will feature articles related to bargain shopping. Examples of potential columns include purchasing investment pieces at lower prices and utilizing internet coupons to maximize online discounts. Additionally, Savvy Shopper-At-Law will feature fashion and wardrobe advice from leading books and magazines as well as a few tips that I have picked up in my many years of experience bargain shopping.
The End Is Only the Beginning
According to Louis L’Amour, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” Law school is a unique and memorable time in a lawyer’s life. Almost three years after I made the cross-country drive from Georgia to California, my law school career is drawing to an end. This column will chronicle the next twelve months of my journey – finishing law school, studying for the California Bar, moving to San Francisco, and beginning my career as a lawyer.
Naming It, Claiming It: Pursuing a Legal Life on California's Central Coast
On January 1, 2010, my husband and I made a resolution for the New Year: we would move to California's Central Coast before the end of the year. This series will chronicle the legal angle of our journey as I attempt to make connections, build a network, and, hopefully (fingers crossed!), find a legal career in the next twelve months.
Mommy Law: Perspectives from Law School and Beyond
Balancing motherhood with law school has been far from simple. While I make no claim to be an authority on the topic, I DO like to talk about it. And I suspect I am not alone. The issue of balancing family with the start of a legal career is a big one, and it gives rise to seemingly endless questions. My perspective has been shaped as much by my experiences as a spectator as by my experiences in my own motherhood juggling act. Afterall, what is balance anyway? Join me as I attempt to answer this question by sharing my own journey and the journeys of others.
Swimming in Small Ponds
How do you go from embracing anonymity to practicing law where everybody knows your name? Working in a small community has its benefits --and plenty of complications. This column explores the realities of small town legal practice, including personal dynamics, availability of legal resources and the variety of work.