Why You Should Celebrate Your Birthday in Law School

Why You Should Celebrate Your Birthday in Law SchoolThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about why celebrating life events is important – even if you’re busy in law school!

My birthday falls at the end of April—smack in the middle of finals season. My first year of law school, as my birthday approached, I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to take time out of studying to help me celebrate my birthday Understandably, especially that first year, all my classmates were thinking of their finals. Friends, family, and any other personal matters just weren’t a priority.

Not to be deterred, I decided to go ahead and celebrate on my own. My traditional birthday dessert has always been chocolate mousse cake, so I baked myself a dozen chocolate mousse cupcakes to enjoy while I studied. I set the finished cupcakes on a plate in the kitchen in my third floor Boston apartment and went back to my room to study. I planned to reward myself with a cupcake after getting through my civil procedure outline.

When I went back to the kitchen a few hours later, I realized I hadn’t been the only one interested in my cupcakes. Tiny little nibbles were missing from every single cupcake on my plate. A little mouse came to my party. All my birthday cupcakes were inedible.

It may seem like the worst birthday, ever, but I actually think of that birthday as one of the funniest ones I’ve ever had. More importantly, I am proud of myself for trying to celebrate. Here’s why it’s important to continue to celebrate life’s milestones even while in law school and studying for finals.

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Young Professional Perspective – Thoughts on How Our Professional Lives and Looks Are Affected By Social Media

Young Professional Perspective - Thoughts on How Our Professional Lives and Looks Are Affected By Social MediaThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Brown to talk about your social media and your professional image.

When you enter law school and later when you get sworn in as an attorney, you take an oath of professionalism. This oath even covers situations not relating to the practice of law or situations outside of the lawyer’s traditional duties. In general, lawyers are expected to look, act, and be professional. However, the oath doesn’t necessarily mean you need to dress professionally 24/7 or cannot have a personal life outside of your professional career. Not only are people looking at you and how you present yourself in person, they are also looking at your social media. In the last few decades, the rise of online platforms and social media has allowed people to connect and share posts with people from all walks of life. With this comes an “online presence” and questions surrounding professionalism online. How does social media affect an attorney’s or law student’s professional life? Do you need to keep your personal life completely off social media? What can you do to “be professional” but also “be yourself”? Today I am trying to tackle these very complicated but sensitive topics. [Read more…]

Motherhood as a Law Student

Motherhood as a Law StudentThis week we welcome guest writer Rigien Bagekany-Jackson, a recent law school graduate, to talk about how she has balanced motherhood and law school the last three years.

Do you ever reflect on how you got to where you are now? I do.

Sometimes you can pinpoint that moment or decision that brought you to where you are. For me, that moment was in June 2016. I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first child working at a bank when an armed man walked in and held me up at gunpoint. This was the point when I decided to start law school. I had initially thought to postpone my offer of acceptance, but at that moment, I knew that there had to be a way to make law school work with having a newborn child. [Read more…]

Why Being A Woman In Law Is An Advantage

Why Being A Woman In Law Is An AdvantageThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about some advantages to being a woman in the legal field.

As women, we constantly hear about all of the reasons why the legal profession can be difficult. Clients assume we’re not tough. We have to earn clients’ respect. We have to earn the respect of our peers. We have to work twice as hard for half the pay. It’s impossible to have work-life balance. And, a family? Forget it.

But, there are many ways in which being a woman in law can be a great advantage. When you think of all the ways that being female is an asset (not a hindrance), you can see how to empower yourself in your career. Play to your strengths and you can accomplish whatever you set out to do.

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Three Women Who Are a Reminder That You Can Persevere

Three Women Who Are a Reminder That You Can PersevereThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to discuss some well-known female role models and what lessons we can learn from them.

Woman; the epitome of strength, resilience, courage and empathy in human form. The personification of power and perseverance and if we’re keeping it all the way real, the backbone behind movements that have truly shaped this world. I mean I could sing our praises all day. Either through the words of Beyonce, who reminds us that we’re “Flawless” and that we “run the world,” or through the words of Kelly Clarkson, who reminds us that, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” We have so many positive characteristics that lay embedded at our core, however, this repository of powerful characteristics, is sometimes embedded far too deep, allowing life’s fears to outshine our power and causing us to quickly forget who we truly are. [Read more…]

Gender Bias in Law Schools (And What You Might Be Able To Do About It)

Gender Bias in Law Schools (And What You Might Be Able To Do About It)The week we welcome back guest writer Kathryn Blair to talk about gender bias in law school, and some ideas for combatting it.

Statistics released by the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Women in the Profession show women have been inching closer and closer to receiving half of J.D.s awarded in the United States, finally appearing to have achieved that parity in 2018. Contributing to that, 2016 marked the first year that women made up more than half of the student body at law schools in the United States. [Read more…]

Will I Get the Job I Want If I Wear My Natural Hair?

Will I Get the Job I Want If I Wear My Natural Hair?This week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to offer her thoughts on wearing natural hair in the workplace (and during job interviews).

I received my first relaxer at eight years old. I was fortunately blessed with thick curly hair, but to my mom’s misfortune, my rambunctious, stubborn hair was extremely difficult to maintain. Therefore, she did what essentially every black mom was doing in the nineties, and she got me my first relaxer. I for one was immensely overjoyed. Although I grew up in Jamaica where the majority of my peers looked just like me and shared similar coiled hair textures, our beauty standards were very much influenced by what we saw on TV, white women with straight hair. Therefore, at the age of eight I was elated to finally share what I believed was a similarity to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. [Read more…]

Notorious RBG: Los Angeles Museum Exhibit Celebrates Trailblazing Supreme Court Justice

Notorious RBG: Los Angeles Museum Exhibit Celebrates Career of Trailblazing Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgA new exhibit at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles explores the life and legal career of iconic Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg,” which coincides with the twenty-fifth anniversary of Justice Ginsburg’s appointment to the nation’s highest court, is on display until March 10, 2019.

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I’m Sorry to Say This but We Need to Stop Saying I’m Sorry

I’m Sorry to Say this but We Need to Stop Saying I’m SorryPlease welcome back guest writer and attorney, Christen Morgan, to talk about the ways that women find themselves apologizing more than they need to in the workplace and knowing when to really say I’m sorry.

If you walk through the halls of many office environments, you can almost count on hearing the buzz and the ding of all the office machinery and stationery. If you listen even closer, you’re bound to hear the clicks and the clacks of shoes tapping through the hallways and the whirrs and creeks of portable chairs and office doors. Amongst all these familiar sounds, it maybe difficult to make out the defined statements within the conversations of passersby. However, pay close enough attention to these conversations and I’m sure the words “I’m sorry,” will emerge as a frequent repeated utterance. Whether, it’s an apologetic employee who is sorry for messing up an assignment, a supervisor who’s sorry for sending out the email request that she had every intention to send or the nervous intern who’s sorry for spilling coffee on the floor in the mere presence of others, “I’m sorry”, is the uniform verbal tick of many human beings. Furthermore, and, I hate to say this, but the words I’m sorry are even more of a verbal tick for women. [Read more…]

Losing the Fear of Being Stereotyped: Surviving as a Young Woman in a Position of Authority

Losing the Fear of Being Stereotyped: Surviving as a Young Woman in a Position of AuthorityPlease welcome our guest writer this week to discuss an issue than many women in positions of power in the workplace can experience – a fear of being stereotyped in a certain way.

“You need to look and sound intimidating and scary.” That was one of the most popular versions of advice I received when I accepted a position of authority as lead litigation counsel at a law firm at 26 years old.

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