Who is Ms. JD?
Ms. JD is an online forum for women in all arenas of the legal profession. Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan community coordinated by law students for the entire legal community. The site is administered by an advisory board of women law students who represent schools nationwide. Contributors are dedicated to reinforcing and expanding the representation of women in law school and the legal profession.
What does Ms. JD do?
Ms. JD fosters dialogue about women in the law. It does so with an appreciation of the interconnection between gender and race, ethnicity, sexuality, class, disability, religion, nationality, physical appearance, and age. Ms. JD provides a space for conversations about these complex issues and their possible solutions. Ms. JD explores the work of female attorneys and provides networking opportunities, critical analysis of relevant news, and thoughtful discussions for women about their chosen fields of law. Ms. JD also spotlights women in the law and explores women-friendly practices across a spectrum of legal institutions.
Why do we need Ms. JD?
In 1872 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that women had no constitutional right to be admitted to state bars, thus sanctioning the exclusion of women from the profession. Over a century later, the first woman Justice was appointed to the Supreme Court. Twenty-five years after this historic appointment, our highest Court has only two female Justices. Though women comprise half of the student body in law school, women represent only 16% of equity partners at major law firms and less than a quarter of tenured law professors. Currently only seven governors are women, and over 60% of states have never elected a woman to the executive’s office. As a nation, we have had only one female U.S. Attorney General, three female Secretaries of State, and one female Solicitor General.
Ms. JD celebrates women’s victories, addresses remaining challenges, and facilitates continued progress by bringing legal practitioners together to share in an ongoing dialogue around gender issues at law school and in the profession. Ms. JD recognizes that women have come a long way but that there is still further work to be done.
What is Ms. JD’s goal?
Ms. JD seeks to improve the experiences of women in law school and the legal profession. Obstacles to equal participation hinder not only women in the law but also their colleagues, clients, children, and communities. Ms. JD consequently strives to give voice to why it matters that women continue to face these barriers. In doing so, Ms. JD spreads the word: women’s victories are everyone’s victories.
What is Ms. JD?
Concerned by the rates at which women opt out of the legal profession, the lack of representation of women in the highest courts and echelons of the legal community, and the role of gender in the progression of many women’s legal careers, a group of female law students from Boalt Hall (UC Berkeley), Cornell, Georgetown, Harvard, NYU, Stanford, UCLA, UT Austin, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia, and Yale came together and created Ms. JD in March 2006. Serving women in law school and the legal profession, Ms. JD is an online community that provides a forum for dialogue and networking among women lawyers and aspiring lawyers.
Ms. JD launched at a national conference co-hosted by Yale Law Women at Yale Law School on March 31, 2007.
To share your experiences as a law student or legal professional, just create an account or login to your existing account, then submit a blog post anytime. Articles are reviewed by Ms. JD editors before posting to the front page of the blog. If you would like to review submissions, edit, or write regularly for Ms. JD, please contact the editorial board.