May 26, 2016

Conversation with YLD Chair-Elect Regarding the Ms. JD Organization’s Women in Law Conference

Anna Romanskaya

By: Raymond L. Panneton*

The Affiliate had the opportunity to sit down with current YLD Chair Elect, Anna Romanskaya about her recent trip to New York University to participate in Ms. JD’s 8th Annual Woman in Law Conference.  It was at this conference that YLD member and YLD Scholar Raychelle Tasher was promoted to president of the Ms. JD organization. 

The Affiliate:
Anna, thank you for taking the time to speak with us, very much appreciated.  What is the state of the YLD in terms of female leadership?

A.R.:
The YLD is unique in that we have a number of women in leadership positions.  Our current Chair, Chair-Elect (me), Secretary, Treasurer, and Assembly Clerk – we’re all female.  In fact, our ABA President, Paulette Brown, is even female.  Although the ABA and the YLD are experiencing an unprecedented era of female leadership, there is much work that remains to be done in the profession.

The Affiliate
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Raychelle Tasher.  Raychelle is very much tied into the ABA YLD as a former YLD Emerging Leader and current YLD Scholar, but she is also the President of Ms. JD.  You actually had the opportunity to witness Raychelle’s promotion to President of the Ms. JD organization, at the Conference, can you tell us what that experience was like for you?

A.R.:
It was a privilege to witness Raychelle take on this new role as Ms. JD’s President.  During her speech, Raychelle discussed her plans to extend or create national leadership opportunities and host an annual Leadership Academy to provide student leadership training, create projects and programs to promote retention of women of color in the legal profession, and continue to provide a broad array of resources for pre-law students.  These resources include a blog series, webcasts, podcasts, and in-person events, which an increased focus on first generation college students.

The Affiliate: 
Can you tell our readers a little more about what the Ms. JD organization is?

A.R.:
Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the success of aspiring and early career women lawyers. Serving as a unique nexus between the profession and the pipeline of diverse attorneys, Ms. JD’s online community provides a forum for dialogue and networking among women lawyers and law students. Ms. JD’s programs provide law student fellowships, public interest scholarships and international scholarships for foreign women law students.  With campus chapters throughout the nation, Ms. JD is also home to the National Women Law Students’ Organization.

The Affiliate:  
Aside from seeing Raychelle elevated, what else did you observe about the Women in Law Conference?

A.R.:
Each year Ms. JD gathers women from law schools and legal markets around the country for a summit on the progress made by and remaining challenges for women in the profession. This most recent Conference took place on February 19, 2016 at NYU in New York. The conference theme was “Superwomen JD.”  It brought aspiring and early career women lawyers from legal markets around the country together for a summit on the progress and remaining challenges for women in the profession.

The Affiliate
Aside from the Annual Women in Law Conference, what other programs or member benefits are offered to Ms. JD members?

A.R.:
Ms. JD’s tagline is “Women of the legal profession standing together, rising together.” Among its programs, Ms. JD offers prestigious fellowships to law students, wherein 20 second year law students are matched with mentors from among the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession’s alumnae of commissioners and Margaret Brent Award Winners. Ms. JD also has an interactive Blog, scholarship opportunities for students, and a series of prelaw programming.

The Affiliate: 
Anna, thank you for your time and sitting down with us today about your experience at the Ms. JD Annual Conference.

A.R.:  
You’re welcome!  I am glad that I got the opportunity to share my experiences about this amazing organization and their fight for women in the profession.

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For more information on Ms. JD programming, you can visit: http://ms-jd.org/programs/

For more information on the 8th Annual Women in Law Conference, you can visit: http://ms-jd.org/blog/article/5-lessons-for-superwomenjds-from-the-2016-ms.-jd-conference

 

*Raymond L. Panneton is the editor-in-chief of The Affiliate and practices medical malpractice, pharmaceutical, and medical device litigation with The Talaska Law Firm, PLLC in Houston, Texas. He can be reached at ray@ttlf.com