New and Good Things Happening at Ms. JD

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From the FLP mailbox:

Ms. JD wants you to help us promote women in the legal profession! Male or female, 1L or 3L, we hope that you’ll turn to Ms. JD to find and ask questions on interviewing, taking the bar exam, and surviving law school; to share your own experiences as a law student;and to network with other law students and employers across the country.

Join the Ms. JD Network!

Ms. JD is proud to launch the first law-focused community networking site. Interested in connecting with other students who want to be tax lawyers? Public defenders? U.S. Attorneys? Need a way to communicate with members of your law student organization? Take a few minutes to sign up for the Ms. JD Network, which allows you to communicate with and search for law students and lawyers across the country, connect with established lawyers for mentoring and advice, and set up private groups for purposes of organization and communication. Signing up is easy! [See here.]

Use Ms. JD to host your own personal blog!

Do your family and friends wonder what your life is like at law school? Have you always wanted a free and easy way to create your own blog? Ms. JD allows law students free hosting, webspace and url to blog about   their lives as law students! Click here to learn more.

Connect with law students through the Ms. JD National Women Law Students’ Network!

Ms. JD is working to connect women’s law organizations around the country so that they can communicate with one another on key issues and help each other to network and collaborate. Joining the network takes
only seconds– click here  to learn more!

Join Us!

Are you passionate about promoting women in the legal profession? Ms. JD wants you to join us! Click here to learn more.

Some professors may be skeptical about on-line community-building, but it can work (you are  reading this blog, after all).   So, as Feminist Law Professors, let’s  pay forward some of the mentoring we’ve received over the years by taking the small (but appreciated) step of registering with Ms. JD.

-Bridget Crawford

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0 Responses to New and Good Things Happening at Ms. JD

  1. Ralph M. Stein says:

    Okay, Bridget:

    I sent this e-mail to all four of my classes and to a number of student organizations:

    On her (co-owned) Feminist Law Professors blog, of which I am a contributing member, Professor Bridget Crawford has been advocating the use of social networking websites as a potentially valuable tool for law students and alumni. I have disagreed to the extent that I see, too often, more of a downside than a benefit. And I question whether most law students are focused on using such sites for professional as opposed to personal pursuits.

    Today she for the second time makes a strong pitch for

    http://ms-jd.org/

    a networking site for female law students. The advisers and consultants to this site are impressive – many are recognized national leaders in the academic and legal practice world.

    So, to show Prof. Crawford that I am open-minded I give you the URL for this site and I would be very interested in hearing, by e-mail or in person, any experiences any of you have with it.

    I only have access to a handful of lists (see addresses above) so spread the word!

  2. Ralph M. Stein says:

    Here’s one student who responded quickly to my e-mail to her organization:

    Hi Professor Stein,

    I had never heard of this website until I received your email. Within minutes of opening up the site and glancing around, I was emailing articles/entries out to friends. Already I am impressed with this site. I not only find some of its topics relevant to my life but also relevant to several class discussions I have had in Prof. M’s … course (does he know about this website?). Thanks for sending the site along!

    Best,

  3. Ralph M. Stein says:

    I received this e-mail from an older law student who was a high-ranking executive at a major ISP before coming to law school:

    Hi,

    I registered on the site and spent some real time looking at it. I understand the dynamics of underline communities and have built and managed several very successful ones in the past, and I know how difficult it can be. This site is beautifully developed and observes all the technical rules and art for creating an intuitive community website. I suspect though, without some changes, that it will not be terribly successful.

    Community sites live or die on their content. Since the community members are responsible for creating the content, you need a lot of them. The fact is that most registrants/members will be voyeurs only, depending upon the rest to be vocal and keep them interested. Also, you are right in one respect. Online communities need to allow for the same dynamics that create successful offline community groups. There is, and must be, a social aspect involved in the niche topic which everyone shares. Although there should be ample forums for discussing professional topics, there should also be a “coffee shop” to take things off-topic. Additionally, people need and thrive on controversy and debate. This site simply isn’t set up to catalyze that kind of conversation. It is a place to publicly post information on a bulletin board with no meaningful response. I saw no postings which I would categorize as original thinking. If the founders/board/moderators are interested in developing a thriving community, they would do well to seed discussions with controversial topics and opinions that would illicit response. In turn, that will spark the sort of viral word of mouth that will drive new registrants.

    Also, the site boasts an area for employers to post job openings in three categories. There are zero posts. Yet, there is a long and impressive list of sponsoring law firms. Surely they must be hiring from time to time, yet they aren’t using their own resource. If the dog won’t eat it’s own dog food, well then that makes a statement.

    So in short. The site is a well-made ghost town that isn’t doing much of anything to become “real” and doesn’t demonstrate that there is an understanding of the elements that need to be there for it to take off and thrive.

    If you recall, I suggested that Pace Law should have an independent online community for students/alumni. I think it would or could be really something of value. My vision though, in terms of how it would be built and “marketed” couldn’t be more different. But then again, I created and edited an underground newspaper in high school called the Bloodthirsty Wolverine, so my starting point would likely be somewhere different.