Jessica Markham

Jan 2, 2020

Let go of the falsehood of competition

This blog is inspired by a wise friend of mine, Ajita Robinson, a therapist who owns a successful therapy practice. I quite often have the good fortune of running across her pearls of wisdom on social media at the right time, as I usually find them to be inspiring in my day-to-day life and my […]

Dec 2, 2019

‘Dear Sir or Madam’ is outmoded at best, offensive at worst

I recently attended a thought-provoking webinar CLE conducted by the Association of Corporate Counsel. The title was Gender Inclusive Legal Writing and Communications (Why “Dear Sir or Madam Must Go”). I feel that I am fairly mindful when it comes to gender inclusivity, but incorporating my values into my purely legal writing (motions, subpoenas, complaints, […]

Nov 19, 2019

Lawyer, know thy personality type (it helps)

The longer I practice law the more I realize that being a good lawyer requires a certain level of self-awareness.  Knowing yourself better, and understanding what you do and why you do it, helps you to be a better lawyer and can have the benefit of improving your interactions with your clients, opposing counsel and coworkers. […]

Nov 4, 2019

Attorneys need to know about people-first language

I recently attended a fantastic event hosted by the Washington DC Economic Partnership about fostering a disability-friendly workplace. The speakers were inspiring, and I learned a lot of useful information about how to support employees and clients with all kinds of disabilities, or at least how to reduce my chances of offending them. It is […]

Sep 17, 2019

Find yourself a ‘pacesetter’ and imagine your future

I’m a big fan of the Gretchen Rubin podcast, “Happier.” Rubin recently talked about the concept of having a “pacesetter.” The idea is that it’s useful to identify someone you can look to who is five, 10 or 15 years ahead of you in your field who is accomplishing things you would like to accomplish. This […]

Aug 26, 2019

Think about your career trajectory today to succeed tomorrow

My last blog post and a previous were about goal-setting, verbalizing your goals and asking for what you need to accomplish them. I invite you to take it one step further and think intentionally about the trajectory of your career and the lawyer you would like to be 10 years from now. When you start […]

Aug 10, 2019

Ask for what you need to accomplish your goals

When I started out as a young family law attorney, I felt as if the world was spinning around me and I could barely hang on. It took years before I felt like I knew what I was doing, and the first few years felt like they were just about survival. I had a lot […]

Jul 26, 2019

Applying for a job? Here are a few tips.

I have a Careers page on my website because I try to remain open-minded about hiring the right staff members even if it feels like the wrong time. It seems that the work of a law office is always expanding and contracting and that there is room for more or fewer people depending on what […]

Jun 4, 2019

The importance of collecting clients’ correct names and pronouns

In my last blog post I provided a list of definitions to help you engage in respectful communications with all parties in your cases. Beyond familiarity with the correct terms, you need to know how to address parties correctly, particularly when a party is transgender. Collecting the correct name and pronouns is especially important. You […]

May 21, 2019

A primer on important terminology

Words are lawyers’ stock in trade. As attorneys and officers of the court, we need to use correct language when dealing with clients, opposing counsel, witnesses and members of the public. First realize that there are infinite combinations of gender expression and sexuality. To that end, I offer here a simple primer on important terminology […]

Apr 29, 2019

Calm outside, stressed inside: Air travel as metaphor

Few people know that I hate flying. In fact, I wrote this post solely to distract myself from my tragic impending demise, in midair on my way to the ABA spring conference on dispute resolution. I was a presenter, so it was a nice moment for my CV. For my nerves … not so much. […]

Apr 22, 2019

Extra costs upfront worth it to cut down on plastic

Recently the European Parliament voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton swabs, straws and stirrers in an effort to reduce the pollution of our oceans. I’m sure you’ve all seen photos in the news of dead whales, their stomachs full of plastic garbage. These images have stayed with me, guilted me and made me wonder […]

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