FIRST THOUGHT: You Be the Judge
OK, I’ll admit it: My #WomanCrushWednesday is Judge Judy. If I could just have 10 percent of her smart sass, I’d be so happy. If I could have a cut of that $47 million salary, I’d be even happier. From phrases like “I’m the boss, applesauce,” to “Beauty fades. Dumb is forever,” Judge Judy always insists those in her courtroom stay honest and make smart choices. While it’s simple advice, let’s make a note to remember it as we finish out the week. If you know a client is underpaying you, take action. If your online date gives off creep vibes, take action. This is your year, lady.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 1 in 3
When you’re in a tough situation, one way to take action is to, well, take legal action. If you’re looking for a lawyer, your search might yield some heavily masculine results, as men still make up the majority of the profession in America. But there’s a bright side. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as of 2016, more than one in three U.S. lawyers was a woman, compared with fewer than 1 in 10 in 1974. And that’s progress—beyond a reasonable doubt.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Kristina Jones, Co-founder of Court Buddy
Today’s Woman to Watch is not one of those working lawyer gals. But Kristina Jones has a keen understanding that when it comes to legal matters, sometimes you need a knowledgeable buddy on your side. Kristina is the co-founder of Court Buddy, an online marketplace that pairs individuals in search of legal help with seasoned lawyers who align not only with clients’ needs, but also with their budgets.
Essentially a top-of-the-line legal-matchmaking service, Court Buddy is on a mission to ensure any person or business in need of legal assistance can be easily matched to an appropriate lawyer in their area. Not only that, lawyers and solo practitioners aspiring to grow their legal practice can employ the Court Buddy platform to instantly get clients to generate revenue for their law firms.
Lawyers can create a profile in less than 10 minutes, while clients can be matched with a solo practitioner in less than five minutes. Pretty ingenious, right? Fixed prices and a la carte services mean clients can get just what they need and know exactly how much their bill will be. Clients can even test an attorney, test-drive-style, before committing.
Though Kristina is going on the record that Court Buddy is her key focus, she certainly made a career pivot to ensure the tech platform’s success. Her education and past experience were in advertising, art direction and graphic design. And though those talents may seem a million miles away from the legal industry, Court Buddy has more than benefited from her remarkable creative skills.
But the most significant characteristic Kristina brings to all her endeavors is tenacity. She is persistent and seemingly unafraid to conquer new territory. For instance, she was the only African-American woman in her group of 500 Startups, an early stage funding accelerator, and one of only six women among 45 men. Despite such barriers, Kristina excelled at her goals, becoming only the 14th black woman ever to raise more than $1 million in funding for a startup.
So, what’s this successful tech-startup founder’s advice to other burgeoning female entrepreneurs? Believe in yourself, don’t undersell your power and don’t let “no” stop you from moving forward. As Kristina says, “The more success stories that minority and female founders have, the more comfortable investors will feel to invest outside of their norm.”
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s quote comes from another glass-ceiling-breaking lady, astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel to space. She said:
“Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.