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Self-Advocacy- You Can Do It!

Ever wish you could have someone in your corner that you could call up at a moment's notice? Someone that has your back (or "got your six", for you military vets out there!)? Well, your wish has been granted- because it is YOU!

In this episode, we are joined by the incredible Jessica Childress to explore the concept of self-advocacy. Jessica is the managing attorney and founder of the Childress Firm PLLC, a boutique employment law firm based in Washington, D.C. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government and African American Studies from the University of Virginia and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. Ms. Childress graduated Phi Beta Kappa with High Distinction from the University of Virginia in 2007.

Jessica served as a federal judicial law clerk for the Honorable Alexander Williams, Jr. in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, served as an associate at two global law firms, and as an attorney for the United States Department of Justice. Ms. Childress represents clients in all aspects of employment law, having litigated retaliation, discrimination, sexual harassment, non-competition, trade secrets, unfair labor practice, and whistleblower cases before various tribunals. She is admitted to practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia and admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia…and Supreme Court of the United States!

Image credit: Skills Project


Ms. Childress has held leadership roles in the National Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division and the Washington Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. She has been the recipient of several honors, including the National Bar Association's 2018 Young Lawyer of the Year Award, the Washington Bar Association's 2017-2018 Young Lawyer of the Year Award, the National Bar Association’s 40 under 40 Best Advocates Award, the Kim Keenan Leadership & Advocacy Award, the Greater Washington Area Chapter of the National Bar Association’s Rising Star Award, and recognition by the National Black Lawyers as one of the top 100 black attorneys. In 2022, the esteemed Ms. Childress received the Women Owned Law organization's Woman Legal Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Ms. Childress has been named to the 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists- which, for those of you unfamiliar with the honor, is awarded to only 2.5% of practicing attorneys in Washington, D.C.

Jessica is a 2022 graduate of the Aspen Institute's Justice and Society program and serves as a contributor for Arianna Huffington's international media outlet, Thrive Global. In addition to her appearance on the Toxic Tearoom Podcast today, which I am confident is the shining glory of her accomplishments, she has been featured in numerous publications, including Forbes, Essence, the Huffington Post, Success, and Entrepreneur.

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