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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Supporting Women—- Women Lawyers Should Follow the White House Lead

As women lawyers, you know the drill, and so do the women of the White House.  Female White House staffers and women lawyers (who often also are White House staffers) have a lot in common when it comes to grueling hours, hyper-aggressive colleagues, and lack of access to the boss ---- which all can have an adverse impact on the retention and advancement of women in the workplace.  It is very challenging, but the women at the White House have discovered an effective approach that you need to know about. In a recent article in the Washington Post, the subject…

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Non-Lawyer Jobs For Those With A Law Degree

Not everyone who goes to law school intends to become a lawyer. Some have other aspirations, like becoming a judge or a professor, while others are simply interested in learning about law. There are also plenty of students who discover throughout law school or internships that being a lawyer might not be the right job for them. Others still may pass the bar and go on to practice law, only to discover down the road that it’s not their ideal career. Everyone deserves a career that makes them happy while also utilizing their knowledge and talents. Having a law degree…

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Soldier On: Boot Camp to Law School – Do you Have What It Takes to Survive?

It’s October. If you’re in law school, you’re already half-way through your first term. Undoubtedly you want to thrive, not just survive – or so the adage goes. Yet I argue that sometimes you just need to survive! A graduate of the US Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), I’ve learned that resilience comes from surviving that which at the time seems impossible. Here are a few pointers I’d like to share so that when needed, you too can survive. Be decisive. Sometimes you’ll feel so overwhelmed with assignments and other school pressures that you just don’t know how…

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Not fLAWless but Fearless: Accepting Your Past

There comes a time in everyone’s life where the inevitable question comes up: how much does my past matter as related to my future? Call it my mid mid-life crisis, but I’ve been pondering this question a lot lately, related to both professional and personal endeavors. How much does what I’ve done, where I’ve been, and the experiences I’ve had lend itself to the places I’m trying to go, and the person I’m trying to become? On the professional side, I’ve always asked my supervisors and been fortunate enough to receive feedback on how much my prior work experience will…

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Student to Lawyer, Stuck in the Middle: Finding a (non-traditional legal) Job – Part 4

At some point in your job search you may start to get a little desperate. This point can come because student loans come due, relatives keep asking if you have a job, or your significant other “thought you would have a job by now.” You may start to think about jobs that don’t require a J.D. or bar passage (i.e. non-traditional legal jobs). There are a lot of jobs out there that include legal aspects but you don’t need Esq. after your name to qualify. These jobs are great for many reasons. They can be great stepping stones to a…

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Brand Tip #8: Creating a Memorable Brand

Once you’ve identified your goals, business strategy and uniqueness in the market and undertaken careful selection of your trademark or service mark, you’re ready to deepen the development of your brand platform and begin the process of engaging with your target audience by making yourself memorable. Becoming memorable, as you might imagine, is more than just selecting an enticing brand name. The culture, or aura, surrounding your brand is just as important. A brand aura is the cultivation of an experience. Done correctly, the cultivation of an experience can produce unbounded loyalty. Consider, for instance, the empowerment philosophy behind Nike®…

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Susan Smith Blakely

One Professional Woman’s View of Effective Dialogue about Race

The tragic and alarming issues with race relations in our country are effecting all of our lives, whether we actually experience these events or simply read about them or watch live footage of them on television.  As law professionals, we are often asked to step to the front to help solve these problems, in both large and small ways.  Here is one way that a woman professional accepted her responsibility. Goldman Sachs is encouraging employees to talk about race at work, and Edith Cooper, Head of Human Capital Management for Goldman Sachs, has taken it very seriously.  Below is the…

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Susan Smith Blakely

A “Conversation” with an Accomplished Woman Lawyer and a Powerful Businessman

You may have noticed that I don't get into politics in my work.  My goal is to be a voice for the retention and advancement of women lawyers, and I know that my audience is diverse in terms of political persuasions.  Waxing on my political views risks cutting me off from part of that audience and defeating my mission.  I just do not do it. Today, however, I want to talk to you about a political event that involved an accomplished woman lawyer having a "conversation" with a very powerful businessman.  My message is not about politics or policies.  It…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers In America:  For Those Who Have Lost Perspective

Greetings!  I am back from my August hiatus, all refreshed from the crisp and clear Maine and Wisconsin air and ready to tackle again the issues affecting women lawyers.  And, there are so many! To get the Fall started off right, let's check our perspectives.  There is so much to be accomplished by women and for women in America, but there also is so much to celebrate.  Maybe it is my mindset as I reflected on Labor Day and how women fit into the workforce here.  Although, as women lawyers, we do not have all that we want and equity…

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A Profile on Eli Mattern: Founder of SavvySuit

Why did you come to law school? A question majority of first year students fear being asked as they enter their legal education. For Eli Mattern, the question was not feared; rather it was encouraged because her answer was clear, and filled with passion.   Eli Mattern always knew she wanted to be a business owner, and she knew that by coming to law school she could attain the skills needed to run a business. And she did just that. As a theater undergraduate major, she felt that it prepared her well for law school. A playwright describes a protagonist and…

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