Susan Smith Blakely

Everything Women Lawyers NEVER Wanted to Know about Gender Bias

Sometimes you just have to learn what you would rather not know.  Here is a case in point. Gender bias is a terrible and destructive thing.  We all seem to understand express and intentional bias, and there are laws to protect us against it in the workplace.  That is the easiest kind of bias to spot.  It is obvious when someone tells you that you cannot have the case because you are a woman or when someone targets you with a gender slur.  However, it is more complicated with implicit gender bias, which can be subtle and unintentional but also…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

Balance or Not?  What Women Lawyers Need to Know

  Work-life balance is not easy.  Yes, I wrote an entire book about it, but that does not mean that I think it is anything but difficult and challenging.  I acknowledge that in the Prologue to Best Friends at the Bar:  The New Balance for Today's Woman Lawyer (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business/Aspen Publishers, 2012), where I propose a new balance that puts more emphasis on self.  After all, if you do not take care of yourself, you will burn out early in your attempts to take care of others. Case in point is an interview with a former CFO…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

The Gap Year and How It Affects Women Lawyers

The recent announcement by the White House that Malia Obama will be taking a year off after high school graduation before starting at Harvard University in the Fall of 2017 has drawn fire from critics, as you might expect --- because everything that is remotely connected to politics draws fire these days.  The critics are lined up on social media either asserting that "gap years" are for the wealthy only and, therefore, should be shunned or that Malia is failing to get on with adulthood.  Both arguments seem crazy to me. For one thing, taking a year off before starting…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

FBA Conference on Women In Law Is a Great Success

  Last week I was in New Orleans participating in the Federal Bar Association (FBA) Conference on Women in Law.  I loved meeting so many remarkable women lawyers and judges --- almost as much as I enjoyed the sights and sounds and FOOD.  It was a wonderful trip ... but I digress! The membership in the Federal Bar Association consists of lawyers who practice before the US Federal Courts.  The New Orleans chapter of the FBA is the most active chapter in the country, and it was obvious how cooperative and congenial the members are.  What a refreshing experience for…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

Change in Policy at ATL is Good For Women Lawyers

The Washington Post newspaper recently included a letter from David Lat, founder and managing editor of Above the Law (ATL).  I rely on ATL as a legal news website to keep me up to date on happenings in the legal profession and to keep you informed about them as well.  David Lat, Elie Mystal and Staci Zaretsky do a fine job of reporting the news in an industry where there is always a lot of it to sift through.  They even have mentioned me and Best Friends at the Bar on a couple of occasions, and I appreciated the shout-outs. David…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

Wait List Season:  The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  Here we are again.  Wait List season for law school applicants.  This is a good news, bad news scenario.  Being "waitlisted" means that you still are in the running for admission. Being waitlisted also means that nothing is certain in your life and that the waiting game is full on and annoying.  Yes, I know.  It is unpleasant, but you have to try to look on the bright side and act prudently. Being placed on a law school Wait List is both a hopeful and a frustrating experience, depending on the school and the applicant’s expectations, and there is…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers:  Be Aware of Difficult Personalities at the Office

Difficult personalities at the office are a big problem, and the problem is not confined to partners and abusive behavior toward associates or others lower on the law firm ladder than themselves.  Oh no.  The bad news is that the higher you climb on that ladder, the stronger the resistance to good working relationships can become. The subject of whether your law firm partner is a jerk is addressed in an article in The American Lawyer on April 13, 2006.   The article has two applications for you as a young woman lawyer.  First, it provides some good advice on what kind…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

New Best Friends at the Bar Program to Support Law Firm Women’s Initiatives

The new BFAB Multi-Session Program for Law Firm Women’s Initiatives has launched!  This CLE-eligible program will continue the effort to extend my programs to more lawyers, including global audiences, and the applications are very exciting.  The program sessions include the following and can be tailored to meet the individual law firm needs: Developing Effective Leaders to Meet the Special Challenges for Women Lawyers; Owning Your Own Career; Achieving Commitment to Career and Work-Life Balance; The Importance of Networking and Client Development; and Looking Back and Moving Forward to Successful and Satisfying Careers. I look forward to working with your law…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

The Truth About Developing Business——Perfect For Women Lawyers!

I have shared things by my friend Grover Cleveland --- the lawyer, silly, not the former POTUS! --- with you before, and here is another opportunity.  This article addresses the daunting task of developing business as a critical element of advancing in a law firm and gaining independence in your practice.  Nothing is more important for a young lawyer, as you have heard me say so many times before. Networking and developing business for your law firm is something that most lawyers do not relish.  Not even the most successful among them.  But, you have to get over that and…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

Being a Women Lawyer of Color is a Particular Challenge

Recently, I was asked to speak to a bar association made up of minority women.  I was fully equipped and engaged to do that.  The issues that I write about are applicable to all women lawyers, and I always welcome as much diversity as possible in my audiences. However, this request was a little different.  This time, I was being asked to address the issues challenging women of color in our profession because they are minorities.  As much as I love to speak to most audiences, I respectfully declined.  Not because it was an audience made up of women unlike…

read more

 < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›

Join Us

Contribute to our blog and join the discussion.

CREATE AN ACCOUNT

Newsletter

Enter your email address to receive regular updates, news, and events.

Connect with us

Follow or subscribe