Susan Smith Blakely

ACI Conference for Women Lawyers in the Life Science Practice Space

I am so pleased to be a part of a conference that will convene in Boston on July 28 and 29, 2016 to address the issues of leadership and advancement for women lawyers in life science law.  I will be moderating a panel titled "Tales from the Top on Effective Leadership:  Concrete Tips for Influencing and Motivating Others in the Life Sciences Legal Space."  My fellow panelists are leading in-house C-Suite and General Counsel Office lawyers from major life sciences corporations, and we also are joined by a partner and head of life sciences litigation at a top tier international law firm.  It is a power-packed panel, and we are expecting between 150 and 200 lawyers in the audience to take advantage of what these sage practitioners have to say about leadership for women lawyers and advancing them within law firms and law organizations.

Here is a link to the conference.  This would be an excellent opportunity for women lawyers who are interested in this practice to network and get the best advice possible about planning their professional  futures and achieving their practice goals.

Now, I have to admit that, when I got the call from the conference organizer asking me to participate in the program, I was a bit stymied by the title.  "Life Sciences Legal Space."  Hmmmmm?  But that is only because it is new lingo for an old concept.  The life sciences sector combines a diverse range of legal practice areas, including specialties in patent and product liability litigation and commercial, corporate, and regulatory work anchored in pharmaceutical and medical device client representation.   This is a big industry, and there is a lot of opportunity for lawyers in these fields.  Our goal at the conference, of course, is to make the greatest of those opportunities available to women lawyers.

As you may know, my background does not fit those practice areas.  My role at this conference is in leading the discussion about advancement and leadership for women lawyers.  That is a space I am very comfortable in.  My new book, Best Friends at the Bar:  Top Down Leadership for Women Lawyers (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business/Aspen Publishers, 2015) makes a very strong case for why law firms should care about effective leadership and advancement of women lawyers.  It is not practice area specific and applies to leadership and advancement for all women lawyers.

Please join us in Boston on July 28 and 29 to hear this great panel and the other speakers and participants in what promises to be a very informative conference and excellent professional growth experience.  Check out the agenda in the link above.  There is something for just about everyone here.

I hope to see you there!

Susan Smith Blakely is the Founder of LegalPerspectives LLC and an award-winning, nationally-recognized author, speaker and consultant on issues related to young women lawyers, young women law students and young women interested in careers in the law.  She is author of Best Friends at the Bar:  What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers 2009), and Best Friends at the Bar:  The New Balance for Today's Woman Lawyer (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business 2012), which addresses the work-life struggle for women lawyers and includes twelve profiles of women who have successfully transitioned from one practice setting to another.  Her new book, Best Friends at the Bar:  Top-Down Leadership for Women Lawyers, will focus on the responsibilities of law firm leaders and will be released by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business in 2015.

Ms. Blakely frequently speaks at colleges and universities, law schools, law firms and law organizations, and she has been featured in media including the LA Daily Journal, National Jurist, Washington Examiner Newspaper, Forbes Woman, DC Spotlight, Daily Muse and Huffington Post Business.  Ms. Blakely also is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at conferences on women's issues and the law profession, and she has been a featured speaker at the US Department of Justice, Civil Division.  She is the recipient of the Ms. JD 2015 "Sharing Her Passion Award" for her work on behalf of women in the law.

 Ms. Blakely graduated from the University of Wisconsin with distinction and from Georgetown University Law Center where she was a teaching fellow. She is a member of the CoachSource global network of leadership coaches and a career coach for the Indiana University Marshall Goldsmith Leadership Development and Executive Coaching Academy.   For more information, please visit 

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