Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Best Friends at the Bar Themes Echo at Washington Women’s Weekly

Earlier this week I attended a program sponsored by Washington Women's Weekly.  If you do not know WWW, get on board by going to  Judith Willson publishes this on-line periodical and plans the program content, and she does a fine job of it.  This week's program was no exception.

For this special Executive Leadership Series program, Judith brought together three leading business women to discuss whether there is a New Normal and, if there is, does it include not "having it all?"  The panel consisted of: Teresa Bozzelli, President of Sapient Government Services; Diane Zanetti, Senior VP of Citibank; and Allison Abner, Emmy-award winning writer and producer.  As you can imagine---if only from the theme of "having it all"--- the themes of Best Friends at the Bar were rebounding off the walls of the Westin Georgetown  in DC.  Themes like:

The Work-life Challenges for Women in Business.  The True Meaning of Balance.  Having It All or NOT.  Career Fulfillment.  The Individual Definitions of Success and Owning Your Success.  Realistic Goal Setting.  Good Choices and Good Planning.  The Importance of Support Systems.  The Importance of Being Present.  Women Helping Women.

ECHO, ECHO, ECHO.  It was so gratifying to hear the Best Friends at the Bar themes articulated by these remarkable women and to have their discussion confirm that the themes of my books and speeches go well beyond just the law.  Women at all levels of management and the professions face these same challenges, and it is high time that we combined our efforts with women outside the law to harness our aggregate energy to get to the bottom of these difficult issues.  I intend to do just that in my next book, and I cannot wait to get started.

For more on this particular program, go to the October 17, 2012 edition of the Washington Women's Weekly at  Read the reviews and the key take-aways from each of the panelists.  Then, get on the mailing list and sign up for a future program.  The content is spot on, the venues are always inviting, and the opportunity to network with women in business is unmatched.

Here are Judith Willson's own words describing the mission of WWW:
"[The mission of] Washington Women’s Weekly (WWW) [is] to connect powerful women in Washington with the next generation of trailblazers. WWW is an online venue for professional women to achieve their greatest potential through the guidance and leadership of other successful women through a mentor match-up service, weekly profiles of accomplished women sharing their success stories and lessons learned, networking events and articles, news, information and links to other relevant sites."

Sound familiar to any of you Best Friends at the Bar followers?  I certainly hope so, and I consider myself in very good company!

Hope to see you at the next WWW program.  Stop by and say hello!

This entry originally appeared on my web site blog at

Susan Smith Blakely is a nationally-recognized author, speaker and consultant on issues related to young women lawyers and law students.  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 her second book, Best Friends at the Bar:  The New Balance for Today's Woman Lawyer (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business) on the work-life struggle for women lawyers, was released  in July 2012.  She is the Principal and Founder of LegalPerspectives LLC, the umbrella entity for her writing, speaking and consulting.  Ms. Blakely frequently speaks at 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, Virginia Lawyer Magazine and Georgetown Law.  Ms. Blakely is a frequent guest speaker and panelists at conferences on women's issues and the law profession.  For more information, please visit

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