Susan Smith Blakely

Thinking of Becoming a Non-Profit Lawyer?

If you are a graduate of Georgetown University or its law school or other graduate schools and thinking of becoming a non-profit lawyer, here are two things to help you.  First of all, Chapter 12 of Best Friends at the Bar:  The New Balance for Today's Woman Lawyer includes important information about non-profit law and a profile of Bonnie Brier, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of New York University.  Bonnie's remarkable career will inspire you to follow the non-profit career path.

Second, tune into a webinar next week that is being offered by Georgetown University to its alumni on the subject of starting and growing a non-profit.  As a law graduate of Georgetown University, I also will be featured in the webinar series this fall on the subject of the special challenges to women in the law.  Stay tuned to my blog to find out more as that program approaches.

The quality of these programs is very high, and, even though next week's webinar is not specific to non-profit lawyers, it will provide valuable information on non-profits in general.  After participating in the webinar, you can read my book for more specifics about non-profit law practice.

The webinar titled "Leadership Lessons from Nepal to D.C.: How to Start and Grow a Non-Profit?" will be aired on Monday, June 23 at 12:30-1:30 EDT.  It will chronicle the founding of the non-profit Women LEAD in Nepal, and the information from the Georgetown University Alumni Career Services promotional materials describes it as follows:

When Claire Naylor (F’11) and Claire Charamnac (F’11) launched Women LEAD, a leadership development organization for young women in Nepal, this was the question they encountered most frequently. In three years, they have built an organization that has empowered more than 600 young women to become leaders in their schools, communities and nation. Charamnac , United States executive director, has focused on growing Women LEAD through fundraising, communications and outreach. Naylor, Nepal executive director, has built Women LEAD on the ground, leading everything from program and partnerships development to operations, finance and governance in the midst of political instability, worsening infrastructure and 12-hour power cuts.

The webinar will share the co-founders’ leadership lessons learned from building a nonprofit, specifically:

Challenges in building a board;

Working cross-culturally;

Fundraising; and

Marketing and communications for a start-up nonprofit.

Not only will you learn a lot about starting a non-profit, but you also will learn a lot about a non-profit focused on developing women leaders.  This is definitely a two-fer!

For more information on the Georgetown University webinar series, visit the Alumni Services web site where you can register for upcoming webinars.

Susan Smith Blakely is the Founder of LegalPerspectives LLC and a 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.  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.

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

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