Susan Smith Blakely

Welcome 2021!

Below is an excerpt from the November/December Best Friends at the Bar Newsletter published just in time to say goodbye to 2020. The newsletter publishes bi-monthly, and you can receive it by signing up on the website or e-mailing me at You will be joining more than 800 lawyers and law firms that receive the newsletters and rely on it for updates on news about millennial and women lawyers. 

As we bid an enthusiastic farewell to 2020 and look forward to the new year, the challenges of 2020 have focused my thoughts on the importance of empathy and caring for the less fortunate among us and our roles as lawyers in facing those challenges. We have seen healthcare and public safety professionals step up to offer comfort and protection to at risk populations during COVID-19, and those examples should provide incentives for all lawyers to be exemplary professionals, as well.

The opportunities for public service are replete. This year has been plagued by a breakdown in race relations and a public outcry to right the wrongs created by the lack of respect and tolerance in our society. As lawyers, we are uniquely positioned to respond to inequalities and injustices, and we should renew our commitments to pro bono representation, increase our participation in bar association programs to develop young lawyers to serve the public, and volunteer in law school clinical programs to show our dedication to the values underlying our profession.

We never should be satisfied to have profits alone define our success. 

Happy New Year! I send you all best wishes, and I hope you will achieve your dreams and expectations this year in a COVID-free society. Until we reach that goal, please be safe, be protected and wear a mask. That combination will project you forward to a future that is informed by the past, lived in the moment, and hopeful for the future.

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 third book in the series, Best Friends at the Bar:  Top-Down Leadership for Women Lawyers, focuses on the responsibilities of law firm leaders and was released by Wolters Kluwer Law & Business in 2015.

 Ms. Blakely’s new book for ALL young lawyers, What Millennial Lawyers Want:  A Bridge from the Past to the Future of Law Practice, will be released by Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers in the summer of 2018.

 Ms. Blakely frequently speaks at colleges and universities, law schools, law firms and law organizations, and she has been featured in media including Corporate Counsel Magazine, the ABA Journal, the LA Daily Journal, National Jurist, Washington Examiner Newspaper, Forbes Woman, Women Lawyers Journal (NAWL), DC Spotlight,, Daily Muse, Lawyer and Statesman,, Georgetown Law Magazine, Legal Toolkit Podcast, and Huffington Post Business.  Ms. Blakely also is a frequent guest speaker and panelist at conferences on women's issues in business 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" and the Lawyer Monthly “Women in Law Award 2016” 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 is certified as a career coach for the Indiana University Marshall Goldsmith Leadership Development and Executive Coaching Academy.   For more information, please visit 

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