Susan Smith Blakely

Why Young Lawyers Need Business Plans

As a young lawyer, a business plan may be the farthest thing from your mind.  Billing hours, making your numbers, trying not to look stupid to the partner and, well, just surviving in law practice in the early years are what occupy you.  I understand and remember. But, don't dismiss having a business plan as some other-worldly exercise that is not worthy of your time.  It is more than worthy. I have been preaching --- yes, preaching --- to young women lawyers about the importance of career plans for over a decade, and business plans are the same thing.  All…

read more

jennyrpatten

Multi-Tasking Self-Care and Professional Development: Podcasts

Like most working professionals, I spend a significant part of my morning and late afternoon commuting to and from the office.  My 30-45 minutes to and from daycare drop-off and the office often are the only time that I have truly to myself, and for a number of years, I’ve spent that time listening to music, participating in work-related conference calls, or using the time to call a friend or family member to catch up.  However, as work and family duties and responsibilities have gradually eroded the time I used to spend for myself, I realized that my commute may…

read more

Millennial Women

Playing the Long Game

It’s officially Fall! And you know what that means—football season! As we cheer on our favorite teams,* we thought it would be a perfect month to break out our sports analogies. This month, we’re focusing on playing the long game in terms of your career. We’re familiar with these concepts in sports, but they are also true when it comes to careers. What we mean by this is: looking at your career over a period of several years—maybe even a decade or two—instead of just looking six months to a year ahead. It’s tough sometimes, especially as relatively new or…

read more

marisatashman

Taking Care of Your Future Self During an 80-Hour Week

Like many young ambitious women in the wake of Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” movement, I often have to make choices between two options that are both necessary: “sleep or work out?”  “meditate or call my mom?” Beginning my career as a litigator at a large law firm in Los Angeles, I’ve been forced to make these choices all too often, eventually transforming into a thought-cycle of not being balanced enough, which inevitably transforms into being hopelessly imbalanced.  Layer on psychosomatic GI issues, migraines, and an unexpected back injury, I turned to a wellness “industry” filled with preachers on becoming perfectly…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

How Women Lawyers Are Perceived:  The Double Bind

Perception can be more important than fact.  I learned that when I was Chief of Staff for an elected official.  Politics is ripe for misperception, but the applications go far beyond that setting. Women often are the unfortunate recipients of misperceptions.  And that is especially true of women lawyers.  For example, women lawyers often are judged in a harsher light than their male counterparts when they display assertiveness, self-promotion or anger, according to a survey conducted by the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of Law for the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the Minority Corporate Counsel…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

Are You Addressing Your Workplace Wellness?

Wellness is a big deal in the legal world today.  Not wellness as in healthcare law.  Wellness as in the mental and physical health of lawyers. We know that statistics support a concern about drug and alcohol addiction among lawyers, but until recently the effects of anxiety and depression had not gotten as much attention.  It was a 2016 landmark study by the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation that revealed to me just how widespread and alarming the problems have become among lawyers. Anxiety and depression experienced by law professionals are serious and…

read more

Stratus Admissions

Top 3 Cliches To Avoid In Your Law School Personal Statement

Editor's Note: All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.  You’ve taken the LSAT (and hopefully scored well), built a strong academic record in college and pursued internships that offered valuable life experience and prepared you for a career in the law. You are now ready to apply to law school. Bear in mind that law school Admissions Committees (AdComs) read thousands of these essays per year and come across the same overused themes and logical fallacies. When you begin to compose your personal statement, your mind blanks. You think to yourself, “I know that I’m an interesting…

read more

biglawinvestor

How to Get A Handle on Student Loans

It's that time of the year again. Fall is in the air and thousands of newly-minted lawyers across the country are walking into their first jobs after having passed the bar exam (we hope!). While the flush of starting a career is a lot of fun, there's usually a monster hiding in the background that many lawyers would prefer to avoid: staggering student loan debt.  Luckily, paying off your student loans is a problem that you're well-equipped to handle, assuming you decide to take a proactive approach rather than burying your head in the sand. Get your arms around your…

read more

robertaoroberts

Healing Hurt With High Heels:  How One Aspiring Law Student Helps Others Heal from Domestic Violence

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, [1] so this article shares the story of a pre-law student who started her own nonprofit organization for survivors of domestic violence after surviving domestic violence herself.  I am honored to share this conversational interview I had with Ronshanda “Nikki” Chaney about how she found purpose from her pain and in turn helps others heal through her novels and organization, Heel My Heart.  --- Nikki, thank you so much for taking time to answer questions for me as the October member spotlight for Grace for the Grind™ Career Mastermind!  Let’s start off with…

read more

Susan Smith Blakely

The Importance of Feedback for Millennial Lawyers

Millennial lawyers need feedback from supervising attorneys on a project basis --- not just once or twice a year in scheduled reviews.  That is well-established.  People in positions like mine hear it all the time, and we know how important feedback is to junior lawyers --- especially those who were raised with an abundance of feedback and mostly praise. What does not get as much attention is the critical failure by law firms to revise review policies and mentoring efforts to meet the feedback needs of young lawyers.   As I have stated to law firm and bar association audiences…

read more

 < 1 2 3 4 >  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