Susan Smith Blakely

Seasoned Lawyers are Critical as Mentors for All Young Lawyers

Sometimes you just read something that you know is wrong.  Not just wrong, but Wrong, Wrong, Real Wrong. Well, that happened to me just the other day.  I was reading the Above The Law blog, and I came upon an article captioned "Why Today's Seasoned Lawyers Shouldn't Mentor Newbies."  Because I have written so much on mentoring, including in my new book to be released this summer, the article immediately interested me.  In that new book, What Millennial Lawyers Want (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers), I argue that young lawyers want more  --- not less --- attention from senior lawyers.  I argue that it is the isolation…

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KatMacfarlane

Disability & the Summer Associate Gig: To Disclose or Not to Disclose?

During my 1L year, I was thrilled to receive a summer position at an employment rights firm that represented plaintiffs in anti-discrimination suits. I’d convinced the firm to waive its practice of hiring only rising 3Ls for summer law clerk positions. I entered my summer job with high hopes about the extraordinary cases I’d be a part of, and an understanding that, as a rising 2L, I’d need to prove myself. I knew that the firm’s associates worked around the clock, but for summer law clerks, the hours were reasonable. Feedback on my research and writing was strong, and it appeared that…

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dlamorie

The Quintessential JD Preferred Career: An Interview with Valerie Chianuri

Hot off the heels of our 2-part interview with a high caliber legal recruiter in March and April, my list of accomplished Ms. JD interviewees grows with Valerie Chianuri (another fellow BLS alumna), Senior Director of Exusia Inc., a global technology consulting company. Valerie has had the quintessential JD Preferred career, holding cutting edge roles in the fields of entrepreneurism, privacy and payments law (and beyond).  No matter what field you are in, her story is an inspiring one and makes the case for alternate uses for a JD better and more succinctly than I can in a year’s worth of blog posts.     ***************** Tell…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Career Tips for Women Lawyers

Recently I attended the Georgetown Women's Forum, which expanded the Georgetown Law Women's Forum to Georgetown University graduates in celebration of the 25th year of the Forum.  As in years past, the program was inspiring.  Having attended the Forum for many years and also participated as a panelist, I take great pride in the quality of the programs. From the welcome by Savannah Guthrie, a Georgetown Law graduate, to the keynote address by Sally Yates, who briefly joined the Georgetown Law faculty after departing the Justice Department last year, to the final moments of dedication to careers, the program was…

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Ms-Innovation

Innovative Law Schools: Aspirational or Unattainable?

UPDATE: I graduated from law school on May 11, 2018, so I am now Ms. Innovative Psychic, J.D.! I cannot believe that three years of the Socratic method, curved grades, and outlines are finally behind me. I still remember my first day of law school. As commonly experienced by many beginning law students, but rarely uttered, my main concern at the time was whether I should wear a suit to my first class or jeans. Over the years, I went from dreading cold calling to wishing that the professor would call on me so that I could be “off the…

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armsshir

First Generation Success Story: The Costs of Law School

I had decided on which schools to apply to but actually had to go through the application and deciding on what school I should actually go to. I decided to apply to Michigan State University, Wayne State University, Washington University in St. Louis, and a few other schools. In order to apply for law school, there are several things you need to do. You have to take and pass the LSAT, fill out extensive applications, write personal statements, update your resume and other documents, and pay so many fees. As a first generation law student, no one really told me…

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annajo

Can Art Increase Productivity in Law Firms?

Some people naturally assume that art in the workplace is merely decorative. But what if art is more than something we look at? What if it actually plays a role in how we think, process, and work? Well, research suggests that it does. In fact, the relationship between art and productivity is so strong that many law firms are incorporating art in an effort to boost output. The Relationship Between Art and Productivity Outside of trendy startups and tech companies in Silicon Valley, most office workspaces are pretty muted and conservative. Words like sterile, clean, and sanitized come to mind.…

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IVfMo4o7Iu

4 Soft Skills Every Woman Lawyer Should Master

Negotiation Have you ever found yourself arguing with a child about eating their dinner and found that your way of negotiating is way more efficient that the next guys? Or maybe you are at a meeting and someone questions your presentation, and without missing a beat, you are able to defend your position. Some believe women aren’t good at negotiation because of emotions (which we all can laugh at), but this article suggests that in fact, woman are better at it. Whether you are an immigration attorney salt lake city or do criminal justice, negotiation is key to success in…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Are Young Women Lawyers Still Enamored With Law Firm Jobs?

There was a time when most young lawyers --- male and female alike --- found law firm jobs desirable.   The pay was good, the hours were manageable, and the upward mobility and financial rewards were inviting.  But, is that still true today? According to today's article on the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) online Issues Blog, it may no longer be true for young women lawyers.  Based on statistics from the Colorado Supreme Court's Attorney Regulation Counsel, the article identifies a "trend" away from law firm jobs for young women law graduates in that state.  Those…

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kerriannstout

You’ll Pay for This: Choosing The Right Repayment Plan

After going to law school, I like to think that I have a pretty high threshold for the “I have no idea what I’m doing” feeling and can ultimately figure most things out with enough research. However, when it was time to figure out which repayment plan I should use to start paying back my law school loans, I was in tears of confusion in 5 minutes flat. I was immediately paralyzed by questions, such as “Why are there so many options?”, “Why do they all sound the same?”, “How do the payments range from $0 to $3,000?”, “How do…

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