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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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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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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Susan Smith Blakely

Important Information for Women Lawyers on Female-Friendly and Family-Friendly Law Firms

Drum roll, please.  The lists are out! Yale Law School has once again published its lists, and the results are reported in a recent article in The American Lawyer.  This is the 10th year that the law school has published a family-friendly list, but this year, in an attempt at gender neutrality and elimination of gender stereotypes, Yale Law has published two separate lists:  The traditional family-friendly list and a separate female-friendly list. The two lists make sense to me, and I am happy to see the research and reporting take this new direction.  Not all women lawyers will have families, and…

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Though the Gap Persists, So Do We - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

  As many of you know, Equal Pay Day was earlier this month and with it, a reminder that pay between men and women, and within different groups of women, is still far from equal. While the pay gap is felt across professions, it is particularly detrimental to female athletes. Female professional athletes often make a fraction of their male counterparts' salaries. The US is not alone in this problem, as it permeates professional sports organizations around the world.   It is worth noting, however, that unlike other professions, professional sports present some unique challenges. Olympic athletes often rely on their…

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From Paralegal to Associate:  How to Survive your First Year on the Job – Part II

Welcome back! As we discussed in Part I the importance of the first impression, the need to be proactive, to keep learning, and ask for advice.   This month, I will discuss the importance of networking.  Indeed, it is primordial, to start making important contacts within and outside of the company / law firm where you work. Networking will not only enable you to find new jobs in the future but also to bring you potential clients.   Lastly, the more you participate in networking events, the more you will be known by the attorneys in your city, which will bring referrals. …

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Business Etiquette:  Introductions

Like most professionals, I periodically attend a CLE or some type of industry conference.  In addition to valuable information, these events also provide great opportunities to meet new contacts and develop professional relationships.  This year, I am attending the annual conference hosted by the “National Association of Legal Placement” aka NALP, attended by many leaders in the legal recruiting space from across the country.  It’s a significant investment of time and money and I want to be confident in meeting new people and making a good first impression, so I brushed up on the etiquette around introductions.  Below are some…

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Susan Smith Blakely

“Speaking Up” Is Essential for Success as Women Lawyers

Many women were raised to speak only when spoken to.  Maybe you heard that from your mother or your grandmother.  That might have been fine in days gone by, but it has no relevance in today's world.  Today, women need to learn to speak up and be heard, and that certainly is true of women in a male-dominated profession like law. It is not sufficient to wait until someone invites your opinion or comment.  You should not be reluctant to express yourself without an invitation as long as you have something relevant to say that will be an asset to…

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15 Ways (Some Appropriate) to Answer the Question “How Do You Do It All?”

I spoke on a panel for a bar association event a few weeks ago. Though I was there to talk generally about lawyers as leaders in the community, the well-meaning moderator unexpectedly asked only me and the other female panelist the dreaded question: “how do you do it all?” The other panelist, who was clearly a tactical genius, quickly directed me to answer first. Having no time to fume or react emotionally, I just answered it. It was only later when several women from the audience independently asked me if I could believe the question that the frustration set in.…

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