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Law School & Parenting: Accepting, Embracing, and Loving the Mayhem

“I don’t know how you do it.”  That is the usual response I receive when I tell people that I am a single mom in law school. To be honest, I don’t know how I do it either. When I zoom out and look down on my life, it looks exhausting (and it’s MY life). I am a single mom to a 5 year old boy. I am also a first year law student. Crazy, right? (Yes. It’s crazy).  While I am still fuzzy on how I manage to survive on a day to day basis, I do know one…

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Medical Mistrust: Can Personal Experience Make You A Better Malpractice Attorney?

When choosing a legal specialization, young lawyers face a number of pressures and influences. Excelling at a particular topic in school, demand for a particular specialization or associated income, and personal interest in a legal area, all come into play, and there’s no right way to choose. One factor that many lawyers consider, though, is their personal experience seeking legal help, especially if the system has failed them. This may be why so many women choose malpractice law as their area of specialization. Law Meets Medicine There are several different ways in which the law and medicine intersect, including working…

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How to Improve Your Interactions With Clients With Disabilities

Eventually, you’ll likely find yourself engaging with clients who have mental or physical disabilities that prevent them from being able to converse normally, or otherwise force them to interact with their environment in nontraditional ways. If you’re not used to engaging with people who have disabilities, this can pose a challenge; how can you meet their needs while simultaneously remaining professional and getting all the information you need to do your job? Physical Accessibility One of the easiest steps you can take is ensuring that your office is physically accessible for people who have physical disabilities. For example, if you…

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How to Build Credibility in the Personal Injury Field

Personal injury lawyers get a bum rap, but there are more ethical lawyers working this practice area than unethical ones. Building a positive reputation and credibility is key, and that can be particularly challenging in this competitive field. With a carefully planned strategy and persistence, it’s possible to become the go-to lawyer for personal injury cases in your area. Keep Your Word and Mind Your Manners Honesty and integrity are crucial when developing a positive reputation. Mind what you say, and do what you say. If you aren’t doing this already, start now – and keep doing it throughout your…

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Unpaid Internships: A Garbage and Discriminatory Legal Practice

Do you want to know the best-kept secret in the legal community? Unpaid internships. In my last blog post, I mentioned that I had four unpaid internships in law school. I received several stunned responses from friends outside the legal community, specifically those in business school. I thought it was common knowledge that many law student internships are unpaid. Spoiler alert: it’s not. For those outside the legal community, here are two important things you should know. One, it is very common for law students to work full-time, unpaid internships during the summer and school year. Two, law students are…

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Dear Future Lawyer: Advice for Minority Women Law Students From Author Neena R. Speer, Esq.

In 2018, the American Bar Association reported that less than 40% of lawyers in the United States are women, and that less than 20% of lawyers in the United States are people of color. As the statistics make clear, women of color are overwhelmingly outnumbered in the legal profession.  Having experienced this isolation herself, lawyer, author, speaker, and nonprofit founder Neena R. Speer, Esq. seeks to help provide solace for this underrepresented population by sharing her experience with other women of color on their journeys to becoming lawyers. As a minority woman lawyer myself, I am happy to share this…

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Seven Mistakes that Keep Amazing Women Stuck on the Hectic Hamster Wheel

I often see these seven mistakes getting in the way of how focused, balanced, and in-control your days could be, leaving amazing women like you stuck in a rushed, hectic, not-enough-time way of living instead (that used to be me): “I’ll just power through.”  Some women try to just put their heads down and plow through their to-dos, often thinking that if they can just get enough done, just catch up, things will get better and they’ll stay on track. Sadly, they keep trying that over and over, and it just doesn’t work. Powering through may occasionally give a quick…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Must Retain the Law Profession’s Foundational Values

In case you missed my recent article in the ABA Journal, I am including some of it here.  The content is very important to all women lawyers as women rise in the profession to levels of supervision and management.  They must be cheerleaders for each other, and they must not give into temptation to right the sins of the past leveled by male practitioners against women in the profession.  To do so would be to unwise and shortsighted.  Here is some of what I wrote in the ABA Journal article: The senior women need to remember the words of former U.S. Secretary of…

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How Life Used To Look for Me, How I Fixed It, and How That Can Help You

I’ve always been an “overachiever.” I always wanted to be educated and successful. But, growing up, I had no examples of successful, educated people around me. So I did what I knew how to do – from the time I was little, I worked hard. At school, extra curricular stuff, and jobs. And I always did really well in school, so the hard work was paying off. I loved learning and still do. Give me a test, a homework assignment, anything I was responsible for learning, and I rocked it. That’s how it went for me through high school, then…

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Is Studying Cyberlaw Right for You?

For many lawyers and legal professionals, the process of seeking out an area of law to practice in is often a rite of passage towards building a successful career. In a competitive legal market, finding a niche subject to focus on isn't always easy, but it can lead to big career rewards and an area of career specialization that one can feel passionate about developing. And as cyberlaw becomes an increasingly important legal practice area in a world that is still learning about the intersection between law and technology, legal professionals who pursue work in cyberlaw are finding that the…

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