Browse Topics

Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers:  LOVE YOURSELVES!

Today, Valentines Day, is a day for celebrating love.  We buy cards with red and pink hearts and poetic verses expressing our love, we share classic red (the color of love) roses with our loved ones, we have intimate candle lit dinners demonstrating our love, and we thank the powers that be for the opportunity to love whomever we wish. Oh, wait a minute .... you say you are caught in the office and not able to participate in the Day of Love?  You cannot see yourself clear to taking a few hours off in the name of love?  And…

read more


A Galentine’s Day Reflection on the Value of Female Friendships

           Today is Galentine’s Day, a completely made up holiday popularized by a TV show, Parks and Recreation, that hasn’t aired in years. Unlike Valentine’s Day, this “holiday” is intended to honor female friendships rather than romantic relationships. To say the least, the episode which featured this holiday and the character who invented it, Leslie Knope, was memorable. As Malcolm Gladwell tells us, a “sticky” message from an extraordinary communicator can carry an idea far and wide. Yet, I don’t think that the show or Leslie Knope are the only reasons that Galentine’s Day caught on.…

read more


Don’t Be An Investing Clown

The stock market just finished a great year. For every dollar invested on January 1, 2017 in an index fund tracking the S&P 500, the market returned a whopping 19.42% in appreciation by the end of the year. That’s not even taking into consideration the dividends paid. If you add in those, the index investor saw a return of 21.83% on each dollar invested (less fees, which of course should be kept to a minimum). Those are exciting numbers. What does a 21.83% return get you? Well, it doubles your money every 3.3 years for a start. You could get…

read more


10 Qualities of a Good Lawyer

To become a lawyer is to become a person of many hats. Law schools will teach you some of the skills you need, but they cannot teach character. In order to become a “good” lawyer, you have to naturally have certain qualities. Some of these qualities you have discovered within yourself in your time as a law student, but others may need to be worked on. Below are some of the qualifications of becoming a good lawyer in any field: Good communication skills Lawyers must be orally articulate, have good written communication skills and also be good listeners. In order…

read more


The Elephant in the Room: Paying Off Law School Loans

As someone who has been through four years of undergraduate and another three years of law school, you know better than almost anyone just how expensive student loans can be. The question is, will you pay them off or let them control your life for decades to come? Short-Term Sacrifices Lead to Long-Term Gains When you’re young and starting out in your career, it’s often hard to see the big picture. The palpability of the moment leads you to believe that your present experiences will be indicative of your future reality, when the truth is that you sometimes have to…

read more


Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Thanks for the great insights on the questions that start this column; here is another one: How do you manage stress? Just send an e-mail here, tweet to @babysharklaw, or post a comment here. Easy! I will compile a roundup for a future column. I thank you, and your fellow lawyers thank you! Q: It is hard for me to track all my time. I can be in the office for long days, and I end up without much billable time. Do you have any time-tracking suggestions? A: Yes. Tracking time is one of the less fulfilling aspects of law…

read more


4 Tips and Best Practices for Your Final Year of Law School

Law school is so challenging and time-consuming that it’s easy to lose perspective and forget this is just the beginning. Your focus should be less on surviving and more on preparing yourself for your first job in the real world. 4 Tips for a Better Final Year of Law School The final year of law school is challenging on so many levels. Not only are you taking classes and preparing for bar exams, but you’re also thinking about career opportunities and scheduling job interviews – all while trying to retain your sanity and maintain at least a couple of social…

read more


Drive Your Journey: Preparing for an Online First Impression

These days, when someone goes to buy any product, they look online for reviews, to compare prices, and more. Certainly, in many instances when someone is looking to engage or hire an attorney as an employee, service provider, speaker, or other role, they also utilize the convenience of searching online, and that individual’s first impression may be based upon what he or she sees online. This presents an opportunity for attorneys. You can shape your digital presence, so that your digital presence show you to be a credible professional and someone with whom others will want to work. The top…

read more


Rising Up: How Good Etiquette Can Advance your Career

How many of you consider proper etiquette to be an essential part of your personal and professional success? Etiquette matters and I will be blogging about this very topic in 2018. Etiquette is much more than rules, thank you notes, and proper forks. Rather, etiquette is both specific manners that govern behavior and principals or guiding concepts that are the basis of all manners.  Manners can change with the times or vary among cultures. Principals like respect, consideration and honesty are timeless and consistent everywhere around the globe. Manners and their principals are specific factors that influence relationships, and relationships…

read more

Advice for Effective Retooling

I have coached many attorneys who are retooling whether learning a new area of law after having practiced for a few years or starting over with a new employer in a new area either as practicing attorney or in a non-practicing role.  In fact, I’ve done so twice over the course of my career – once shifting from a corporate generalist position to being the lead employment and labor lawyer for my first in-house role and, second, when I left legal practice to focus full-time on attorney professional development.  Retooling can represent a tremendous opportunity to grow and expand your…

read more

 1 2 3 >  Last ›

Join Us

Contribute to our blog and join the discussion.



Enter your email address to receive regular updates, news, and events.

Connect with us

Follow or subscribe