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Susan Smith Blakely

Welcome 2021!

Below is an excerpt from the November/December Best Friends at the Bar Newsletter published just in time to say goodbye to 2020. The newsletter publishes bi-monthly, and you can receive it by signing up on the website or e-mailing me at susansmithblakely@gmail.com. You will be joining more than 800 lawyers and law firms that receive the newsletters and rely on it for updates on news about millennial and women lawyers.  As we bid an enthusiastic farewell to 2020 and look forward to the new year, the challenges of 2020 have focused my thoughts on the importance of empathy and caring for the less…

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nalladina

Practice Pointers – Charting Your Own Path

My first post of 2020 was about avoiding a haphazard career. Kind of a strange blog post title and topic for someone who’s changed jobs and even careers a few times over… But to come full circle, there’s a difference between haphazard and intentional career moves. What may seem haphazard to others is far from that if your career decisions all align with what YOU want and need. The more you experiment and iterate, the better you get to know yourself, and the more intentionally you can chart your own career path. Take me, for instance. I started out in…

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PaulaMJones

Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: People Skills Make All the Difference

Yesterday my colleague called me up for a vent session.  She had prepared a really complicated tax filing for a client and the client responded by sending a list of about fifteen things she thought was wrong with it.  Well, the clients concerns were all unfounded and my colleague patiently and politely addressed each and every complaint.  The client apologized for her snippy e-mail and stated that taxes made her anxious.  It was really nice to get an acknowledgement from the client that her behavior was unacceptable.  Everyone gets snippy once in a while and its entirely forgivable.  Unfortunately, this…

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Patrick_Panuncillon

5 Reasons Why Women are Effective Leaders

Diversity in gender is still a debatable topic especially when it comes to leadership positions. We've known that women made tremendous efforts and tons of work to be where they are currently, yet some are still struggling in proving to the world that they are equally smart as men and that they also deserve to be leaders. Take Sabahat Akhter for example, she is the Project manager for leading printing companies like Imprint. Imprint produces promotional products like custom coffee mugs, yard signs, etc, whether it's for advertorial, marketing, business, or personal use. She has experience in data management and product…

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Susan Smith Blakely

It’s All About The Women

I am always advocating for capable women, and I love doing it. That includes not just women lawyers, but also women doctors, women business owners, women sales clerks, women astronauts, and women who teach our children. Women have been overlooked for too long, and they deserve the recognition. But right now, I am particularly enthused for the future of women lawyers. I am seeing women advanced in the judiciary in increasing numbers. I am seeing unprecedented percentages of women lawyers elevated to cabinet positions, and I am seeing women lawyers step up in leading roles in Congress. For example, earlier…

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prianka

Desi Advocacy: Spotlight on Juvaria Khan, Founder of The Appellate Project

This month, I had the opportunity to interview Juvaria Khan, founder of The Appellate Project. Ms. Khan's nonprofit aims to empower law students and lawyers of color in the appellate field through educational outreach, a Civil Rights Clinic at Howard University School of Law, and a summer fellowship incubator program. Prior to her role at The Appellate Project, Ms. Khan clerked for the Honorable Michael P. Shea in the District Court of the District of Connecticut. She also worked at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, maintaining a heavy pro bono practice focusing on racial and religious discrimination claims. Finally, she has served as…

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nalladina

Practice Pointers – Assessing Your Career Progress

              We’re officially in the holiday season… which means peppermint hot chocolate, Hallmark movies, and oh wait, annual reviews. Sorry to ruin the festive mood, but annual reviews? They’re just as important and browsing all those Black Friday deals. (I know I’m not the only one.)               Obviously, annual reviews matter because they factor into your potential bonus, pay raise, and overall standing wherever you work. But they also matter because they force you to take stock of your career progress over the past year – to assess what you’ve worked on, learned, and could use more experience in. That…

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PaulaMJones

Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: How to Stop Office Gossip in Its Tracks

“What you don't see with your eyes, don't witness with your mouth.” -Jewish Proverb My friend Jen used to describe her best friend since childhood, Tracy, as a complete screw-up.  Every time she would mention her, she would roll her eyes and bring up Tracy’s latest failed relationship or the crazy man in her life.  I had never met Tracy and I have to admit, without any other evidence to the contrary, I began to think of Tracy as a screw-up too.  I attended a social gathering at Jen’s house one evening and was speaking to a woman who was…

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fK3EjYGEID

Conflict Resolution Vis a Vis Outer Space Activities

The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has adopted rules for the arbitration of disputes relating to outer space activities.  The rules are “optional”. As such, parties in a space related dispute may choose to use them or not. Pursuant to the Rules, standing is very broad.  Hence, states, intergovernmental agencies, NGOs, corporations and private parties may use them as a forum. The Rules provide a forum for various methodologies to be used by parties. For instance, parties may select a panel of arbitrators or just one. Most importantly, awards of the Court are final and binding, which creates…

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PaulaMJones

Everything Nobody Ever Told Me: Dealing with Difficult People - The Provocateur

Just because other people are fueled by drama, doesn’t mean you need to attend the performance. – Cheryl Richardson I was busily working away at my new firm when the head of my department crept into my office, eyes wide.  She hunched her shoulders down, looked around to make sure no one else was within earshot and said in a hushed tone, “Do you have a second?  I have to tell you something.”  She closed my office door.  She proceeded to tell me that a colleague had a problem with some work that I had done.  Her story didn’t ring…

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