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Susan Smith Blakely

The College Admissions Scandal and the Importance of Values to All Young Lawyers

The current college admissions scandal.  How awful. Not that we did not suspect lack of fair play in college admissions.  We all are aware of the legacy preferences and how the issues of societal inequities play out in this setting, but the magnitude of the alleged criminal behavior and its impact on applicants nationwide is nothing short of disgusting --- and very predictable.  It was only a matter of time before the misplaced motives of helicopter parents reached such a low. Coincidentally, my new book addresses the erosion of values in the legal profession, specifically the current toxic cultures of…

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Interview with Krista Hiner, Esports Attorney & Bar Officer - On the Field: Women in Sports Law

Please welcome Ms. Krista Hiner, Esports Attorney at ESG Law and Officer of the Esports Bar Association. A graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, Ms. Hiner formerly was a Partner at Peterson Logren, & Kilbury, P.A., an employment law firm, before joining ESG Law in 2017. Ms. Hiner has served as a contributor to ESPN, spoken at esports conferences across the country, and is an avid gamer.  Thank you so much for taking the time to connect with me, Ms. Hiner. What drew you to the world of esports? What aspects of your work most excite you? Ms. Hiner: I…

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JLSkocik

Pipe Dreams and Pumps: One Public Interest Law Student’s Two-Sided Story

When I decided to go to law school, I knew I wanted to help people. I wanted to be what they call a “public interest student.” For me, law school was a magic place where I could acquire a particularized skill set in order to help more people more effectively. It never occurred to me (a first-generation law student from Missouri) that people attended law school to do anything else. I capitalized on my experience studying and teaching abroad and working with juvenile sex offenders to create the most compelling personal statement I could dream up, and I was off…

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jenreise@gmail.com

Choosing a law school: Four factors that matter, besides the U.S. News rankings

With the 2020 U.S. News rankings of law schools finally out, there’s a lot of discussion about the winners and losers this year. But as an individual applying to law school, rankings don’t tell the whole story.  Here are four factors to consider in order to identify what the best law school is – not in general, but specifically for you. Location You’ll make important connections in law school, and most will be in the surrounding legal market. You’ll clerk at a local firm, network with local attorneys, and learn about the business and legal landscape of that community. In…

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6 Things Nobody Tells You About Building a Law Practice

When you first venture out on your own and decide to open up your own law practice, there’s unmistakable excitement and anticipation. There are also nerves and fears. But even the most experienced attorneys can’t possibly be prepared for everything that comes with building out a practice. 6 Untold Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities Going from attorney at someone else’s firm to an attorney with your own practice is a much more significant transition than most people realize. Practically, it comes with more responsibility and scheduling demands. Psychologically, it comes with greater pressure. But all of the pep talks and reading…

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KatieDay

Webinar: Speak Up: Finding Your Voice and Taking Charge of Your Career

On March 6, 2019, Ms. JD Board Member Katie Day sat down with Jodi Flynn, Executive Coach and Founder of Women Taking the Lead for a webinar on speaking up. In this webinar, Jodi shares three stumbling blocks to speaking up and provides practical solutions. Want to learn more about speaking up? Join Ms. JD on March 14-15 at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law for "Speak Up" our 11th Annual Conference on Women in the Law. Have questions about the stumbling blocks Jodi discusses? Want to pick her brain? Shoot her an email at jodi@womentakingthelead.com.  About Jodi Jodi Flynn of…

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Susan Smith Blakely

International Women’s Day

  Today is International Women's Day.  I hope you are celebrating being a woman or having a wonderful woman at your side. Today we remember that we have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go in terms of equal opportunity, equal pay, implicit bias, and respect.  Even equal protection comes to mind as we are reminded of the recent disclosures by Senator Martha McSally--- women are not protected adequately within the military ranks any more than they are protected in society at large.  Sexism is still baked in the cake of our culture, and we…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: I am a mid-level associate. I know I should be doing business development. But it is hard to know what activities will be the most effective. Any suggestions on what I should do? A: Because the results from business development are not immediate, finding the most effective approaches can take trial and error. But you are probably already doing many activities that are important for business development. Here are some considerations for allocating your time. Hone your legal skills. To develop business, you have to be able to provide value and solve client problems. This means you need to…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Young Women Lawyers:  Beware of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

Mental illness and substance abuse are big problems in our profession today.  I call attention to these issues whenever I get the opportunity to speak to lawyers, young and older.  I did it at the event for the launch of my new book at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago on February 4th and also two days later at a program for law students in Michigan.  I implored them to be careful personally and to be vigilant on behalf of colleagues. I noted at both events that the American Bar Association (ABA) has identified an initiative to address these issues and…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Young Women Lawyers: Help in Transitioning to a New Firm

  The legal field is very dynamic these days and has been that way for awhile.   Most lawyers change practice venues multiple times in their careers, and research shows that millennials will change jobs four times in their first decade out of college. Up until the 1990's, lawyers often stayed with one -- or possibly two -- firms most of their careers.  Sounds hard to believe now, but it's true.  However, the boom economic days of the 90's saw law firms grow in size and spheres of influence exponentially, and lawyers started moving around like bees in a hive…

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