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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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Susan Smith Blakely

Do Women Lawyers and Other Women Leaders Have to Be Nice?

A lot has been written in the last few days about what makes a good woman leader.  Those discussions have been within the context of the political arena, which is not too surprising because the Speaker of the House of Representatives is a powerful woman, and the roster of persons announcing to run for POTUS in 2020 is full of powerful women. So we have read here how Amy Klobuchar, Senator from Minnesota and proclaimed presidential candidate, is perceived by some of her staff as "not nice" and even "mean."  And today we read here that Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, uses her…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Need Men to “Step Up” Like They Did

It was reported in the NY Times and other news outlets recently that male managers are afraid of mentoring women in the #METOO Era.  Maybe you read about it.  Or maybe you were watching the discussion between Stephanie Ruhle of MSNBC and her guests last week about those reports.  I was watching, and it was incredible.  If you did not catch it, check it out here. Or maybe you were at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January and heard the buzz about it there.  Apparently lots of males from around the world were sharing their fears. I have…

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dlamorie

LinkedIn Success in 3 Easy Steps: Networking Edition

Despite my good luck with career opportunities through LinkedIn (which I've shared in Part 1 of this 'LinkedIn Success' series), I haven't been the most engaged user other than keeping my profile current.  I've only recently unlocked the key to the site's full potential.  It goes beyond just job hunting; it's networking in the palm of your hand.  I now log in to LinkedIn more often than I do to Facebook.   My LinkedIn newsfeed is full of cool articles about cutting edge companies doing socially positive work, inspiring stories, and notices about my colleagues' promotions and job changes.  It's a…

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Overcoming Language Barriers: Why it Pays to be a Bi-Lingual Attorney

In today’s globally-connected world, it pays to be a bi-lingual attorney. The U.S. in particular is a melting pot of cultures and languages. In fact, at least 350 languages are spoken in U.S. homes. Because communication is critical in the law field, knowing more than one language opens up the opportunity to reach and help a wider range of clients. It’s About Serving Clients Bilingual attorneys have an advantage when it comes to serving their clients. Let’s imagine that your client was injured in an accident. You’ve found a key witness to corroborate the facts, but there’s just one problem:…

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Women_Lawyers_News

When There’s a Mismatch Between The Value of Your Time and How You Spend it


I want to challenge you today, to really think about how you value your time. Let’s start here: Do you believe your time is valuable? I hope you’re nodding, because I promise you it is – you’re amazing and definitely a big deal (it’s just us, let’s be honest, you rock). Now, assuming you agree with me, does the way you act and fill your time match up to that? In other words do you treat your time like it’s valuable? For example, what are the things that cost you time that you know deep down you don’t need to be…

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Should You Specialize in Mass Tort Law?

Mass tort law is booming, and a lot of attorneys are starting to add mass tort claims into their personal injury firms. Mass tort can impact 2 – 4 million people annually, and these impacts can be serious or fatal. The rise in mass tort comes at a time when there are product liability cases against medical device and pharmaceutical companies. The attractive aspect of mass tort is that it’s still in an immature phase. Clients can be found once, and when the case is large enough, it will result in possibly hundreds or thousands joining a claim. The settlements…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: I dread looking at my phone in the morning. Every day I am inundated with emails, usually from offices in an earlier time zone. The emails often contain random requests that don’t seem as if they would take much time, but they end up blowing up my mornings. Sometimes partners want me to find documents for them. Or people want status updates. I am a morning person, and I theoretically could do my best work in the morning, but I end up chasing down information. I try to get up earlier and earlier, but I can only get up…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Diversity in Big Law—- An Ultimatum from Corporate America

A very large group of general counsels (170 to be exact) posted a letter and signatures on a LinkedIn group page this week in support of diversity of women and minorities in law firms.  The letter was a direct result of discussion after the Paul Wise law firm announced a new class of partners in December, complete with photos of them all.  That would be all white males and one white female. The reaction to the lack of diversity was harsh throughout the profession and in the media, and the LinkedIn effort soon was launched by Michelle Fang, chief legal officer of…

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annajo

The Confidence Equation: How To Stand Out As A New Face In Big Law

If applying for work at a prestigious law firm is anxiety-provoking, actually getting the gig can be even more frightening. Now you’re the new face in the office, surrounded by established lawyers, and that’s enough to trigger a serious case of imposter syndrome, especially as a woman. Do you really belong here? Will you succeed? The fact is, though finding your footing can be a challenge, doubting yourself won’t help. No, now is the time to fake it til you make it and even take some risks. As a new member of the team, you have little to lose and…

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