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A Historical Perspective on Lauren’s Determination: Define Yourself – Always

Although I am far from a youthful Ms. J.D., I read this Blog faithfully.  I have done so for several years, ever since my daughter, Katherine Larkin-Wong, disregarded my sage advice to forgo becoming the President of Ms. J.D. when she was just beginning her legal career.  I explained to Kate that it was wiser to devote herself completely to her legal development as she started out, rather than dividing her time between her career and Ms. J.D.  Trying to do too much at one time, I reasoned, would only dilute the results achieved all around.  Thankfully, Kate thoughtfully considered…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Time to Celebrate the OnRamp Fellowship Again

I have written a lot about the issues of leaving practice and the challenges of returning at a later date, and I address that issue in almost every speech I give at law schools, law firms and law organizations.  We saw many women lawyers leave practice in the 1990's and early 2000's for personal reasons, and now many of those women would like to get back into practice.  However, it has proven to be a daunting task for them, and the number of women lawyers wishing to return to practice has increased, as reported in a New York Times article…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Are Working Women Lawyers Still Disadvantaged?

According to a recent survey by "Working Mother" and "Flex Time" magazine, it can be argued that women lawyers in the US still are disadvantaged.  The survey shows that, although flexible arrangements exist for women on the "mommy track" at law firms, the result is that promotions to partnership for those women still are not occurring to any "great extent." Further survey data shows that none of the women lawyers promoted to partner in 2013 were working reduced-hour schedules at the time.  For 2014, there was only one.  The survey also reports that women still comprise only 19% of equity…

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KendraBeckwith

Through the Looking Glass—Observations from Five Years Out: Inundated, Part II

I recently wrote about the joys and challenges of success. Those thoughts on managing “inundation” gave rise to the following dialogue about the specific challenges dual-lawyer households face. Any lawyer who is also a spouse, partner, or parent knows that her success is not hers alone. My husband, Mark, is a public defender in a high-volume, demanding environment. To say ours is a genuine partnership probably understates the role he plays in caring for our son, maintaining the day-to-day operation of our household, and tending to our marriage. Given the demands of my trial and appellate practice, I could not…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Young Women Lawyers:  Tweet With Caution!

In the past few years, we have seen that Tweets can get you in trouble. For example, according to an article in the Washington Post titled, "The tweet can set you free --- from your job," several women journalists have sacrificed good jobs after imprudent Tweets. CNN correspondent Diana Magnay of CNN found herself reassigned to Moscow after her Tweet was found unacceptable by her employer, and, in 2010, Octavia Nasr was dismissed from her job as a correspondent at CNN under similar circumstances. There also was a news story earlier this year about a young woman, who made ill-chosen…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Need to Take Responsibility For Their Careers

When I speak to the Erie County (PA) Bar Association conference later this month, I will stress the important role that young women lawyers must take in shaping their careers.  It is a theme that I talk about in both of my books and in my speeches at law schools, law firms, and law organizations throughout the country.  It also is the only way to safeguard careers for lawyers with competing roles as caretakers and lawyers. I attend a lot of conferences for women lawyers, and I read a lot of media focusing on the challenges that women lawyers face. …

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Paramjit

10 Practical Tips To Get Young Attorneys On The Path to Building a Book of Business

Dear Ms. JD, We are officially in September – where has the year gone? As 2015 is rapidly approaching, evaluating your career and practice goals is key to stay ahead.  Are you ready for it? OR…are you still struggling with the same issues you had in your business at the beginning of the year? Check out these ten practical tips to get you on the right track: Are you planning to fail or planning to succeed? Have a plan. Nothing complicated just a simple plan. Create 90 days or monthly goals (actions) Plan and schedule business development every day. Decide what you plan…

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Linda_M

Attention Transitioning Lawyers:  It’s time to start talking to yourself

As you prepare for a transition or re-entry in the legal field, I encourage you to ask yourself some important questions and search for real answers. Oftentimes, these questions make us uncomfortable. While we may prefer not to talk about or even acknowledge our concerns, doing so is where the real work and movement toward a successful re-entry or transition lies.   Start by asking yourself, how can I…. Update my resume? Should it be chronological or functional? Should I include a summary of qualifications or an objective section? Do I include volunteer experiences? Explain a gap? Should I explain…

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Susan Smith Blakely

More on Young Women Lawyers Getting Organized For The Fall

In my last blog, I talked about getting organized in your law practice after the summer. With the sound of waves still in your ears and the daydreams of the perfect summer vacation sneaking into your consciousness, resist the temptation and get serious. Others will expect it. Here are some specifics that may help you. Start by calculating your annual billable hour requirement as a weekly requirement. Don't forget to subtract the weeks that you will be on vacation from the 52 total weeks in the year. Hopefully, you will not be billing time on your vacation, and you want…

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foundingfairy

Why You Should Think Twice About Picking Your Employer Based on Prestige

My tenth year law school reunion is coming up next month.  And with the benefit of a decade, I can now admit I was pretty superficial when it came to picking the law firm where I spent my 1L and 2L summers, and ultimately where I worked after graduation.  I picked my employer based on the perception of prestige and one specific ranking guide, at that. Don't get me wrong: I'm not terribly hard on myself about what I now view to be a mistake.  And I don't think I made a disastrous decision given that I was 24 and…

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