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Susan Smith Blakely

Perfect Pitch for Young Women Lawyers

Are you musical?  Have you had experience singing in a choir?  If so, you probably are familiar with the concept of “perfect pitch.”   For the rest of you, perfect pitch is the ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of a reference tone.  Perfect pitch results in great vocalists, who can land a note on the musical scale exactly and in a way that is pleasing to the ear, leaving the listener with the desire to hear more. Oddly, perfect pitch works the same in business — and especially for lawyers.  Delivering the perfect…

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You Graduated From Law School… Now What?

One mistake you don't want to make when graduating from law school is to assume that having a major law degree will have clients knocking on your door or local firms immediately hiring you. In fact, the field of law is actually one of the most competitive in the US and law school graduates have their work cut out for them. In today's competitive climate, you have to have flexibility when it comes to geography, a fine attention to details when it comes to compiling a resume, and most importantly, a willingness to take the kind of work that's available.…

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KatMacfarlane

Owning Up to My Reality: I’m Disabled, and I Always Will Be

I struggle with calling myself disabled. It’s much easier to write “I’m disabled” than it is to say it out loud. I use an endless list of euphemisms instead. “I need to sit down.” “I need extra time to board.” “I’m just not feeling up to it.” "It's going to be hard for me to make that walk." I’m not sure I’ve ever said the words “I’m disabled.” I’ve had countless conversations about my need for reasonable accommodations, and my volatile health, but generally avoid claiming my status.  Which is ridiculous. I've spoken at legislative hearings about the tremendous impact…

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claireeparsons

5 Things Busy Lawyers Can Do to Find the Time to Exercise

     Late last year, I started exercising regularly again after a long period of doing hardly anything at all. It wasn’t until this happened that I realized how much I missed physical activity. Law practice, after all, is not something that lends itself well to movement or even sensory stimulation. Instead, lawyers often spend long hours cooped up in an office and huddled over a computer or stacks of documents. We also tend to keep long hours, have little control over our schedules, and may feel at the end of the day like we have little else to give.…

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anames

Five Small Ways You Can Combat the Motherhood Penalty

The ABA recently released research from its inquiry into why women leave the law.  The study revealed issues all too familiar to many practicing female attorneys--discrimination, salary dissatisfaction, caregiving responsibilities that are incompatible with the pace of practice.  And while the ABA’s efforts are ongoing, I was surprised to see a lack of focus on what numerous other studies have dubbed the “motherhood penalty”--or the earnings (and corresponding promotion) gap between mothers and non-parents in the workplace.  Research shows a significant decline in a woman's earnings after the birth of her first child, with that disparity continuing throughout her career.…

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IVfMo4o7Iu

5 Tips to Become the Executive Director at A Law Firm

Becoming a lawyer is one of the most common dream jobs in the United States. The earning potential is huge and the ability to help other individuals is a great feeling. However, the road to becoming a lawyer is not easy. Some people even aspire higher to the position of Executive Director at a law firm. This requires even more hard work and dedication. Here are five tips for becoming the Executive Director at a law firm. 1. Earn Trust One of the foundations of a good and successful lawyer is trust. As the representative that stands between a citizen…

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IVfMo4o7Iu

The Process for Applying to Prestigious Firms

Step 1. Preparing to Apply for a Job with a Prestigious Firm Clean up your social media accounts. Open your social media accounts and clean them up. If they see you with an alcoholic drink or supporting controversial positions, they may walk. Be a top performer. Prestigious firms want top performers. Your performance in school, prior jobs, and volunteer positions will all be scrutinized. Personality matters. Firms are not looking for people who stand out; they are looking for team players. They like people who are humble, energetic, and enthusiastic about whatever they are asked to do. Step 2. Understand…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: In a recent Podcast with Christina Martini, you said new lawyers should show enthusiasm. Is “show enthusiasm” code for “work 70 hours a week as a new attorney?” How would you advise a new attorney who is not physically able to put in those hours to demonstrate commitment or worth, or is working long hours the only acceptable method? A: This is the second part of my answer to the question. In my column last month, I focused on ways to show that you are “all in” so that senior lawyers are more likely to invest in your career…

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IVfMo4o7Iu

All Legal Jobs Are Not Created Equal

Whether you have just passed the bar exam or have been practicing law for years, keep in mind that every legal job has its own unique situation. Not every job will be right for every job seeker, but there are indicators that can guide you in determining which job offer be a good fit for you. The Interview Liz Ryan, an HR expert, gives ten reasons you should run away from a job offer. Asking to read the employee handbook at your interview, prior to receiving a job offer, is her first tip. Reviewing that handbook in order to see how…

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KatMacfarlane

Obtaining Accommodations at Your New Law Job

Now that the bar is over, many of you will soon head off to your first post-law school job. Congratulations! You’ll be making choices about healthcare, retirement savings and life insurance. If you’re disabled, it’s never too soon to start thinking about the accommodations you’ll need to work efficiently. What follows are some tips to help ensure that your accommodations are in place as soon as you need them. Don’t Wait to Ask for Accommodations To qualify for reasonable accommodations at a new workplace, you’ll often be required to fill out a stack of paperwork and obtain medical documentation of…

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