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Susan Smith Blakely

Are Networking Events Worth a Young Lawyer’s Time?

I know.  You hear it all the time.  Go to those networking events!  They are so valuable!  And, yes, you have heard it from me before. But not all networking events are equal.  As you will read in this article, you need to be discriminating when it comes to the value of networking events.  Spring is just around the corner (we hope!), and Spring is a season full of networking events.  Better weather and hope for the future spring eternal at that time of year.  So, get ready with some good info on choosing your networking events wisely. As the article points out, human connection…

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Susan Smith Blakely

January is Mentoring Month for All Young Lawyers

  January is Mentoring Month.  It is a way of bringing attention to the importance of mentoring to young and inexperienced workers in a variety of jobs.  Workers who wish to advance to levels of management and leadership in their chosen work lives need mentoring to get there. The value of effective mentoring is not only recognized widely, but it also plays out in the lives of managers and leaders throughout our country and the world.  Those managers and leaders likely would not have gotten to such heights without help from mentors. The law business is no different.  Mentoring is…

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jennyrpatten

An In-House Counsel’s Maxims for 2020

As I prepared for my last column as a Writer in Residence for Ms. JD, I decided to conclude with something that reflects my own personal approach to my in-house practice.  Although I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, every December I jot down some guiding principles that I use to refine my mid- and long-term professional and career goals.  Below are four maxims I’m taking with me into my in-house practice for 2020: Fight the Inertia.  Inertia is, by definition, a tendency to remain at rest or remain unchanged. With any new initiative or project that you…

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mjtimko13

Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - An Interview with Jennifer Frankola Crawford

For this month's post, I am thrilled to feature my fellow CUNY Law alum, Jennifer Frankola Crawford. Jennifer is an experienced attorney, arbitrator, and human rights advocate with blue-collar/working-class roots. As an arbitrator, Jennifer hears cases and renders decisions based upon New York State’s Insurance Law. In addition, Jennifer maintains an active practice in education law, representing families of children with learning disabilities and developmental delays. Further, Jennifer engages in pro bono work involving human rights issues, including handling immigration/deportation cases, and she collaborates with other lawyers to design and host CLEs.  In this interview, Jennifer describes how her family's history, including her parents' immigration to the United States, influenced her career trajectory. She also offers excellent advice to first-generation…

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jennyrpatten

You’ve landed the in-house job, now what?

Landing a new in-house position can come with an initial feeling of exhilaration, but the change associated with moving to a new company, or moving in-house for the first time, can feel daunting and intimidating.  I’ve moved to a few different in-house departments over my decade of practice, and while each organization has been different, I’ve learned a few core maxims that help set myself up for long term success.  1. Expect the unexpected.   No matter how much research you’ve done on the company or the industry, or how many people you interviewed with prior to accepting the position, you…

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katalintarjan

The best career advice I’ve ever received

I recently heard someone say that the three things they were looking for in a job was to feel maximized, compensated and appreciated. Thinking about it, I found this very true for myself and you might as well too. Knowing what your expectations are about a job is crucial to be able to find the right fit for you. Also, when you start feeling unsatisfied, this way you can identify the reasons and even do something about it. These three areas seem to cover our basic needs when it comes to professional goals. Maximized means you want all your knowledge…

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saf1367

10 Ways to Become Indispensable at Work

The best piece of career advice I ever received was dispensed to me by my mentor during my summer clerkship in 2001: “The key to getting ahead is to make yourself indispensable,” he advised on my first day on the job. That summer clerkship was full of fun outings, partner luncheons and firm-wide get-togethers designed for the firm to get better acquainted with its ten summer law clerks. Many of my fellow clerks did not realize that the fun-filled summer was really a series of mini-interviews to determine if we were a good fit for the firm. Beyond all of the…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Why Young Lawyers Need Business Plans

As a young lawyer, a business plan may be the farthest thing from your mind.  Billing hours, making your numbers, trying not to look stupid to the partner and, well, just surviving in law practice in the early years are what occupy you.  I understand and remember. But, don't dismiss having a business plan as some other-worldly exercise that is not worthy of your time.  It is more than worthy. I have been preaching --- yes, preaching --- to young women lawyers about the importance of career plans for over a decade, and business plans are the same thing.  All…

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jennyrpatten

Multi-Tasking Self-Care and Professional Development: Podcasts

Like most working professionals, I spend a significant part of my morning and late afternoon commuting to and from the office.  My 30-45 minutes to and from daycare drop-off and the office often are the only time that I have truly to myself, and for a number of years, I’ve spent that time listening to music, participating in work-related conference calls, or using the time to call a friend or family member to catch up.  However, as work and family duties and responsibilities have gradually eroded the time I used to spend for myself, I realized that my commute may…

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Susan Smith Blakely

A Case of Outrageous Advice for Women in Business

Consider this advice for women in business: Women’s brains absorb information like pancakes soak up syrup so it’s hard for them to focus.  Men’s brains are more like waffles.  They’re better able to focus because the information collects in each little waffle square. Surely this would be from some gender-insensitive and stereotype-infused speaker or handbook of yore.  That is what you would think.  And you would be wrong. And then imagine me as so completely shocked, dismayed and outraged when I read this quote in a recent article in Huffington Post Business that I let out a primal scream.   For over a decade…

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