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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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Susan Smith Blakely

Are You Addressing Your Workplace Wellness?

Wellness is a big deal in the legal world today.  Not wellness as in healthcare law.  Wellness as in the mental and physical health of lawyers. We know that statistics support a concern about drug and alcohol addiction among lawyers, but until recently the effects of anxiety and depression had not gotten as much attention.  It was a 2016 landmark study by the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation that revealed to me just how widespread and alarming the problems have become among lawyers. Anxiety and depression experienced by law professionals are serious and…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Young Lawyers:  Ask for What You Want!

Asking for what you want?  Ah.  It is much harder than it sounds.  But, you must master the fine art of identifying what you want and asking for it.  Especially at work where every opportunity lost can negatively affect your career path. My friend Anne Loehr just posted an article about this, and I thank her for that.  As a leadership consultant to companies and firms, she has done a lot of thinking about this.  She isn't always writing for lawyers, but the same rules apply throughout the working world. Anne rightfully points out that the response "I don't care" is…

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jennyrpatten

Five Tips to Maximize Your Efficiency When In-House

When someone asks what in-house practice is like, I often reply that it is like drinking from a firehose. The legal department is the starting and ending point for a lot of projects and issues, and tackling everything that hits your desk without a game plan can feel daunting. While everyone takes a different approach to managing their workload, I’ve outlined a few tips that I’ve initiated during my in-house practice that help me maximize efficiency while in the office. 1. Keep Organized. Staying on top of your various task lists, emails, meeting invites, updates and follow-ups can feel like…

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