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You’ll Pay For This: The First Step Is Admitting You Have a Problem

I owe $226,020.79 in federal student loan debt for my legal education. Let’s start at the very beginning. I was extremely fortunate to have my undergraduate education paid for through a mix of scholarships and parental-aid. When I graduated with my shiny new B.A in Modern Languages and Cultures (yeah, I know), I had no clue what I wanted to do, and I had no concept of how different my life would be with student loans breathing down my back. In my infinite 21 year old wisdom, I decided “I don’t know what I want to do, so I will…

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Tips to make a career in Food Policy and Food Law?

Guess what has moved up the menu of career options – food law and food policy making. Though the choice would have got many eyebrows raised (because of dearth of gainful employment and occupation) a couple of decades back, things are different now. Chefs, farmers, restaurant owners, cold storage services, government agencies, individuals – there’s a large base of clients in the food law sphere. As for food policy, there’s scope for coveted and gainful employment in advocacy groups and government agencies. Let’s tell you more. Make A Choice Between Policy And Litigation A successful career in food policy or…

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How to Become a Top Lawyer and Love Doing It

If you do good work and can promote yourself, career doors will open for you. As a new female lawyer or soon to be lawyer, there are many things to learn as you develop who you are and what you will do in your career. One key facet to master is learning how to promote yourself at work and build a book of business. As a lawyer you will need to learn how to market yourself and communicate your expertise to clients early in your career. If you can do that effectively, you will be an asset to any firm. If you…

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6 Tips to Improve Your Legal Resume

We've all been there before: You apply for dozens of jobs, but you don't get a single call for an interview. It may not be you. It may be your resume. You may have excellent credentials and a good amount of experience, but if your resume is poorly written, it will be overlooked by hiring managers and recruiters. Use these six tips to improve your legal resume. 1. Tailor Your Resume to the Position Taking a "one size fits all" approach to your resume may be keeping you from getting hired. Hiring managers and recruiters want to see that your…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Success in Strength

Over the past year as a writer-in-residence, I explored gender dynamics and sexism in law. We talked about gender stereotypes and sexual harassment and how they affect workplace dynamics. We learned about women in law who were the first to break gender norms and how the industry's treatment of women evolved over time. Most importantly, we've engaged in conversation. Whether it be in the comments at the bottom of this page, on LinkedIn, or on Facebook, I've learned so much from each of you and am honored that so many took time to read and think about these issues that shape so…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Looking Back at 2017 at Best Friends at the Bar

The Best Friends at the Bar year is about to come to a close.  Yes, I know that the entire month of December lies ahead before the Big Ball drops in Times Square and that you still have time for holiday shopping, holiday cards, holiday decorations, attending parties, giving parties, baking and cooking ... and the list goes on.  Do not panic, you have plenty of time to accomplish all this and more.  You are young and energetic and incredibly resourceful.  I have complete faith in you. I, on the other hand, have the luxury of taking the month of December off…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: Asking for a Friend

Sometimes the desire to help others is not enough. Before ending this column, I thought it was important to share my own story with my readers. It was a bit odd being the interviewee, but I pushed myself to answer some of the same questions I have been asking other women during this past year so this journey with you all could come full circle. For me, becoming a lawyer has always been a means to an end. I knew very early on that it would be the first step to evolving into a diplomat or politician championing the civil…

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Is Your Marriage Having a Negative Impact On Your Career?

You don’t need anyone to tell you about stress – you experience enough of it in your career as a lawyer. But what happens when you’re also experiencing stress on the home front? Whether you realize it or not, a rocky marriage could hurt your career. Deal With Your Marriage Now The legal profession isn’t something you enter if you’re looking for a nice, comfortable job that comes with lots of time off and the chance to gradually climb the ladder. While there’s incredible income earning potential, there’s also substantial stress. According to data, lawyers have one of the most…

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The Advice that Saved and Helped Make My Career: Stop Thinking and Start Doing

The best career advice I ever received was so simple but so fundamental: stop thinking and start doing. Like many lawyers, one of my prized assets is my analytical mind. Personal strengths, as many of us discover, can often double as areas of challenge. Early in my practice and as a new mom, I regularly worried about what the future might hold, and how I could achieve equity partnership and balance the other demands in my life. I focused on the odds and stark realities instead of developing a plan and planting the seeds that would be necessary to reach…

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Female Surveyors: Why Now Is the Best Time to Start Your Career

A recent study carried out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or RICS discovered that 41% of women (older and young) were under the perception that gender would count against them at some point in their career. Following the RICS survey “The building industry was singled out by young women as one of the worst offenders that were ripe for change”. Typically, it is believed that women will get a hard time in this sector as will not be paid as much or even valued the same. On the last review, only 13% of the registered surveyors were, in…

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