Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Are Not Equal

Women lawyers are not equal — at least not in the private sector.  Plain and simple.  I know that you do not expect to hear this from me nor do you want to hear this from me, but it is true. Equality is defined as “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities.”  If you compare private sector female lawyers to private sector male lawyers on issues of status and opportunities, you begin to see the inequality.  (“Rights” are derived from constitutional law and legislation and are not addressed here.  But, if you want a history of women’s rights in America,…

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Dealing with Distractions

As we address the “I don’t have enough time.” issue, we’ve talked about narrowing your to-do list to the things that matter and making sure we allocate the right amount of time and energy to those things left on your list that do matter.  But even if you take those steps to clear out and prioritize, you’ll still have to deal with distractions.  So, let’s take a little time to begin addressing those pesky time-wasters. At the end I'll tell you about a tool to help, but to start tackling distractions, let’s remember that there are two main kinds: Internal & External. Internal distractions…

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First Generation Success Story: 2L Year- One of the Craziest Years of My Life

I had made it through my first year of this crazy thing called law school. Honestly, after the close of my 1L year, I was absolutely exhausted. Although I was looking forward to working full time during the summer at a law firm, I was also ready for a break. Summer came and left in what felt like a day. I worked hard, learned a lot, and gained so much valuable experience. Armed with new knowledge and confidence, I was ready for my 2L year. Little did I know how crazy my 2L year was going be. Busy does not…

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11 Tech Tips for Your Legal Tech Work

The Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP) and Pro Bono Net hosted the 2018 edition of 50 Tech Tips for Your Toolbelt this past June. You can find the recording here and a list of all the tech tips here. These are the tips I shared for the webinar and a few bonus ones:  Color Zilla - A browser extension for identifying the colors of your site or any other colors that you want to use for other programs. - You can find here all of the calculators you need for time and distance. The date calculator is useful for deadlines and…

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From Paralegal to Associate:  How to Handle Time Constraints

As a new associate, what I found the most difficult to handle is my time.  Especially when I am confronted with something that I am unfamiliar with, I often find myself spending hours of research.  Most of the time, those hours spend on research can’t be billed back to the Client, because it will be unreasonable.  And if you are a type A like me (and I suspect you are) this makes it even more difficult to put a time limit on the assignment.  What I found helpful is to give myself a time window by which I will stop…

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Everything You Need to Know About Applying to Law School

When you are looking for a good career path that provides a lot of different opportunities, becoming a lawyer can be a great option. Before you are able to act as a lawyer, you will need to first go to law school. Due to the high demand and number of applicants, getting into a top school can be very competitive. There are several things that you should know about applying to law school that could help you to improve your chances of getting into your target schools. Create a Resume The process of applying for law school is different than…

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#MeToo Meets Big Law: How Gender Imbalance Shapes The Workplace

Women have long struggled to find equal footing in the legal profession, but despite growing numbers of female lawyers, gender imbalance in the workplace continues to put us at a disadvantage. In light of the recent #MeToo movement addressing sexual assault and harassment, however, female lawyers are beginning to address the ongoing harassment that is often part and parcel for women in law practices, courtrooms, and other legal settings. But will these efforts create change? Imbalances In Big Law Law firms are unique relative to many other professional settings because the hours are long, individuals in the same practice may…

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Jannet M.

The Barred Life: A Series of Indefinite Length - Part III

Moving Forward While Looking Back **This post is looooong overdue but in my effort to staying committed to improving my writing and self-expression, here it is... I recently met with a legal recruiter to help me navigate the legal job market. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed after unsuccessfully trying for a couple of months. I tell her a bit about myself and what I’m looking for and the conversation proceeds a little something like this… Recruiter: Great! So, what legal software are you familiar with? looking dumbfounded... Me: Do Lexis and Westlaw count? Recruiter: Yeah that’s perfect but… have…

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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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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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