Susan Smith Blakely

Law Firms Should Follow Corporations In Looking Beyond Self-Interest

Law firm greed.   I have been writing about the negative impact of greed in the law profession since 2016.  It was then that I first discussed how the greed manifested by large law firms is undercutting the professionalism of the business of law.  Those comments appeared in an article I penned for Corporate Counsel in its September issue that year, and I have discussed the concepts many times since in articles and remarks to legal audiences. In essence, I argue that it was the greed of Wall Street that brought our economy to its knees in 2008, and it will be the…

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Millennial Women

Purpose over Paycheck

As millennials, we’re certainly interested in pursuing our careers and investing in our professional development. But we also are interested in doing more than just “work”—we want to find ways to give back to our communities and help change them for the better. This month, we wanted to focus on how, as millennial attorneys, we can emphasize the purpose or meaning in our careers over just receiving a paycheck. As attorneys (or future attorneys!) we have some unique opportunities, including: Pro Bono. Nearly every state bar encourages attorneys to do pro bono work, and some even have a mandatory reporting…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Family Planning For Women Lawyers

Last week's blog addressed the realities of non-equity partnership.  As pointed out in that blog, there is a lot of difference between equity partnership and the increasing non-equity partnership cohort.  If you have to refresh your memory, this might be a good time to do it because family planning for women lawyers builds on some of the themes of that blog. For example, even though non-equity partnership may not include all that women lawyers are seeking, it could be a fine landing place for them while they are trying to make motherhood and lawyering work. When making that decision for…

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EmilyThomas

A Shy Girl’s Guide to Law School

Law school can be extremely daunting to someone who’s shy and introverted, like me. I was always painfully quiet, even too shy to call and order a pizza. At first, everything about pursuing a career as an attorney looks like an introvert’s nightmare. Oral arguments and the Socratic method? No, thank you.      Before you run in the other direction, understand that you can absolutely do this. It might take time and a lot of patience (mostly with yourself), but a bright and fulfilling legal career is well within reach. The key is to take everything one step at a…

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deepwadhwa

How To Network In The Legal And Compliance Field

Networking has become the primary source of maintaining business connections and seeking business opportunities at national and international level. In the field of legal and compliance, Networking provides a good ROI in the form of name, fame, and business. With the help of Networking, communication among clients and employers has become boundary-less.  On this, Houston attorney Joe Stephens mentions, “networking has done its job exclusively.” However, according to the law and order statistics, one in four attorneys do not give any attention to Networking. It allows their circle of potential employers to stay small and limited. It is a loss.…

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jennyrpatten

Problems to Solve, or Tensions to Manage?

A few days ago, I ran into a colleague that I hadn’t seen in a few weeks at our company café. As we caught up while standing in line to order our lunches, he commented on the fact that I carry two phones with me and asked why. I explained that I try to keep my personal and work communications separate, and this allows me to “put away” my work texts and emails when I’m spending time with my kids by physically placing my work phone in my purse for a few hours. I admitted that while this tactic had…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Lawyers of the Sandwich Generation

I know a little bit about the Sandwich Generation.   I was 30 years younger than my mom, and, at the same time that she was becoming aged, my own two children were teenagers.  It seemed like everyone needed help --- or tending --- and I knew that I had to find a way to be there for my mom. So it goes.  If you ever have found yourself in that situation, you know that you are caught between two devotions just like a big ole piece of bologna is caught between two delicious pieces of bread with no way out. …

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mjtimko13

Something Blue: Bringing Blue-Collar Roots to the Legal Profession - Finding Purpose and Giving Back

As I continue to move forward in my career and slowly chip away at my student debt, I feel more compelled to pay it forward.  I often wonder whether us “Straddlers” and first generation lawyers have a greater propensity to engage in volunteer work, perhaps as a way to reconcile the duality of gratitude (for how far we have come) and guilt (for what we may have left behind).    I attended a pro bono training several years ago, sponsored by an area bar association.  At the time, I had been feeling a little uninspired by the daily grind of my work in healthcare…

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ktran227

Pay and Power Disparities and the Retention of Female Lawyers

Women lawyers leaving big or established firms are not always leaving law firm life.  Many are leaving to start solo or small law firms.  The reason may come down to the numbers.  According to the December 2018 report by Major Lindsey & Africa, male partners earn 53 percent more than female partners at top U.S. law firms. The reasons for this disparity include originations and billing rate discrepancies.  Add to that the issue that the amount of originations is often a key factor in making equity partner versus non-equity partner at many law firms.  Equity partnership means more voting power and…

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XpYmu98NtP

The Mental Load: Unlock the Golden Handcuffs

Feeling trapped in a job, career, or any other aspect of your life can be crippling. For a handful of years, I felt trapped in the BigLaw life. We all know the “golden handcuffs” analogy, but viewing things now “from the other side”, I’m here to tell you that you are not imprisoned. Unless you truly are in prison, you have a choice every morning when you wake up about what you’re going to do that day. No really, you do! You’ve heard the saying “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” Whatever type of…

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