Susan Smith Blakely

Are Young Women Lawyers Still Enamored With Law Firm Jobs?

There was a time when most young lawyers --- male and female alike --- found law firm jobs desirable.   The pay was good, the hours were manageable, and the upward mobility and financial rewards were inviting.  But, is that still true today? According to today's article on the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) online Issues Blog, it may no longer be true for young women lawyers.  Based on statistics from the Colorado Supreme Court's Attorney Regulation Counsel, the article identifies a "trend" away from law firm jobs for young women law graduates in that state.  Those…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers Speaking Out Against Gender Inequality

The most recent example of women lawyers speaking out against inequality is the employment discrimination suit filed this week by a group of women lawyers at Morrison Foerster alleging that they were discriminated against after taking maternity leave.  Their suit is styled as a $100M putative class action, and they have retained the same law firm, Sanford Heisler Sharp, that got the $3M settlement plus $1M in attorneys fees against Chadbourne & Parke (now Rose Fulbright) in a gender discrimination suit under the Equal Pay Act recently.  So, hold onto your hat.  Here are the details. After reporting recently in this blog…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Important Information for Women Lawyers on Female-Friendly and Family-Friendly Law Firms

Drum roll, please.  The lists are out! Yale Law School has once again published its lists, and the results are reported in a recent article in The American Lawyer.  This is the 10th year that the law school has published a family-friendly list, but this year, in an attempt at gender neutrality and elimination of gender stereotypes, Yale Law has published two separate lists:  The traditional family-friendly list and a separate female-friendly list. The two lists make sense to me, and I am happy to see the research and reporting take this new direction.  Not all women lawyers will have families, and…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Big Law Responds Positively to Millennial Generation Lawyers

In identifying what it calls a "broken system" for associate reviews, Big Law's Hogan Lovells has abandoned the system of once yearly reviews in favor of more frequent periodic reviews.  This is very good news and for some very good reasons that also will be discussed in my new book, What Millennial Lawyers Want, scheduled for release in the summer of 2018. Here are some of the reasons cited in the article about the decision by Hogan Lovells: Playing to the employment market:  The desire for constant performance evaluations are a characteristic of Millennial lawyers; Developing a program that is focused on growth…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Attention Women Lawyers:  The Facts on Pay Disparity

April 10th was Equal Pay Day, which draws attention to a subject that is very important to all women in the workforce.  That includes all women lawyers, of course, so I want you to have the facts you need to protect yourselves and get what you deserve. As a source for this information, I looked to an article on law.com by Mark Cohen, Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman of the Board of Advisors at Elevate,a law profession consulting entity.  Pay equity can be a complicated subject, so looking at a little history and applying it to the current conditions is not a bad idea. …

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Susan Smith Blakely

“Speaking Up” Is Essential for Success as Women Lawyers

Many women were raised to speak only when spoken to.  Maybe you heard that from your mother or your grandmother.  That might have been fine in days gone by, but it has no relevance in today's world.  Today, women need to learn to speak up and be heard, and that certainly is true of women in a male-dominated profession like law. It is not sufficient to wait until someone invites your opinion or comment.  You should not be reluctant to express yourself without an invitation as long as you have something relevant to say that will be an asset to…

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Susan Smith Blakely

You Need to Know about The Magic Circle

From time to time you hear the term "Magic Circle Firm," and you start to think J.K. Rowling or The Chronicles of Narnia.  Nice try, but wrong.  So, it probably would be a good idea for you to know what it really means.  For those of you who already know, bravo.  You are way ahead of me at your age. However, before I help you get smart, I have a confession to make.  When I first heard about "Magic Circle Firms," I didn't have a clue --- and I probably should have.  And anyone who knows me also knows that…

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Susan Smith Blakely

What is Wrong with the USNWR Rankings?

The US News and World Report 2019 rankings of law schools is out.  See it here.  Yes, it is still early in 2018.  But, as you will read, there are some folks who benefit big time each year from this early information. If you are a Pepperdine Law graduate, you are not going to like the new rankings.  If you are a graduate of a lot of other law schools, you may not like them either, but probably a little less than the Pepperdine folks.  At least you may see your school ranked. My problem with the USNWR list has…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Women Lawyers and the Motherhood Penalty

Are you familiar with the "motherhood penalty?"  Well, you should be.  According to an article published earlier this week, the "motherhood penalty" is identified in a recent study as one of the reasons why women make 81 cents of every dollar a man makes.  When, in fact, research also shows that having children raises wages for men, even correcting for the number of hours they work. The gap between what mothers earn and what childless women and males earn is significant, and the gap between mothers and childless women has not narrowed since the 1980's --- even though the share…

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Susan Smith Blakely

How Women Lawyers Perceive Men’s Behavior

It can be difficult to know how men and women are supposed to relate to each other in the workplace these days.  What is too much affection, and, God forbid, what is too much touching?  I have seen close colleagues in an office awkwardly come together for either a handshake or a hug or a cheek kiss, and it is not certain where the gesture will end up.  It resembles some kind of crane-like mating dance, and it is, of course, because they are uncertain about what is appropriate and not appropriate and what is allowed and not allowed.  It…

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