Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Teaching Lawyering - Is This Too Much to Ask of Your Law Schhol?

The New York Times hit the nail on the head in its November 19, 2011, article “What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering”.  This is a big soap box of mine, and another reminder from me seems appropriate as I prepare to go to Washington & Lee Law School next week to speak to students in the program that W&L has designed to address this issue.  Students in this program gain practical experience in lawyering in their final year of law school by participating in mock law firm exercises.  They get experience acting like litigators and corporate lawyers to help…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Women Lawyers Listen Up—More Wisdom From Sheryl Sandberg

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on November 22, 2011.By now you know that I recommend just about everything that Sheryl Sandberg says.  She is the ultra savvy former exec with Google and the current exec with Facebook.   About five years ago, Sheryl Sandberg went out on a limb and started to talk about women succeeding in business—-about the same time that I was writing my book for young women lawyers.  There is so much overlap to our themes, and it is no wonder I feel akin to her messages.  So, I share them…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: More About Women Lawyers and the Discussion with Nancy Pelosi

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on November 17, 2011.You saw my blog entry two days ago, and you see that I think that times have changed for women in the workforce.  This is no surprise because most people would agree that times have changed, save perhaps the Rip Van Winkles of the world who have been sleeping it off for more than just a little while.Times have definitely changed, but what is the solution?  Is it the solution offered up in the Huffington Post article “Why Today’s Mother’s Can’t Follow in Pelosi’s Footsteps”–namely…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Do Women Lawyers Today Have It Harder Than Past Generations?

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on November 15, 2011.I encourage you to read the article in the on-line Huffington Post titled “Why Today’s Mother’s Can’t Follow in Pelosi’s Footsteps”.  It is interesting to note that during the discussion with reporters recently while Nancy Pelosi was responding to questions about how she had five children and went on to be the Speaker of the House of Representatives, it was her daughter who interrupted to point out that Ms. Pelosi was a stay-at-home mom for most of the years when her children were young.  In…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Women Helping Women…Or Not?????

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on November 9, 2011.Barbara Apple Sullivan has written an interesting article for Forbes on line  (October 28, 2011) about women as risk takers—or, more accurately, the reluctance of women as risk takers.   The article titled “Women and Rule Breaking:  Why It’s Essential for Business Success” begins with Ms. Sullivan’s observations based on some unscientific research she did with expired food coupons.  Yes, you heard me right.  Read on. Her observation was that male supermarket clerks were much more likely to accept the expired coupons than their female counterparts. …

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: How Much Pampering Do Women Lawyers Really Need?

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on November 4, 2011.I am in a conundrum this morning.  I just read a thought-provoking article from Law.Com titled ” ‘Flex’ Firm Muscle” in the October 17th edition.  (Yes, I am a week behind in my reading.  Life is full of challenges.)And, that last point (the life challenges part) is exactly the source of my conundrum.  Life is full of challenges, and we are expected to rise to them.  In fact, that is what we should expect of ourselves.  But, is that the message that is being sent…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Are Flexible Hours the Cure For the Ills of Women Lawyers?

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on November 1, 2011.Well, not all the ills affecting women lawyers, but certainly some of them, may be reduced by availability of flexible and alternative work schedules.  This fairly fundamental position was recently addressed by The Grindstone on line, and I think it is a starting point.  As The Grindstone recognized, it can also be related to the issue of retaining women lawyers, always a subject first and foremost in my mind.However, we should not get too carried away to think that the availability of flexible schedules is…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: More Top Ten Tips for Women in Law

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on October 27, 2011.My last post included the first five Tips for Women in Law from Claudette Christian, Co-Chair of Hogan Lovells, the international mega firm.  Here are the final five tips.6.   Don’t fake sincerity.  Here Ms. Christian is cautioning you to understand the various cultures and personal relationships within those cultures as you develop international business.  However, sincerity is also important in your daily dealings with people at your firm.  My take on this is to always be genuine.  Anything false or contrived will be obvious to…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Top Ten Tips For Women in Law

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on October 25, 2011. Claudette Christian knows what it takes to succeed in business.  She is the Co-Chair of the Board at Hogan Lovells.  I am sure you are familiar with this Big Law global practice.Christian has devoted her life to leadership, diversity and inclusion, as reported in Forbes on line in the October 17th edition.  Here are her 10 tips for women in business, and they are so close to what I write about, that it is not only helpful for you but validating for me.  Claudette…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: From the Air and Space Law World: We Have Touchdown!

Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on October 20, 2011.Today Best Friends at the Bar had touchdown—not on the moon, but close.  Let me tell you about it and why it was so important.I was on a panel sponsored by the American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section today.  The conference is held anually in Washington, DC and is attended by attorneys in the aviation and space law practices.  This year’s panel was designed around the Best Friends at the Bar project, and other panelists were women aviation lawyers in both the…

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