Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Women Lawyers, Lose the Girl Talk

Editor's Note:  Ms. JD is excited to announce that Susan Smith Blakely, author of Best Friends at the Bar, will be speaking at Ms. JD: She Leads on October 5, 2012. This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on March 8, 2012.Here is some great advice from my friend Jezra Kaye. Jezra is a speaker coach and communications consultant who shows women how to highlight their achievements and ask for what they want.  Jezra helps women attorneys become more skillful negotiators, bolder rainmakers, advocates who exude confidence, and women who speak up for their own…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: The Power of Women Supporting Women

If you know anything about my Best Friends at the Bar project, you know that it is premised on women helping women.  Here is a new twist.  How does women helping women relate to getting ahead at your firm and demonstrating strong leadership skills?Being risk averse can be a problem in business.  Although being a maverick on all things is not desirable, it is usually a sign of independence and confidence to be willing to take risks.  Being willing to take risks also is often associated with success in business and visionary qualities.  And, traditionally men have demonstrated a greater…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: More NLJ Wisdom on Current Hiring Trends

Editor's Note:  Ms. JD is excited to announce that Susan Smith Blakely, author of Best Friends at the Bar, will be speaking at Ms. JD: She Leads on October 5, 2012. This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on March 1, 2012.Earlier in the week I posted a blog about the National Law Journal (NLJ) article titled “Elite Firms Seem to have Lost their Appetites”.  Although I am a bit of a skeptic about what all of this means in terms of the futures for most young lawyers in America—-after all the NLJ 250 is…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Law Firm Associate Hiring Still Lagging

Editor's Note:  Ms. JD is excited to announce that Susan Smith Blakely, author of Best Friends at the Bar, will be speaking at Ms. JD: She Leads on October 5, 2012. This post originally appeared on the Best Friends at the Bar blog on February 28, 2012.The National Law Journal (NLJ) has just published its annual report on the 50 law schools that NLJ 250 law firms relied upon the most to fill their first-year associate classes during 2011.  This report also includes information on the law schools that saw the most alumni promoted to partner at NLJ 250 firms…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Pearls of Wisdom About Women in Leadership

From time to time I read something that I do not even want to try to summarize here.  It is just too good, and I do not have anything to add that would improve it.  This is one of those times.Here is a reprint of an article from yesterday’s Huffington Post on line that you will want to read.  It goes way beyond women in the law, and that is what I like about it so much.  It is a call to action for all women.  I hope you enjoy it and share it with your friends—both females and those…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Do Women Professionals Lack Ambition? Really?

By now you know that I respect Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook executive, who has become a leading spokesperson for women in business, and that I think she is an excellent role model for women in both business and law.  I have blogged about her in the past, and I love some of her coined phrases like “Lean in” and “Don’t leave before you leave.”  I include some of those messages in my speeches and point young women lawyers and law students in Ms. Sandberg’s direction for her personal brand of wisdom.Recently, however, Ms. Sandberg spoke at the World Economic Forum…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: The Rush To Judgment Continued

In my last post, I talked about the accusation of unfair judgment of women who choose to stay at home with their kids by moms who choose to stay in their careers.  I talked about my position on these choices and how they should be viewed by others.  You may have to refresh your memory to read on with real understanding.  So, take a few minutes to do that.  You will see hints there that I think there is a whole lot more going on, and that we need to look at the underlying issues before we accuse anyone of…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: The Career/Stay At Home Mom Choice - Let’s Not Rush To Judgment

News from the political campaign trail compels me to write about this subject.  One of the candidates has opined recently that he thinks that women who choose staying home to raise children over careers are being inappropriately judged by women with professional careers.  He speaks of this in terms of unfairness and lack of recognition for the value of caretaking and the role of “Mom”.  I have made my position on this clear in my books, but I want to make sure you know where I stand.  It is easy to accuse others of being judgmental if we do not…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Advice For Women In Business - And In The Law

Hilary Fordwich is a friend of mine, and I highlight her in my book, Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law, on the subject of golf as a tool for generating business.  Hilary is a 9 handicap golfer in addition to being a highly effective business development consultant.  She is not to be confused with that other Hillary—the globetrotter with two LLs—but Hilary Fordwich, also, is a force to be reckoned with, and when she speaks, people listen.  She is smart, savvy, and effective, and she knows how to close and…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Sports and Law - An Interesting Interplay For Women

I know some sports lawyers—including some women sports lawyers. They are an interesting group, and they play to win. Most of them have backgrounds as athletes, and they bring some of that experience to the law. Team play alone can go a long way in the law.  However, one athlete-turned lady lawyer-turned winning coach stands out from the crowd.  She gives a new definition to sports lawyer.Coquese Washington is a coach with a lot of wins in her column, on and off the basketball court. In fact, she has been very successful in two courts—the one with five players battling…

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