Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Is Going to Law School Worth It?

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 4, 2012.You probably have read the stuff that has been floating around the Internet for the last couple of years on the topic of whether going to law school is worth it.  Above the Law will keep you pretty well informed about graduate law students suing their alma maters because they cannot get jobs, law…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: How Does She Do It?

Some times I am sure that you think I am a broken record. Work-life struggle, work-life challenge, work-life issues. Well, I agree about the repetition, but the subject of work-life does happen to be the biggest impediment to women in the law, and you need to know as much about it as possible.Last week I attended a program sponsored by the DC Women’s Bar Association at Jenner & Block in its Washington, DC office. Hat’s off to the DCWBA—where I have been a proud member for 30 years—and to Jenner & Block for the wonderful programs and dedicated folks that…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Women Lawyers Must Learn To Self-Promote

Ever since I posted the last blog entry on the subject of law school women leadership programs, I have been getting “push back” from some of my readers.  Not the kind of push back you would expect, however. The readers I have heard from are my friends and colleagues who know about my books and the Best Friends at the Bar project. They want to know why I failed to tell you how I can fit into these women leadership programs.They rightfully point out that I failed to market my services and tell my readers how I can help those…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Law School Women in Leadership Programs

This time of year I am seeing lots of Internet activity about Law School Women in Leadership Programs.  More and more law schools are initiating these programs, and they are excellent training grounds for young women law students.  The focus is on leadership skills but also on the challenges that women face as leaders within the legal profession. The programs typically feature law school faculty, undergraduate faculty, alumni and other attorneys participating in lectures, small group discussions, group exercises and panel discussions.These programs are particularly important for young women lawyers and law students. The way that women lawyers successfully handle…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Time For Partner Watch

This is the time of year when partnerships in law firms get a lot of attention.  Most law firms have ended their fiscal years and have announced promotions in their firms. Senior associates, counsel and of counsel at firms around the country are holding their breaths, praying to the gods of their choice and hoping for good news on the partnership decisions, and partners are weighing the pros and cons of adding to the partnership numbers as new designees start down the path toward equity partnership when the proverbial profit pie gets split into additional pieces. Lots going on in…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Good News for Women Lawyers - More Best Friends at the Bar Coming Your Way!

Friday the 13th in the first half of the first month of the new year seems as good a day as any for a Best Friends at the Bar “Shameless Plug”. So, here goes!No black cats here! Just excellent news for improving the lives of young women lawyers and law students.  More help is on the way!  The second Best Friends at the Bar book has been accepted for publication by Aspen Publishers and will be at your bookstores and available online by the second half of 2012 or sooner.  (Drum roll, please!!!!!!!!)This book will dig deeper into the work-life…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Good News!

For me, 2012 is starting out with a bang.  My publisher, Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers has announced that it will publish my second book. This is particularly good news for the Best Friends at the Bar project and for you, I hope. This new book will give me an opportunity to share much more information with my readers about work-life balance and will provide a vehicle to present excellent role models of women who have successfully transitioned from one practice setting to another. I am very excited about the new book, and I expect it to be released in the first…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Best Friends at the Bar: Teaching Law Students To Be Lawyers

I am back from my speaking engagement earlier this week at Washington & Lee Law, and I am pleased to report that I found the entire experience enjoyable. It does not hurt that W&L is in a quintessentially charming small town nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains of Virginia and that the campus itself is about as picturesque as it gets. Those things are frosting on the cake, however, for a top-notch legal education program. Most of you know the reputation of W&L Law, but you may not know much about the innovative program they have adopted to…

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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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