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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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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