Susan Smith Blakely

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Leadership Lessons for Women Lawyers

  My friend, Caroline Dowd-Higgins, is an excellent career coach, motivational speaker and author of "This is Not the Career I Ordered."   Her recent blog "15 Leadership Lessons to Invigorate Your Career"  is worthy of your attention.  Caroline and I first met when she was the Career Services Dean at Indiana University Law, and I think it is no accident that her advice rings true for young lawyers. Here is her list (with a little editorial help from me!):       Be Confident:  Confidence can be more important to career success than competence.   Confidence is developed by…

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abell

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Let’s Get On It: Drafting Your Professional Development Plan

September marks the end of my law firm billable year and therefore, the best time to re-evaluate my Professional Development Plan (“PDP”). In short, a PDP for a lawyer should track his/her realistic developmental goals; provide a timeframe for their completion and should take into consideration any feedback that the attorney has been given throughout the year by integrating those expectations into the PDP and executing them. The PDP should be a living document. That means, you should set time markers for when you will evaluate your progress on meeting your goals and as new goals arise, include them on…

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shantibrien

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“They is starting law school next week:” Gender-neutral pronouns are awkward at first but worth it.

My Law and Public Policy class begins next week.  But before we jump into reading cases and writing briefs we will introduce ourselves and share our preferred pronouns.  I prefer “she/her/hers.” Every year I have two or three students who prefer “they/them/theirs.”  At first I thought this was a ridiculous waste of everyone’s time. We have legislative processes to learn!  Executive orders to scrutinize! But, I’ve come to appreciate the practice. It reminds me to be mindful of people unlike me and I hope it signals to the students that our class values inclusion. In 2015, the press was already…

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alexislamb

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If Nowhere Is Your Office, Is Everywhere Your Office? 5 Ways to Curb Telecommuter Burnout

More and more lawyers are opting out of a traditional corporate path, which, for many, includes architecting a career that they can perform from anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection. Similarly, more and more law firms are jumping onto the telecommuting bandwagon, structuring programs that will allow select attorneys the option to telecommute during the workweek. Morgan Lewis & Bockius, for example, launched a flexible work program on May 1, 2017, which provides associates with the opportunity to telecommute up to two days a week starting in their third year. At least 100 associates have signed up with…

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LovelyLadyLaw7

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Creativity in Legal Writing: Make It Interesting

As a public relations student, I regularly encountered the opportunity to be creative during my undergraduate school years.  Whether by creating newsletters, designing brochures, or planning fundraising projects from scratch, I was "always," as a public relations professor of mine once put it, "coming up with new things."  Fast forward a few years to my first year of law school, and suddenly my creative side seemed to fade away as the concept of "IRAC"/"CREAC" ("Issue-Rule-Application-Conclusion"/"Conclusion-Rule-Explanation-Analysis-Conclusion") swiftly engulfed every piece of legal writing I undertook.  During my second year of law school, I took notice that my creative juices were at…

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tatumw

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Citizen’s Academy: From a Pre-Law Perspective

I recently participated in and completed a Citizen’s Academy. For those that are unfamiliar—and believe me, I was unfamiliar before participating—a Citizen’s Academy is a program that provides a deeper look into local government’s inner workings including operations, policies, and services. My local citizen’s academy was a three-hour long class that met once a week for two months. During the program, we received visits from various local agencies including the District Attorney’s office, Shared Hope International (a human trafficking organization), and various Sheriff’s Units including Property Crimes and Street Crimes. We also had the opportunity to tour local facilities such…

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nicolemoriniere

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Career Profiles: Janine Sickmeyer, NextChapter

This month I had the opportunity to have an exchange with one of the ABA's 2017 Women of Legal, Janine Sickmeyer, the CEO & Founder of NextChapter, a web application for attorneys to prepare, manage and file bankruptcy cases online. As a business leader and entrepreneur, Janine provides strategic vision and direction for NextChapter and is particularly fascinated in the intersection between law and technology in the bankruptcy market. In addition to being selected as one of ABA's Legal Tech Resource Center's Women of Legal Tech 2017, Janine is also a Pledge 1% Women Who Lead of 2017. I had a few questions for…

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tatumw

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“A Time of Considerable Change”: LSAC Updates and How They Affect Applicants

Slowly, but surely, the Law School Admissions Council has rolled out a series of changes in 2017. I've included a brief description of each and my perspective on how they affect you, the applicant.   “Starting with the September 2017 LSAT, there will no longer be any limitations on the number of times a test taker can take the LSAT in a two-year period. LSAC has revised this policy as part of its planning for additional administrations of the LSAT. We will provide more information about the LSAT schedule in the coming weeks.” -LSAC   This policy change allows students…

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AndrewSimon

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Health and Safety Law and Advice for Workplaces

Whether your business complies or not with Health and Safety laws, you should be aware that providing Health and Safety training for your employees is an absolute must. By sending your teams on accredited Health and Safety courses, you can enjoy a wide range of benefits such as lower insurance costs, better productivity and an increased profitability of your business. There are a few steps you should take in order to make sure your business is compliant with HSE regulations. First of all, full compliance implies sending your managers on an accredited course. We are happy to offer you our…

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annajo

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Do Yourself a Favor and Get Organized

Time is something you don’t have a lot of these days. You can’t add hours to the day, but you can make more efficient use of the 24 you get. And while there are plenty of ways to maximize your time, one of the most important things you can do is get organized. Tips and Techniques for Getting Organized Some attorneys are notorious for being disorganized – which is rather alarming. You owe it to your clients, your firm, and yourself to stay on top of everything that comes across your desk. A failure to do so could force you…

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