Susan Smith Blakely

Blog Article

Women Lawyers Bullying Other Women Lawyers—- Not a Pretty Picture

  If you never have been bullied in the workplace, you are lucky. If you never have been bullied in the workplace by another woman, you are very lucky. It happens much too often, and you need to make sure that you are not the bully.  That is the only way we will get this under control. I, like most women lawyers, have been bullied at one time or another.  We are minorities, and that, unfortunately, is how minorities get treated.  Many of us were "pioneers" in our fields, and, because of that, the forces were against us in an…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Blog Article

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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Susan Smith Blakely

Blog Article

Why Young Lawyers Need Mentors—- and Why the Profession is Failing Them

It is not just young women lawyers who desperately need mentoring --- it is all young lawyers.  And, the profession is failing them. Young lawyers need mentors to help guide them in their professional growth and provide opportunities to discuss their futures as lawyers.  Instead, too often, young lawyers flail around doing what they think they should be doing without knowing what it is they should be doing. And, that leads to a lot of insecurity and loneliness on the job.  The profession has evolved in such a way that an associate lawyer can spend eight to ten hours a…

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abell

Blog Article

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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tammyzhu

Blog Article

Join the Conversation:  Benefit of the Doubt

We all make mistakes.  On a recent team I managed, everybody made mistakes – from the contract document reviewers to the eDiscovery vendor to the associates.  Yet some people’s mistakes will become easily forgotten while others will become remembered for their mistakes.  What determines whose mistakes get forgotten and whose get remembered?  Could it be our race, ethnicity, and gender?  I will argue that in our workplace and our community, the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t depends heavily on the way that others treat or react to our mistakes.  I will argue that it is not…

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JIcCz9acIe

Blog Article

Conquering the Writing Competition & Law Review

If you’re a 1L, one of the last things on your mind right before this spring’s final exam period is probably your school’s upcoming writing competition.  You might not even know if you want to be on a journal, but I cannot stress to you enough how important it is, and how that crazy 48-hour writing frenzy will pay off in the long run.  Even though you’re definitely busy enough with outlining and study sessions, there are some things that you can do right now to help prepare you to conquer the writing competition. Learn about your school’s journals.  Most schools hold…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Blog Article

Women Lawyers Need Balance

Every year at this time, I put Best Friends at the Bar on hold to spend time with family and friends.  It is a month-long hiatus that I know is enviable but that I feel entitled to after all these years.  And I LOVE it.  I will be at the Massachusetts shore with friends and at the Maine shore with family, and I can't wait for the games to begin! It is not that my work is over or that my desk is clear. That is not the case at all.  I am completing the manuscript for a new book, on deadline…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Blog Article

Women Lawyers Should Avoid the Heat

Yes, it is very hot this summer in most parts of America, but this is not the kind of heat I mean. The heat I am talking about occurs when boys and girls start fooling around on the job.  There is no place for this in the law profession, and I hope you know it.  I made it clear to you in my first book, Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law (Aspen Publishers 2009).  Presenting yourself as a professional to avoid mixed or wrong sexual/relationship messages is serious business and needs…

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alexislamb

Blog Article

GO AHEAD, TAKE YOUR LUNCH BREAK!

This past Friday, I stepped away from my computer for an hour for a doctor’s appointment. I was in and out in 35 minutes, and contemplated grabbing a couple of tacos to go from the local food truck by my apartment. Then, it struck me. When was the last time I sat down and took a lunch break? I didn’t have any appointments or calls scheduled for the rest of the day. Nor did I have any deliverables due. Emails, sure. But I had my phone on me, and could be contacted quickly by anyone who needed to reach me…

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Susan Smith Blakely

Blog Article

In Praise of Independent Women Lawyers

Happy Independence Day!  Yes, it is about small town parades, fireworks and sparklers, burgers on the grill, mountains of ice cream, and being together with family and friends. It only comes once a year, so knock yourself out!  But, during the festivities, do not forget about the "independence" part. I am not just talking about the Declaration of Independence or what it has meant to the evolution of this country where we all enjoy freedoms and independence unparalleled in the world.  That is the focus, but it goes much further than that.  It is about national independence and also about…

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