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Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know About a Career in the Law

  • Susan Smith Blakely
Series / Academic Success Series
Teaching Materials
Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law addresses the realities of law firm practice, especially in large firms, and gives pre-law students, law students, and new attorneys a realistic view of the opportunities and challenges most often encountered by women lawyers. Drawing on her many years of practicing law and mentoring young lawyers and with the help of other women in all areas of the legal profession, her "best friends at the bar", Susan Smith Blakely strives to help young women entering the legal profession begin their careers with open eyes and a more level playing field than women lawyers of past generations.

This concise paperback, which is written in a direct, personal tone that instantly engages the reader

  • Explores the experiences of the author and more than 60 private and public sector attorneys, judges, law school career counselors, and law firm managing partners who address a wide variety of issues as trustworthy mentors
  • Candidly speaks to the issues women face in law firm practice and provides invaluable advice for planning enduring and satisfying careers in the law
  • Critically addresses business, cultural, and personal conditions and offers strategies for dealing with them, including how to manage expectations in the context of actual job conditions and the dynamics of personal/professional life struggles

Full of helpful advice from attorneys, judges, law school career counselors, and law firm managing partners with wide and varied experiences, this book will be an invaluable resource to any woman planning a career in the law.

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About the authors
Susan Blakely

Susan Blakely has been teaching and mentoring for most of her life. What Women Need to Know About a Career in the Law---Best Friends at the Bar is the first in a planned series of books to help young women lawyers develop careers that will allow them to continue in and prosper in their chosen profession. With the assistance of her own quot;Best Friends at the Bar,quot; Ms. Blakely presents the reader with critical and practical advice that will prove invaluable to young women undergraduates considering law school, young women law students and young women lawyers in their initial years of practice. Her book is the first of its kind and grew out of her concern for the discouraging retention rates for young women lawyers and the difficulties for these young women that are presented by the illusive work-life balance and related struggles. By reading her book and taking advantage of the collective wisdom and advice of over 50 women lawyers and judges, young women will be better equipped for the challenges of advancing in a male-dominated profession and reaching positions of leadership and management where they can positively affect policy and improve the condition of women in the practice. Ms. Blakely brings a lifetime of experience to this endeavor. As a teacher in the public schools after graduating from the University of Wisconsin and later as a teaching fellow while attending Georgetown University Law Center, she laid the foundation for a lifetime of mentoring. In her practice, which spanned 25 years and included both private law firm and public sector experience, Ms. Blakely saw the legal profession from many perspectives, from associate to counsel to partner and as a Chief of Staff in the public sector. In those roles, she has mentored many young lawyers and continues to enjoy that work through this book and her interaction with those in and aspiring to her profession. quot;This book has been a labor of love for me, and I consider it to be my most important contribution to my profession. I hope that it will be widely read and that it will accomplish my objective of helping young women help themselves in reaching their professional goals. I also hope that it will encourage all young women lawyers to reach out to others in need and become someone else#39;s Best Friend at the Bar.quot;

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