The Best Friends at the Bar Newsletter was Mailed Today!

My September/October 2018 Best Friends at the Bar newsletter gives you a lot to think about.  It was mailed today to my mailing list.  If you are not on that list, you can sign up on my website.  Or you can read it at on the Best Friends at the Bar Facebook page or on Twitter at ssmithblakely.  Lots of options.

From information about my new book for and about millennial lawyers, to a discussion of gender issues, to the importance of mentoring, you will find something of interest in this most recent edition.  I just heard from a Big Law partner friend of mine who particularly liked, “Be who you needed when you were younger” in the discussion about mentoring.

It seems that too many senior lawyers have forgotten what it was like when they started practicing.  This particular friend and I were colleagues in our first law firm, and we tried our first case together in the early 1980’s.  He reminded me recently how lucky we were to have senior lawyers who mentored us, had interest in our careers, and had enough confidence in us to give us access to clients and interesting and challenging work.

Times were different then.  The was no Internet and no West Law or similar services available on line.  We read hard-backed legal reporters, treatises and hornbooks, and we hung out in the law firm library doing it.  We were not confined to small offices and cubicles, isolated and forgotten and staring at computer screens.  There was a camaraderie among young lawyers that helped them to stem the tide.  We talked to each other about our challenges, and we helped each other to overcome them.

I am not yearning for yesteryear.  I know better than that.  I also understand that we did not have word processors at the beginning of my practice, we had no computers, there was no FAX, and cell phones were years away from the market.  But what we lacked in technology, we made up in human interaction.  There is a lot to be said for that.

It does not have to be an all or nothing.  I embrace the technology, but I also would like to see us return to the values that were the underpinnings for the kind of human interaction that demonstrated itself as respect, caring, and an interest in collegiality and community spirit.  Those values should not be mutually exclusive with technological advances and global practice.  They are basic — or at least they should be.  My bet is that we are going to find returning to them the only way to save us from the negative effects of money, power and greed that have overtaken our profession and choked out the goodness.

If any of this resonates with you, do yourself a favor and get a copy of What Millennial Lawyers Want:  A Bridge from the Past to the Future of Law Practice (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers 2018).  The stories I tell there might be a call to action for you and others.  At least I hope so.





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Review of My New Book in Virginia Lawyer Magazine

See the review of my new book, What Millennial Lawyers Want:  A Bridge from the Past to the Future of Law Practice (Wolters Kluwer/Aspen Publishers) in the October edition of the Virginia Lawyer magazine.  The review, on page 52, states:

“Blakely offers advice on retaining millennial lawyers, improving outdated firm cultures, and how millennials might best fit into current environments.” 

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New Article Published in Corporate Counsel

See my article about MILLENNIAL LAWYERS published recently in Corporate Counsel.

Here is the link:

Millennial lawyers are going to like this, and senior lawyers are going to learn a lot!


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Thought For The Day: No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible. GEORGE CHAKIRIS

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Thought For The Day: Charity is the root of all good works. SAINT AUGUSTINE

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Thought For the Day: Never, never, never give up. SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL

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LSAT Haters: Listen Up

Everyone hates the LSAT, and that is the way we like it.  Hating people is not good — in fact it is very, very bad — but hating tests is OK.  So many former LSAT takers are very happy hating this ridiculous test (which only predicts success in the first semester of law school), and we want our bad memories left in tact.

But, now we are told that the LSAT has a benefit beyond giving some people an edge toward law school acceptance.  The benefit approach is just plain not fair or productive in the hating process.

Here’s the scoop.  A recent article cites research to support that the LSAT can actually make you smarter.  Yes.  You read that right.  Smarter.  Apparently neurons start firing better and more effectively when studying for and taking the LSAT, and response times are reduced while answering the many annoying questions during the test and test review.

You would think it would be just the opposite and that the neurons would just doze off and try to sleep through the entire miserable experience.  These researchers must be looking at some really tough or really bored neurons.

So, all you LSAT haters need to listen up.  You may need to mend your hating ways.  In fact, if you want to get really smart, study for and take an LSAT several times each year.  Even if you are already through law school and practicing law.  You either want to get smarter or you don’t.  No pain, no gain.

Study those fact patterns 24-7, and see how smart you get.  The results will be so impressive.  You will walk taller, talk smarter, and feel superior to almost everyone.  You may even want to have a t-shirt made with your highest LSAT score and your IQ printed on both the front and the back.  That way, no one will miss this important message.

Of course, be ready for the dark side.  Really smart people are not that much fun to hang with.  So, your friends, who do not want to indulge in deductive reasoning while sitting at a jazz bar, will abandon you.  You no longer will be invited to join the gang at sporting events because they will remember you screaming “The answer is definitely the inverse” the last time when everyone else was cheering “Go Bears.”

And, it does not stop there.  Your family will forget the “family first” policy, and there will be no chair for you at Thanksgiving dinner.  And the people at the office … well, they thought you were weird to begin with, so no hope there.

Or you could be satisfied to be an LSAT hater.  For ever and ever.  The percs are great.  Fun people.  Fun times.  Fun life.

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Thought For The Day: Great things can be achieved by leading through wisdom, empathy, and integrity—with no other agenda than humanity. RICHARD BRANSON

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