Welcome to the Best Friends at the Bar Blog! I dedicate most of my professional time and energy to exploring and recording the experiences of lawyers, judges, and managing partners to better understand the low retention rates for young lawyers and to help craft solutions to that problem. Through my research and personal experience I’ve learned a great deal about what it takes to be successful in the legal profession. The importance of having a personal definition of success rather than adhering to ill-fitting stereotypes cannot be underestimated, and the need for finding a work-life balance that works for the individual lawyer is critical to career success and satisfaction.
As workplace norms change, the benefits of establishing work-life balance and incorporating support for non-traditional paths are becoming more accepted across many fields, and I’m happy to say that interest is growing in the legal profession as well. When bright young people pursue legal careers and stay in the profession, they enrich our profession and contribute stellar talent to our law schools and firms.
Do your part by joining the conversation here. Leave a comment, share an experience, spread your own wisdom around—we will all benefit from supporting one another and learning together.
If you belong to one of the groups below, my Best Friends at the Bar books and this Blog are for you.
- Young lawyers
- Students in law school
- Pre-law students / other undergraduates
- Career counselors
- Law school educators
- Law firm leaders and managers
Read on to find useful, inspiring, and revolutionary posts about improving retention rates for young women in the law and promoting diversity in the legal profession. There is also help for pre-law and law school students who face important career-altering decisions early on and could use some straight talk to help them achieve their goals. Young lawyers will find guidance on creating opportunities to map successful and satisfying careers. Law school educators and counselors can invigorate the curriculum and counseling with fresh ideas, while partners will find practical information on improving their firms (and their bottom line).
Susan Smith Blakely is the author of the following books for young lawyers: Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law; Best Friends at the Bar: The New Balance for Today’s Woman Lawyer; Best Friends at the Bar: Top-Down Leadership for Women Lawyers; and What Millennial Lawyers Want: A Bridge from the Past to the Future of Law Practice. They all are groundbreaking books filled with the wisdom of women and men in the legal profession. Passionate about mentoring and educating young lawyers, Susan blogs on her website about work-life balance, creating your own definitions for success in the law, practical advice on how to succeed and avoid the most common pitfalls, and many other subjects important to crafting satisfying careers in the law.