Thank You to all the Veterans!

Thank you for the sacrifice.  Thank you for the example.  Thank you for the leadership.  Thank you for loving our country enough to put your lives at risk.

Thank you to my father.  Thank you to my husband.  Thank you to my friends.

Thank you to your fathers, your husbands, your brothers, your friends.  And thank you to many of you who served.

We never will forget.

Career Counselors | Comment

Thought For The Day: Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it or work around it. MICHAEL JORDAN

Thought For The Day | Comment

Women Lawyers and Millennials Among Big Winners in November 2018 Election

Women and millennials were some of the big winners in congressional and gubernatorial elections yesterday.  Record numbers of both women and millennials participated at the grass roots of campaigns and added energy to the political process that has not been seen in recent elections.  They organized, they knocked on doors, they canvased, and they showed up at the polls.  It was exciting — no matter what side of the aisle you support.

And at least 30 women were elected to congressional seats for the first time.  Similar to millennials, the newly-elected women lawmakers, display very diverse backgrounds.  There are women of color, women of varying religious and cultural backgrounds, a native American woman, the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, and at least one lesbian.  In addition to these future congresswomen, women made historic strides in gaining governorships throughout the country.

In all, more than 115 women won their races out of the 276 women on ballots handed out to voters at polling stations yesterday.  Ninety-five of those 115 will be seated in the House of Representatives in January 2019.  Eleven of those women won seats in the Senate, and nine of them won gubernatorial races.  That is a lot of woman power!

And some of these newly-elected women also are lawyers.  Jennifer Wexton gained a seat in the House of Representatives in my own district in Virginia and was joined by other first-time lawyer/congresswomen in Michigan, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.  They will add to the approximate 38% and 57% of the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, who also are lawyers. And women/lawyers also were elected governors in Michigan, Maine and New Mexico.

A legal education is an excellent foundation for lawmakers.  Not only do lawyers understand the legislative process, but they also are very effective advocates for the less fortunate and the wronged.

That is why women lawyers make great leaders in Congress and in Governor’s mansions and in state legislatures.  Bravo to all of these women.

And bravo to the millennials, young people who have discovered that they can make a difference — and are doing it.

Career Counselors, Law School Educators, Law Students, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment

Thought For The Day: GET OUT AND VOTE!!!!

Career Counselors | Comment

Thought For The Day: Think left and think right and think low and think high. Dr. SEUSS

Thought For The Day | Comment

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.





Career Counselors | Comment

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.” 

Career Counselors | Comment

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!


Law Firm Managers, Law School Educators, Law Students, Lifestyle, Practice Advice, Pre-law, Young Lawyer | Comment