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Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law [Paperback]

by Esq., Susan S. Blakely
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

November 17, 2009 073559385X 978-0735593855
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 hazards 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 forthrightly address a wide variety of issues; - 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 life. 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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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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Aspen Publishers (November 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073559385X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735593855
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #990,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By scho
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Blakely's book was an excellent source for writing an undergrad legal studies term paper on the subject of women in the law profession and the barriers they face as attorneys. The book was very insightful as to the obstacles that women face before entering law school, during law school and mid career in a male-dominated profession. She makes strong arguments for all the good reasons why women should enter the profession. Her approach is straightforward, with a no non-sense approach that truly wants to help young women lawyers succeed in the profession, and encourage those who have been diligently working and paving the way as women lawyers.

The book is an "easy-read", fun to read and made me want to read more. So I purchased the follow-up book: The New Balance for Today's Women Lawyer and I am so glad I did. I was truly pleased with both of Blakely's books, so much so that I have been entertaining the idea of the profession myself! Thank you Susan Smith Blakely!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Women in the Legal Profession August 15, 2012
By L. Alms
Best Friends at the Bar is great read for an incredibly wide range of women from undergrads considering law school to seasoned legal professionals. As a woman who entered law school at age 30 and has just graduated, this book provided insight into how my career in the law will differ from my other professional experiences. This book confronts the issues faced by women in the legal profession with a hopeful perspective while still keeping the discussion frank and realistic. So often I have encountered women who are frustrated with the status quo and want to thumb their nose at the Old Boys Club and have been held back professionally because of it. This book is so instructive on how to handle these obstacles professionally and without compromise while avoiding a detrimental result. The author presents not only her experiences, advice, and perspective, but draws on a broad spectrum of women in the legal profession of all ages, branches of the legal profession, and career paths. These women give personal antidotes to bring to life all the issues raised in the book. After you finish reading you really do feel like you have a group of best friends at the bar!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!! August 14, 2012
As a rising 3L law student, this book addressed all of the issues that women in the legal profession face but are afraid to tell us newbies about a career in the law. One thing that I loved about this book is that it addresses the legal profession from all angles. Women lawyers are analyzed from the perspective of general counsel, solo firms, and state lawyers. This book gave me a much greater understanding of what I will encounter as a future attorney. I highly recommend this book for women who are interested in the legal profession, law students, and newly barred attorneys. This book has something that everyone can take away. Its very easy to read and gets straight to the point. One thing that I found that was helpful in the book is that each of the links with statistics used were cited in the reading so that I could go back and look at it on my own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Case in Point August 6, 2012
By Cdavis
Best Friends at the Bar is not only an informative book, but an enjoyable easy read for women contemplating a career in law. A great combination of personal stories and statistical data, it is clear Ms. Blakely has a passion to help young women understand that the challenges females face in the workplace are quite different than those of males. She greatly details the sections discussing work/life balance when deciding to start a family and also how this affects a woman's possibilities for promotion in her legal career. Susan Blakely shares not only her stories and experiences, but those of other women that have worked in various aspects of the law from the public sector to prestigious law firms that represent Fortune 500 companies. Memorable highlights of this book include the "Case in Point" summaries-the best parts in my opinion! In these summaries, not only do established attorneys, judges, clerks, etc. pour their hearts out with the advice given in these sections, but they offer some comical stories and bring up issues that you wouldn't believe some women in a professional setting have yet to grasp-like not wearing clothing to court that is only appropriate for a night club!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Female Struggle August 3, 2012
I decided to read this book on a whim. I am a female law student entering my third year. I would like to think that both male and females are treated equally, but there are still gaps. The most noticeable difference is in salaries, regardless of the profession. The author has actual data to back up her stance on how women are not treated equally. I found the graph very informative, because not only is it currently a tough job market, but I as a female have an additional hurdle to overcome. I also like the discussion on what to wear in the office. There are many different clothing choices for females and I often find it difficult to understand what is exactly appropriate. Often my supervisor vs. a judge vs. the head manager at the firm all have different opinions on what females should wear to work. Also different regions of the country have different rules on what is appropriate. This is just another aspect of how being a female is tougher than a male at times, because of the unequal treatment on the simple matter of clothing choice.

I think the best part of the book though is the " Case in Point" summaries. These paragraphs are from real women in the legal profession. They also include the age of the person to help illustrate how age does not matter when it comes to struggles women face. I was able to relate to these experiences by other females and to better appreciate the book. The author truly tried to capture what all women need to know about a career in the law.

No other book is out on the market like this one. It is truly unique. The writing style is simplistic and straightforward. The book is an easy read for the beach or over the weekend. I would highly recommend this book to not only females, but to males as well so they can understand all the struggles females face in the legal field.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Shatter the Glass Ceiling
Susan Smith Blakely has written a book for women that are considering a career in law. In the last few years the average enrollment in a J.D. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Michelle A. Roller
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
This is a very interesting book. It sets out the reality of practicing law as a woman. There are various short entries of various women's personal experiences woven throughout the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Lindsay
5.0 out of 5 stars Great advice, new mindset for women in law
Ms. Blakely brings to light all the unavoidable issues women face in pursuing a legal career. Any woman considering law school, or graduating and beginning a career in law should... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Rebecca
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy and Important Read for Any Professional Woman
"Best Friends at the Bar: What Every Woman Needs to Know About a Legal Career" is a worthwhile and interesting read. Mrs. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just for Those Considering a Legal Career...
As an experienced lawyer, this is the kind of book I have been waiting for all of my career. "Best Friends at the Bar" is wonderful combination of helpful advice, insights from... Read more
Published on August 11, 2011 by Monica McCabe
3.0 out of 5 stars Read this book if you're interested in the law but unsure if it's what...
This book is a guide that gives advice and insight into the life of female attorneys, including the benefits and hardships that we face. Read more
Published on May 17, 2011 by T. Lozano
5.0 out of 5 stars For Women Considering the Legal Field
Being a woman currently in law school and having clerked at a large firm during the summer, I feel like this book really highlights the challenges and gives a candid advice to... Read more
Published on April 29, 2011 by Elle Woods
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