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

13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735593855
ISBN-10: 073559385X
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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: 7 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,061,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By alibricol on August 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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 this book. It is often easy to brush off the issues Ms. Blakely discusses, and just think "I'll figure that part out later." Ms. Blakely doesn't offer any easy answers, there aren't any, but emphasizes the importance of considering the issues all women face in their legal career - from the "glass ceiling" to the economy to maternity leave - and how to maneuver those issues strategically. Her insights come not only from her own experiences, but the advice of women in a variety of legal positions across the country. This book takes some time at the beginning explaining itself, but turns a corner once you get to the real 'meat' of it. I could have done without quite so many introductory pages explaining what the book is intended for, what the meaning of the book is, etc. I will probably figure that out once I read it! Many of the issues Ms. Blakely discusses are some I am not considering for some time, i.e. maternity leave and child care, but she emphasizes the importance of negotiating from a position of strength, and even more importantly, keeping future generations of women attorneys in mind. As uncomfortable as these issues are, Ms. Blakely emphasizes the importance of planning NOW, regardless of where you are in your legal career. It may not have given me all the answers, but she definitely gave me a place to start from and a different mindset in approaching future issues in my legal career.
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Format: Paperback
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. program is close to 50% women (48%-48% usually) but only 31% of all licensed practicing attorneys are women, there appears to be a discrepancy. Women are also staying away from "Big Law" in droves, at least after five years of practice. The majority of all women leave "Big Law" within five years, thus creating an extreme attrition rate that bodes badly for clients and lawyers alike. When women, who make up 50$ of the country, are not an equal voice in the law, women will continue to be undervalued and underpaid.
This book addresses the discrepancies and the glass ceiling. In 2009, only 17% of all law firm partners were women. As we lose women in the law, we also lose their creativity, skills, and education, thus harming all of us, both in the profession and out. This almost appears to set up a circular paradigm where the men use the departure of women in the legal work force as an excuse to continue to not provide them with equality, and women, because of the male attitudes tend to be further and further disenfranchised and disillusioned.
The book has many useful suggestions for a woman who wants to break through the glass ceiling, all of which are applicable even if the person just wants to be taken seriously in any venue.
Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law
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Format: Paperback
"Best Friends at the Bar: What Every Woman Needs to Know About a Legal Career" is a worthwhile and interesting read. Mrs. Blakely does a great job at presenting the varied problems, and potential solutions, facing women who wish to peruse a career in the legal profession. By presenting vignettes of experience from women ranging from new "baby lawyers" and to women who have thirty and forty years of experience in private practice, government work, and judicial work Blakely provides a real world view.
The only thing I disliked about the book was the extreme focus on being a mother. Being a 28 year old woman and having no desire to have children, the focus on motherhood for almost a third of the book was a bit off-pointing. However, I could definitely see how this information would be very important for many professional women. Even though the information didn't apply directly to me personally, it was very well written and makes several points that are important even for women who do not wish to become mothers; such as not being afraid to ask for what you need and the importance of networking.
I'm currently 6 months from law school graduation and found this book extremely valuable. I only wish that I had read this book prior to starting. The tips on networking and mentoring are so very important, even in law school. I would also highly recommend this book for any woman in any professional field; from business to law to medicine.
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