If Nowhere Is Your Office, Is Everywhere Your Office? 5 Ways to Curb Telecommuter Burnout

More and more lawyers are opting out of a traditional corporate path, which, for many, includes architecting a career that they can perform from anywhere with a laptop and an internet connection. Similarly, more and more law firms are jumping onto the telecommuting bandwagon, structuring programs that will allow select attorneys the option to telecommute during the workweek. Morgan Lewis & Bockius, for example, launched a flexible work program on May 1, 2017, which provides associates with the opportunity to telecommute up to two days a week starting in their third year. At least 100 associates have signed up with…

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Take Two: The Journey to Retaking the Bar—Workplace Antics

My company recently went through a takeover. Needless to say, the changes that came with it are anything but sunshine and butterflies. Every week, new policies and procedures are implemented, forcing employees to conform. People are being shuffled around, most of the time without much notice, leaving the rest of the team to refocus and distribute cases.  Since the takeover, work has been more stressful, especially when the thought of not meeting our yearly goal is over our heads. Every day I come home, exhausted, ready to fall asleep at 5pm (or during work at 2pm, take your pick). Despite…

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Creativity in Legal Writing: Make It Interesting

As a public relations student, I regularly encountered the opportunity to be creative during my undergraduate school years.  Whether by creating newsletters, designing brochures, or planning fundraising projects from scratch, I was "always," as a public relations professor of mine once put it, "coming up with new things."  Fast forward a few years to my first year of law school, and suddenly my creative side seemed to fade away as the concept of "IRAC"/"CREAC" ("Issue-Rule-Application-Conclusion"/"Conclusion-Rule-Explanation-Analysis-Conclusion") swiftly engulfed every piece of legal writing I undertook.  During my second year of law school, I took notice that my creative juices were at…

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Get The Call Back: Navigating the Legal Job Fair

Last month, we talked about successfully navigating the on-campus interview (“OCI”) process for rising second year law students. I had the privilege yesterday to recruit at the Northeast Region, National Black Law Students Association’s (“NEBLSA”) job fair at New York Law School. I never participated in a job fair while in law school (I did only OCI) so the process was all new to me. True to form, I left thinking about how to provide you with some helpful tips on navigating the job fair process which, like OCI, can be quite exhausting. Let me set the scene: The potential…

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Watching from the inside, Looking Outwards

As my colleagues and friends finished the bar exam last week, I thought at length about them, and my decision to postpone taking the bar exam. During the two day marathon, I received a few messages from friends who were taking the exam, and inquired about how I was doing. I did not answer their questions about how I was feeling. Instead, I focused on encouraging them to persevere. Several of them are now preparing for this Saturday’s MPRE. Off and on, my feelings went from elated to disappointed to utterly angry at myself for not taking the exam. At…

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Skirting the Ceiling: Standing Up to Gender Stereotypes

This summer we’ve talked a lot about standing up to sexism in the workplace. As summer winds down, I have one last story to share. Not too long ago, I observed a trial in which the male defense attorney made the following remarks to the young victim on the stand, “Your least favorite subject is math, correct? I’ve always found that females, such as yourself, aren’t as good at math and are better at subjects like English. I know I was always better at math.” He then paused and waited for the victim’s response. Seated in the gallery, my jaw…

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Monthly Mantra: Finding Health and Wellness in the Law

Mantra: I am responsible for my own peace and will find breathing space regardless of my surroundings. It’s August and many of us are packing up and heading out of town for family vacations, reunions, or much needed solo retreats. August’s sleepy energy beckons us all to slow down. In one way or another, we all lead hectic lives. Whether you are billing hours, applying for a second-year associateship, preparing for trial or navigating maternity leave, the legal profession presents unique stressors. The stress associated with balancing our personal and professional lives is a constant we can anticipate will continue;…

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Ms. Pre-JD: Interview with NY AAG Kristen Vogel

This past Spring and Summer, during my internship in the Attorney General’s Litigation Bureau, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Vogel served as a model for the approach I hope to bring to my professional life. My primary lesson from her about soft skills as a female professional was an unspoken one: there is a delicate balance that should come naturally. Kristen always spoke her mind, but made it clear that her opinions were unbiased. She dealt with everyone in the same way, had patience, and stated otherwise negative things in a matter of fact way. While I may have been afraid…

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Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks: Practical Advice for New Lawyers

Q: If I am going to miss a deadline, does it help to tell the attorney who assigned the work the reason that I can’t make the deadline? A: Usually, no. Think of it this way: If you go to a restaurant and your food takes an eternity to arrive, are you less hungry because the “kitchen was backed-up”? Are you less annoyed? Probably not. You just decide the restaurant is mismanaged. There are some times that providing an explanation will soften the blow. For example, if you are working around the clock on a high-profile matter, you may get…

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Failure Turned Inside Out: The Not So Gentle Ladies of the United States Congress

The women that serve daily on behalf of the American people are fierce trailblazers in their own right. As a means to seemingly promote gender equality, there is a new term that has been floating around the United States Congress. You see, as of late congressional members have been referring to their female House representatives and Senate members as “gentle-ladies.” (Example: The gentle lady from California will now address the House.) Now whatever your personal opinion is on the alluring appeal (or lack there of) of the term itself, there is one thing I think that we can all come…

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