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It’s Time To Beat The Burn Out: The Importance of Well-Being In The Legal Profession

THE CURRENT CLIMATE Burnout, stress, anxiety, depression – whatever you want to call it – if you’re in the legal profession there is a chance that you’ll feel it at some point in your career. Lawyers are constantly reaching for a professional-personal life balance, and the pressure to deliver can feel enormous for even the most confident and most competent lawyers. Unsurprisingly, burnout starts in law school. A 2014 research survey on law student well-being revealed that law students might have higher rates of anxiety and depression than other graduate students. (Jerome M. Organ et al., “Suffering in Silence: The…

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Elizabeth Tolon

Creating Balance through Routine

As I go through my final semester of law school, I reflect on what I’ve learned since starting two and a half years ago.  For me, law school has been challenging, invigorating, fun, and full of surprises.  When I walked into class on my first day of law school, I had no idea what to expect.  I had no idea what textualism meant or how the Rules of Civil Procedure influence litigation.  I didn’t know what the Socratic method was and I didn’t understand the curve.  After my first day of classes, I felt a little like Elle Woods after…

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#MillennialMom: Law Student, Leader, and MOM!

Shortly after I launched #MillennialMom on Ms. JD last month, I got a DM on Twitter (you can follow me @kmlarkinwong).  "Did you know that THREE of the ABA Law Student Division's Leaders are Moms?  I think this is column worthy!"  You know what, I agree!  So I reached out to the #MillennialMoms who are leading the lawyers of the future and asked them a few questions about being law students, leaders, and Moms.  Two of them were able to be interviewed between school and Mom Life!    First, a bit of biographical information: Name: Meredith Parnell ("MP") Law school: Harvard Law…

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Solid, well-considered legal advice and compassion.

Sunlight is beaming through my office windows, a miraculous reprieve from the single-digit temperatures that are holding court outside. Eager to stay in the beam of sunlight, I flip open the new file on my desk. Immigration paperwork, resumé, passports, marriage certificate. The usual. My eye snags on the marriage certificate, which displays a color photo of the bride and groom. The bride is resplendent is crimson and gold. Her long sable hair falls so long that it continues out of the frame. The groom looks like his having a hard time sitting still. He has one shoulder wedged behind…

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How Meditation Helped My Law Practice and Why I Think It Could Help Yours

Last year, I made equity partner at my Firm. In this blog, I have promised to tell some of the tips that I picked up along the way to share with other women lawyers who may have the same goal. Because January is a month for resolutions, I chose to start with something from my own list of New Year's resolutions: meditation. I have been meditating consistently for a few years now but my resolution is to keep it going in 2018 and to log at least 50 hours of meditation in 2018. That may sound like a lot but it…

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From Paralegal to Associate: “So You’re thinking about going to Law School?”

A paralegal has the greatest inside view of the legal practice as opposed to someone who decides to go law school straight out of college. Often, as a paralegal, you do tasks that are given to new associate, you may have attend a trial or two, and are familiar with the legal jargon: M&A documents, closing, and so forth. But is becoming a lawyer truly what you aspire to? What are the reasons for the change? For me it was a natural next step, I had always wanted to become an attorney, and being a paralegal was just an in-between…

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Burning the Midnight Oil

I stayed up until midnight writing a paper. As I was writing, I was intermittently caring for my two week old son and my two and a half year old son. My oldest had a hard time getting to sleep tonight (of course!) and we were in and out of his room until 10 p.m. My youngest was sleeping - the newborn life! Every time I looked over at him sleeping I thought about the classic advice you get when you have a baby: "sleep when the baby sleeps." Yeah, I would have loved to do that instead...but law school…

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Finding the Line: A Crash Course in Law School Boundaries

Reflecting on my law school years always fills me with a solid mixture of nostalgia and terror. I am one of those weirdos who really loved law school, but that “ish” was hard, particularly the first year. Everything was brand new, and I, like many others, went through a lot of personal growth. This required redefining and resetting my own boundaries with the people who were in my life before law school as well as learning to navigate new boundaries with my law school peers, professors, and administrators. This was a challenging balancing act, which I handled more gracefully at…

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Finals with a Newborn

I took a final exam on Tuesday - the only regularly scheduled exam I was able to make. My baby was just 11 days old. This was honestly the hardest exam I have ever had to take (and not in terms of content). Usually when I take an exam, the time flies by, but this time it was the longest three hours of my life. Not only was I away from my baby for the longest amount of time since his birth, but I also was fighting sleep (in a freezing cold room!). I'm going to be honest, my desire to…

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How to Become a Top Lawyer and Love Doing It

If you do good work and can promote yourself, career doors will open for you. As a new female lawyer or soon to be lawyer, there are many things to learn as you develop who you are and what you will do in your career. One key facet to master is learning how to promote yourself at work and build a book of business. As a lawyer you will need to learn how to market yourself and communicate your expertise to clients early in your career. If you can do that effectively, you will be an asset to any firm. If you…

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