alexislamb

The Loneliness Of The Work-From-Home Lawyer

We live in an age of unlimited digital connectivity.  Via social media, we can stalk open a dialog with high school classmates, former flames, college roommates, and, even strangers.  10 years ago, when I moved from New York to Hong Kong, Skype was my lifeline into my world back in the States. The tech was easy enough for my parents to use. I helped my then-best friend plan a wedding in real-time despite the vastness of the Pacific Ocean between us. My BlackBerryMessenger (remember that!) and WhatsApp group chats included friends on multiple continents and time zones.  From a professional…

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alexislamb

Four Reasons Why Telecommuting Is Better For Women (That Have Nothing To Do With The Mommy Thing)

I’m going to throw out a bold prediction. Working from home is better for women. Especially for women in high-intensity, male-dominated professions, such as law. Here are four reasons why – none of which have anything to do with childcare flexibility. 1.That Hair-and-Makeup Thing.   This morning, I witnessed one of my closest friends (a non-lawyer who works in an executive role at a financial institution in Midtown Manhattan) spend close to an hour on hair and makeup prior to leaving for work. After rising before the sun and disappearing into the bathroom, she sat down next to me on…

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alexislamb

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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alexislamb

GO AHEAD, TAKE YOUR LUNCH BREAK!

This past Friday, I stepped away from my computer for an hour for a doctor’s appointment. I was in and out in 35 minutes, and contemplated grabbing a couple of tacos to go from the local food truck by my apartment. Then, it struck me. When was the last time I sat down and took a lunch break? I didn’t have any appointments or calls scheduled for the rest of the day. Nor did I have any deliverables due. Emails, sure. But I had my phone on me, and could be contacted quickly by anyone who needed to reach me…

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alexislamb

The Road Less Traveled: When You’re Forced Off Your Narrative Arc, and What To Do

In my day job as Associate Director of Talent at Bliss Lawyers, many of the attorneys that I speak with describe how an alt-path gives them the flexibility to optimize their lives. BigLaw hours no longer constrain them from nurturing a side hustle into profitability, pursuit of a sub-three hour marathon, writing and publishing that novel that's been swirling around in their heads, traveling abroad, or assuming a role as family caregiver.   But many of the people I speak with - including myself - were forced off the traditional path.  Like Westworld hosts, we come into this world with a narrative arc, except one…

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alexislamb

A Chat with Erin Shinneman - Global Adventurer, Writer, Startup Lawyer

Erin Shinneman sits on a strip of sand, preparing for her dives later that day with her ocean conservation group.  For the past six weeks, she’s been living on an Indonesian island with a population of 170. The WiFi is spotty – she’s about as far east as one can go in Indonesia – but she’s able to log on enough to communicate with her clients effectively.  Shinneman, a startup lawyer and writer who started her career at the law firms of Chadbourne & Parke and Gunderson Dettmer Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian, LLP., has worked from Barcelona cafes, desert…

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alexislamb

HOW I LEFT BIG LAW FOR THE LOCATION-INDEPENDENT NO-PANTS LIFESTYLE, AND HOW YOU CAN TOO

It’s a simple equation: t = m.  Time equals money. It’s an equation taken literally by any lawyer in private practice who divides their day into six-minute increments.  I’m sure more than one of you has debated whether to bill your latest bathroom break to the client. I’m at least thinking about reps and warranties while I’m reapplying deodorant! This is billable time, right?   But t = m has another meaning, one that can pogo to the forefront of an attorney’s mind once they realize that leaving the office at 6AM is a much more frequent occurrence than leaving…

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alexislamb

Estate Planning - A New Look: Interview with Laura Cowan of The Law Office of Laura E. Cowan, PLLC

One of the most versatile attorney skill sets is that of estate planning.  Estate planning attorneys often have a CPA or a Tax LLM – skills easily transferable to any career field that draws upon their background in financial planning, such as wealth management or as a chief of staff/personal assistant for UHNW individuals/households.  Laura Cowan, Founder of The Law Office of Laura E. Cowan, PLLC, is taking an innovative and client-centric approach to estate planning law.  She also worked as a CPA for several years prior to law school at Goldman Sachs and Ernst & Young.   Let’s see…

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alexislamb

The Road Less Traveled: Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

Many entrepreneurs go through The Darkness - eating instant ramen, crashing in their parents' basement, remortgaging their house, fearing monthly cable bills or paying rent  -- before The Big Success Break, as do many who seek a transition to an alt-path.   While not all alternative legal careers involve entrepreneurship (though in later blog posts we'll speak with lawyers turned entrepreneurs), when it comes to our careers, we are our own entrepreneurs.  We are companies of one.  We are selling our labor and skills and that unique bit of ourselves that only we can offer.  We are convincing others to invest time, money, capital, and goodwill…

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alexislamb

The Road Less Traveled: Alternative Legal Paths.

Happy New Year, fellow writers (and readers)!  Thanks for stopping by!  Let's start things off with a shot of some Q&A to ease us down the road.  1. What is an "alternative legal path?"   In this blog, we'll be discussing anything you can do with a law degree that doesn't involve keeping your feet stuck on the traditional conveyor belt. This could include:  Opening a solo practice Transitioning into a high-level HR/recruiting role at a law firm Continuing to practice in biglaw, but in a "nontraditional" way - such as in an overseas office or working part-time Starting a business…

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