In college and especially in law school, I remember feeling bitter and resentful about the holidays. Just when it felt like the world was getting festive for everyone else, I was consumed with the approach of a different season: exam season.
This was especially the case during my 1L year, since Harvard was still operating under the ridiculous schedule that had 1Ls sit for their fall semester exams in January. That was about as terrible as it sounds, as I’ve described here. (I wrote more generally about my law school trajectory here.)
But there are ways to make your studying less painful and more effective. Here are a few tips you can use to position yourself for success on your exams and make it through the least wonderful time of the year. Continue reading “The least wonderful time of the year: tips for exam season”
Today, we’re delighted to bring you the #PracticeTuesday Blog’s very first guest post, courtesy of #AppellateTwitter mainstay Lauren Clark Rad, a litigator at Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP.
Take a moment to pause and imagine your ideal lawyer or law student. What is her personality like? What is her workspace like? Most likely, the person you imagined is smart, thoughtful, thorough, and organized. She has a desk that is reasonably tidy and a good grasp of what’s coming up on her calendar. There are reasons for that.
Law is a deadline-driven profession. The consequences of missing those deadlines can be severe, even catastrophic. Clients depend on their lawyers to monitor deadlines and make sure they’re met.
Lawyers are human, though, and they span the spectrum of strengths and weaknesses. Some of us are just not born with an innate sense of how to be organized. Over the last decade, I’ve been on a mission to find the organization system that works best for me. In hopes of sparing others that same lengthy journey, I’ve compiled this list of various tools and techniques I’ve used, along with a discussion of their benefits and drawbacks. Continue reading “Organizational Tools for the Disorganized Lawyer (Guest post by Lauren Clark Rad)”
Lawyers of any seniority—but particularly new associates—worry about where the next assignment will come from. Sure, there is enough work now, but what about tomorrow? Or the next week? How can I possibly make hours?
That often leads new attorneys to look for work even when they are pleasantly busy, and then that additional work becomes a crush of work which leads to getting assignments done within a hairsbreadth of the deadline. At worst, it leads to avoidable errors. At best, even if you never miss a deadline, the constant relentless pace can lead to cynicism and burnout.
The common advice—and advice I whole-heartedly subscribe to—is to enjoy the valleys. If you are busy, push through it. But once you do, you don’t need to set out looking for new work immediately. Take a few quiet days; catch up on business development; go to the movies. Whatever. If you are good at what you do (and if you are conscientious and keeping up on #PracticeTuesday, I bet you are), the work will find you and you will get busy once more. 2,000 billable hours (or whatever your goal is) doesn’t occur in 50 equal weeks of 40 hours each, and you shouldn’t expect it to.
But there’s an advanced lesson, too, for attorneys who have learned to enjoy the valleys.
Continue reading “Enjoy the Valleys, But Pedal Through The Plateaus”