Blog

Why Entering Your Time is So Dreadful

16:33 30 October in Articles, Blog, Stress, Technology

Entering time is a task most lawyers despise. We put it off until the last minute, preferring to do almost anything else. I explore in detail why entering time is so stressful in my guest post for Viewabill, a fascinating new product that is improving relationships between lawyers and their clients. Viewabill allows clients and attorneys to see bills in real-time, before the invoice, so everyone can address problems before they spiral out of control. Check out my guest post here: Why Lawyers Dread Entering Their Time....

Why Your Personality Tests Aren’t Helping

21:42 20 October in Articles, Blog, Careers

I'm very excited to have had the opportunity to write a guest post for Trebuchet Legal!  Check out my post on why your personality tests may be leading you astray.  Personality tests can provide us with a lot of insight into ourselves, but if we aren't honest, they can be misleading.  What has your experience with personality tests been?  Have they been accurate?  Have they helped you figure out what you want to do?...

paintingoutdoors

No Place for Precedent

17:40 22 September in Blog

I’ve been trying to decide what to post, so I did lawyers do when stuck for something to say. I did research. I looked for other blogs to see what people had written, how they’d said it, what kinds of subjects they wrote about. That’s what lawyers do:  we look for precedent.  Stare decises is probably the first bit of legalese most of us learned in law school, and it quickly becomes an integral part of our lawyer DNA. My hunt for precedent led me to all kinds of interesting, but ultimately useless, blogs.  I read blogs on slow cooker recipes,...

walking

The One Thing You’ll Actually Want to Do to Boost Productivity

18:48 11 September in Blog

Sometimes I look back on my college years and wonder how I got so much done. I wrote papers (a lot of them), went to classes, read a ton of books, and swam 4 hours on most days. I even ate all my meals away from my desk with no cell phone, while talking to friends. Now I feel like I live in a perpetual time famine. Not only do I eat many meals at my desk or in my car, but I rarely exercise and I don’t sleep enough. Yet I still never manage to come close to checking...

coffee

How This Website Was Hatched

23:54 20 August in Blog

The idea for this website was hatched, as so many are, after a cup of coffee with a friend.  My friend, fiddling with that little cardboard collar thing on the coffee cup, told me that he was not particularly thrilled with his work.   It wasn’t terrible, he explained, but it was a bit dull and the hours were crushing.   It just didn’t seem to be quite the right fit.  I’ve had a lot of these conversations over the years, some with me listening, some with me complaining, some with people who mostly love their jobs, some with people who are...

Advocate From The Distraction-free Zone

01:00 08 August in Articles, Blog

I wrote this article from an undisclosed location that lacks Internet access. Secluding myself, away from email and other distractions, is the only way I can do any real writing or thinking. This is a common problem for the modern attorney: Our offices are so full of distractions that it's virtually impossible to do any deep thinking there. Our work suffers, and so do we. "Knowledge workers" (e.g., lawyers) are interrupted constantly, as frequently as every three to 10 minutes. Gonzalez, V. and Mark, G., "Constant, Constant, Multitasking Craziness: Managing Multiple Working Spheres," Proceedings of ACM CHI '04, 113-120 (2004). One...

Billing Under the Influence of Distraction

01:06 30 July in Articles, Blog

You'll probably read this article for only about five minutes before you're interrupted. That's because "knowledge workers," such as lawyers, are interrupted every three to 10 minutes. See Kermit Pattison, "Worker Interrupted: The Cost of Task Switching," Fast Company, July 28, 2008. For lawyers who bill by the hour, these interruptions are more than a nuisance; they may make our practices unethical. To prevent ethical violations, attorneys need to be able to create distraction-free zones, and their firms need to support them. Check out my article on the Daily Journal.  ...

How Maya Angelou Can Help Us Be Happier Lawyers

00:48 29 May in Articles, Blog

The contrast between Maya Angelou’s joyful life and the misery of so many lawyers is unavoidable. Yesterday, as I listened to remembrances of her, I was struck by how vibrant and full her life was, so unlike the lives of many lawyers. According to the Dave Nee Foundation, lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer depression than non-lawyers; some studies show as many as 37% of lawyers suffer from depression. What did Maya Angelou do so differently than we lawyers do? Maya Angelou is, of course, unique and nobody can hope to replicate her life. But we can learn...