Hurricane Harvey – How You Can Help

Current events make timely an inquiry into the role of lawyers in fostering democratic values, promoting social welfare, and ensuring that all citizens are treated equally under the law. Like other members of the Texas Bar, I was proud to read about and witness the countless lawyers who quickly and selflessly mobilized themselves and their communities to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. While it is easy to look to social and mainstream media for all the ways in which we are as divided as ever, it was nothing short of inspiring to see Texas come together and remind the country what it means to unite in the face of disaster, fear, and tragedy. Lawyers across the State provided free legal advice, directed victims to local resources, and immediately asked what they could do to serve. I was reminded that, as a profession, we are called to serve the public.…

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The Center Line

It takes courage to be a lawyer. Each day, we take on the problems of others and make them our burdens. Each day, we make decisions that could be outcome determinative for our clients. Each day, we fight to win and, sometimes, come up short. It takes courage to do all that and get back out there and try again. As of this month, I have been training in the martial arts for 20 years. In the martial arts, there’s something called “the center line.” This is the invisible line drawn perpendicular between you and your opponent. It’s also the line on which your body must be balanced to ensure your opponent can’t knock you down or deliver a finishing blow. Lean too far back, you fall over when pushed. Lean too far left or right, and your opponent’s strike knocks you off the center line – giving them the…

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Stress-Reducing Practices

“Just breathe!” When you are stressed and someone utters those two words, if you are anything like me, your stress levels spike. “Just breathe?” If only I had time to “just breathe.” Oh, and don’t get me started on hearing that I should take a yoga class! Practicing law is stressful, and attorneys are notoriously bad at effectively managing stress. While breathing is essential for survival—and, yes, for tackling stress—learning and employing effective stress-reducing techniques can make all the difference in coming out on top of a stressful situation. Check out this article from Forbes, which looks at 14 stress-reducing practices for today’s busy professional. 14 Stress-Reducing Practices For The Modern Professional

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Millenials in the Work Place

In 2017, the stigma of being a young lawyer and a “millennial” often go hand in hand. Being a millennial myself, I work endlessly to defy the general perception associated with my defined generational class. My former co-worker and wonderful friend Caroline LaPorte (who is also a millennial), along with my boss, Patrick A. Wright, have an optimistic perspective on managing millennials in the work place. Fostering a work environment where everyone feels a sense of self-worth is crucial for productivity in any work place. This article attributes ways to close the generational gap for millennials and non-millennials, in effort to create the most efficient and desirable work place. Enjoy! 7 ways millennials want to be managed in workplace

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Paternity-Leave Stigma

Paternity leave remains the unicorn of parental leave. Although recent statistics show that nine out of ten U.S. fathers took some time off work for the birth or adoption of a child, those same statistics showed that seventy percent of fathers take ten days of leave or less. Although paternity leave participation is increasing, its duration is short and largely unpaid. The American Lawyer recently published an article on the slow shift regarding paternity leave. It's worth checking out, just click the link below: Paternity-Leave Stigma at Law Firms Lifting, Ever So Slowly

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Last Minute Gift Ideas

Rumor has it lawyers sometimes wait until the very last minute to meet a deadline.  If this is you and you handle your personal life like your law practice, the internet is full of last minute give ideas that may come in handy.  Check some of them out: To pick up on your way home: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/16/cheap-holiday-gifts-drugstore_n_6328258.html To help Santa: http://www.today.com/style/last-minute-stocking-stuffer-ideas-whole-family-will-love-t106293 For the lawyer in your life: http://abovethelaw.com/2016/12/last-minute-gifts-for-the-lawyers-law-students-in-your-life/?rf=1 For opposing counsel: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karim-orange/sarcastic-last-minute-gif_b_8829218.html Good luck out there. Let's hope this is a deadline you don't miss.

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Making and Keeping Friends – Even When You Have a Busy Job

Aristotle said, “In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.” Friendships are vital for well-being, but they take time to develop and maintain. In the whirlwind of life that takes over when you begin and continue practicing law, it is often hard to prioritize making (and keeping) friendships. However, as Aristotle noted, friends are a sure refuge. As an attorney, friendships can also hold the dual role of friend and client. As for maintaining friendships that you have already made, below are a few tips for fostering and growing the friendships that you already have: For friends that live in different cities, or even friends that live in the same city as you but that you can…

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Finding the Good Inside (Especially When It’s Hard)

Coming off a hot, sometimes angry summer - and following an election season that could be charitably described as "testy" - it's a good time to ponder compassion and empathy and how we can maximize both in ourselves and the world around us. True, there are some things people will never agree on.  But even the knottiest problems are easier to address when the opposing sides are respectful and kind to each other. And, at the individual level, how much better would your day be if you were able to deflect the world's slights, from the aggressive driver who nearly clipped you or the cashier who was rude to you, all the way to the co-worker who stole credit for your work or the bully who made your son afraid to go back to school? True, some slights (like those last two) can't be ignored, but when your reaction is…

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Election Day is Here

After what seems like an endless election cycle, today is the day.  By the end of the day, we will know who the next POTUS is going to be.  The primaries, debates, speeches, and ads have all led up to this day.  In the next few days, the seemingly endless political posts on social media from friends once again will give way to pictures of kids, puppies, and vacation photos.  The seemingly chaotic election cycle is nearing an end.  If you didn't participate in early voting, the only thing left to do is GET OUT AND VOTE. Voting is important.  It is our duty.  It is our voice.  Over the course of our history, many voices were not heard.  Today, all adult American citizen has the opportunity to have their voice heard.  That wasn't always the case.  You can learn more about the history of voting and the efforts to…

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The Dangers of Yes

Finding the right work/life balance is difficult.  For the third year in a row, September kicked off soccer season in my house.  In the fall, I am affectionately known as “Coach Daddy” in my house.  This year, I assumed the role of head coach for a 2nd grade team and a Pre-K team.  My coaching strategy is consistency.  I deliver the same message to each practice and every game: “Kick the ball that way” while pointing to what I believe is the correct goal.  I don’t know what constitutes offsides.  I don’t know soccer positions except for goalie.  (As an aside, this knowledge is useless because we don’t use a goalie in my kids’ league.  I’m told that’s what they do in European youth soccer.)  I played soccer exactly one season growing up and my only memories from that season are, in no particular order (1) a bee sting to…

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