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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Pregnancy and the Workplace

Whether you have had a baby,  are thinking about having a baby, or simply work with someone who has had a baby, pregnancy in the workplace can be a hot topic.  Just like employees, employers often do not know what they should or can do regarding an employee's pregnancy. This year, TYLA addressed these issues in two written guides: Pregnancy and the Workplace: Know Your Rights(for employees) and Pregnancy and the Workplace: Know Your Duties (for employers).  Both can be found on TYLA's Website. Additionally, TYLA Directors Raymond Baeza, Courtney Barksdale Perez, Baili Rhodes and Shannon White participated in two panel discussions for the 10 Minute Mentor Series.  The panel shared their experiences, and discussed applicable employment law. I encourage each of you to check out this series, and share with your employer clients (and your colleagues). #jointheconversation

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Finding Friends when Life is Busy

The story behind the name of this blog is that the people you lunch with tend to be the sounding board, the ladies (or gents) you approach with important questions about work, life, and how you balance it all.  But in this busy world we live in (and away from classrooms and extracurricular activities that linked us with those who are similar), it can be hard to make friends.  That being said, healthy friendships are an important part of staying balanced (and let's face it, keeping us sane!) This article in The Cut contains an interesting discussion by 17 different women on how they have made friends in their thirties. How have you found friends as an adult?  Discuss!

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