TYLA Tuesday: BSAFE

One big question that comes up when work-life balance is discussed, is "How do you work, have a family, and give time to your community?" There are many answers to this question, but one great way to do it is to share existing Texas Young Lawyers Association projects. Anyone can do it (you don't have to be a "young" lawyer), materials can be obtained through our website or by contacting the TYLA office.  We even have guides to give you an idea of how to share (or "roll-out") these projects with members of your community. The TYLA Tuesday posts will feature TYLA projects, old and new.  If you would like more details, please visit the TYLA website! This week, our featured project is BSAFE: Battle Substance Abuse for Everyone.  BSAFE is a multimedia project that addresses substance abuse issues on multiple levels - one geared to children/teens, one to parents/ educators, and…

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The Myth of the 80-Hour Work Week

We've all had those weeks - where trial prep, closings, discovery responses, and appellate deadlines collide and we find ourselves billing well beyond a normal 40-hr work week.   For many people though, that is not the norm. This New York Times article about how many people "fake" an 80 hour work week is fascinating. Why Some Men Fake an 80-Hour Work Week, and Why it Matters What are your thoughts? Do you (or people you work with) fake the 80 hour week?  

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The “Why” Behind Your Work

I am a wife. I am a law student. I am a mentor. I have chartered local organizations, I lead in state organizations, and I am a national director for the largest student-run organization in the United States. Many people have asked what inspires me to be so involved. The reason is not for resume-fillers or job offers. I am committed to being involved because there’s always a “why” to my work. As women, one of the hardest things for us to say in a working environment is, "No." We don't want others to think that we’re incapable of handling a bigger workload. We never want to gamble with the possibility of not being promoted. We want to make our family and friends proud of the great women we are. However, we can overwork ourselves to the point of tears. We lose track of how many memorable gatherings we’ve missed.…

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Your Rights Under FMLA

There are very few laws that most of our clients can cite, but FMLA is one of them. Even if most people don’t know the details, they are typically well-aware that FMLA generally provides for medical leave from a job. Unfortunately, FMLA does not provide the sweeping coverage and benefits that the general public expects. With regard to FMLA, the “devil is in the details”, which is why most people, in my experience, are disappointed and even resentful when they discover that an employer is not subject to FMLA regulations or that their employer is not required to provide paid medical leave.

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Blurred Lines: The Importance of Client Boundaries

I am a family lawyer. Within the first twenty minutes of an initial conversation with a client, he has usually discussed more intimate details with the complete stranger across the table from him than he has discussed with his own spouse during their entire marriage. This new client believes his attorney is supposed to give guidance on how to “handle” this tumultuous and uncertain time in his life. His attorney is supposed to help him answer all of the questions, including how to respond to the late night text message that he is certain was sent to create a new problem in his already troubled communication with his wife. But if I do a poor job of establishing effective boundaries at the outset of the lawyer-client relationship then I quickly become the one getting late night texts from a troubled client asking questions about how this latest voicemail will affect him in Court.

If I do a poor job of establishing effective boundaries at the outset of the lawyer-client relationship then I quickly become the one getting late night texts from a troubled client asking questions about how this latest voicemail will affect him in Court.

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From the Guy’s Side: What is “Success”?

At my firm job, the path to “success” was well-defined. Bust your hump, bill a ton of hours, do good work, and after 8 or 9 or 10 years, you reach the brass ring that is partnership. After a couple of years on this track, though, my wife and I had our first child. I struggled with how best to reconcile my personal goal of spending as much quality time as possible with my growing family, with my professional goal of “succeeding” in a big firm. I did some soul searching, and I came out of it with a new, personal definition of “success.”

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