Looking up seemed so promising. Looking back, I see my past brighter than I experienced it. I remember sitting around in high school thinking I cannot wait to grow up! Yet, now, all I want is to go back to … Continue reading
Law firms can be toxic places to work, and the reason often is the tone set by angry and entitled clients, according to a business psychiatrist and consultant.
Writing at the HBR Blog Network earlier this year, psychiatrist Mark Goulston says he sees an increasing amount of toxicity in law firms. The problem can often be traced to clients who set the tone, he says. Partners who are unable to push back or fire a profitable client, he says, “will often take it out by ‘kicking the dog’ in the form of yelling at their associates or staff. I’ve even seen some turn to drugs, alcohol and a variety of unhealthy habits to redirect their frustration.” The Careerist notes Goulston’s observations and his advice.
Goulston says lawyers hit with a client’s “knock-out punch insult” should remain calm, pause, and then choose one of these replies:
• Say that again?
• Do you really believe what you just said?
• What was that all about?
• Excuse me, I apologize, but my mind wandered over the past few minutes, can you please repeat what you just said?
Another approach, he says, is to prepare difficult clients for future bad news by asking in advance the best way to deliver the information. The lawyer might say that some clients prefer conversations to email, some don’t want to hear bad news on a Friday, or some want to focus on solutions and options. When the client answers, the lawyer should repeat the response. Then the lawyer should remind the client of the conversation when there is bad news.
The Careerist blog takes issue with some of the comebacks. Remaining calm is a good idea, but the comeback remarks could “inflame the guy further,” the Careerist says. Maybe it’s better to say nothing, the blog says.
Another approach might be for the lawyer to tell the client his remarks were unfair and unwarranted, the blog says. “Isn’t being straightforward without sounding sarcastic and patronizing a wiser approach?” the Careerist asks.
Missing school in college is bad but missing a lecture in law school is practically the end of the world! Most people (in my opinion) do not like to skip classes and only do so when they are absolutely on their death bed. However, the problem with this is that they spread their germs to the rest of us.
If you’ve been following this blog for a while, then you know my immune system sucks! In 2007, I was diagnosed with endometriosis after experiencing two years of severe abdominal pain.
endometriosis: is a gynecological medical condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrium) appear and flourish outside the uterine cavity, most commonly on the membrane which lines the abdominal cavity. (Wikipedia)
If that wasn’t enough, I was told in 2009 that I had early on-set multiple sclerosis pre-lesions, my first thought was WHAAAAA?! Like any 21 year old, I decided to go to the most reliable source I know — Wikipedia!
Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as “disseminated sclerosis” or “encephalomyelitis disseminata”, is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms.
After reading the symptoms, combined with the constant pain I still dealt with daily from the endometriosis, I was pretty freaked out!
Anyways, all of this makes me susceptible to just about anything and everything that goes around. If you are in law school right now, then you know that it is a breeding ground for illnesses. None of us want to miss a lecture so we drag our butts to class, praying the professor doesn’t call on us, and try our best to pay attention. Gotta save up those absences until the end of the semester, right?
Enter Super Flu 2013
This flu season has been crazy active at Stetson Law… maybe this is what the Mayans meant by the world ending in December, because that’s about when it started and no one wants to live through this beast of a flu.
I started off the semester strong, attending all my lectures and taking extremely thorough notes since I decided to try the “no computer” method. Then, my number was called.
It started with feeling blah. Nothing serious, I thought, probably rundown from doing too much. Yet, it persisted and slowly evolved into the super flu. Somehow I managed to only miss one lecture, at first. I thought I could strengthen my immune system by switching to a healthier lifestyle and kick this bug faster. In February I switched to a Paleo diet and started doing Crossfit, and at first I felt a lot bet! Nonetheless, I could not kick the blah feeling. The nausea was unbearable and I couldn’t sleep through the night.
Fast forward to today and my absence count has reached the maximum and my ability to take the final is in jeopardy if I miss one more lecture. This would not be a big deal if I were normally healthy, but with a new strain of “super flu” circulating around my campus, I am really worried. How did I allow myself into this position? Why didn’t I take more precautions knowing how susceptible I am to catching any flu/cold/bug/etc.
The ABA requires that all students attend 80% of lecture hours per course in order to sit for the final. The rule is a relatively recent change (from what I’m told) and every professor I have seems to express disdain for it; however, it’s the ABA so we have to follow it!
How is this fair, though, for students with health issues? My school has an “extraordinary circumstances” claim, which may be able to help me but do I want to document every illness I have that may cause me to miss school more frequently? Maybe I can increase my vitamin C intake for the next four weeks and pray I stay healthy without having to do any further paperwork? It will at least be good to have my doctor excuse on file.
Advice for Future Law Students
If you have any health issues or concerns now, get them checked out prior to starting law school. Your body will be under an extreme amount of stress and trying to regulate medications, discover new illnesses, etc will not mesh well with your busy schedule — especially first year.
You should definitely have health insurance (most schools provide an optional coverage plan for students) and work on developing a reliable health regime before starting law school.
Talk to Others
This does not mean to sit around and complain about law school, but it does mean to find an unbiased (and trustworthy) source to vent to every so often. Do not allow the pressure of school and the course load to buildup because breaking down will not be a made of if but when. It will happen. So, take precautions a head of time and try to relax occasionally. Relaxing may seem impossible but if you do not make it a priority then you will wish you did later.
To learn about making SMART goals, see: How Smart are your Goals?
Eleven down, nineteen more to go!
My stomach looks flatter and I feel my body toning up but still no big change on the scale. I am not weighing or measuring myself until Friday because doing it every day was starting to depress me.
The last foundations session was today and I was quite proud of myself! I am going to track my progress daily (recommended by my CF trainers) and not compare myself with others when deciding whether to increase weight. Tomorrow will be the first real WOD I can do, and I’m told it’s going to be tough but I know I can scale every WOD back until I work my way up.
I’ve only been doing crossfit for, what, seven sessions or two weeks and already can see definition in my quads and tighter glutes! Okay, some of this may be in my head but my quads have definitely toned up a lot in the last two weeks.
I am starting to get the hang of this caveman lifestyle! My big issue is getting enough calories in my body each day since I don’t feel hungry as much, and when I do the food isn’t always calorie dense. The cost of eating paleo-friendly is also starting to worry me since I am on such a tight budget, but I plan on adding up this month’s bills and sharing that tomorrow. Maybe there’s a way to reduce my costs a little more… there is a local, tiny produce seller by McDonald’s that I keep meaning to check out.
Goals for the rest of this week:
Go to CF 3x week
Eat more meat
Try 2 new recipes
Clean out my cupboard (again)
Create a budget for the next four months
My energy is picking up but my stomach has been acting funny and I’ve had a headache every two days. A possible explanation would be my secret trip to Starbucks yesterday and Sunday… but that couldn’t be it. (interesting, though, isn’t it?)
HOPEFULLY, these spells of crappiness will stay fresh in my mind the next time I feel the urge to drive to Starbucks or eat that Reese’s cup hidden in the back of my freezer.
Do you have a secret treat you allow yourself? How do you feel after having it?
The last few weeks I’ve started several posts, yet none have made it past the first few sentences. Nothing I want to say seems important enough to post…senseless droning is all it ever seems. My life has changed a lot (what’s new?).
I am three days into my second semester of my 2L year, and I am no closer to knowing what I want to do with my life. My courses are a reflection: Climate Change, Criminal Adjudication, International Law, and Cyberlaw Seminar. I enjoy running my own business. I enjoy writing. I enjoy “trying” cases. Nonetheless, I cannot seem to find a way to connect all of my interests into anything constructive. Maybe I lack passion? Maybe it’s drive? Or, maybe it’s self doubt?
When I was a freshman in college, everyone told me it was okay that I didn’t know which direction I was headed. First year of law school, the professors told us we would change our minds continuously each day. Yet, sitting here knowing that in one year I’ll be months away from taking the bar exam… with no direction, no job, no prospects… isn’t it time to know what direction I am heading? At what moment did I lose my drive and let everything slip away?
My goal for 2013 is to find direction in my life. The direction I’m headed is completely uncertain. The only certainty is that in one year I will finish law school with almost $200,000 in debt. I will have a then 2 year old puppy, 10 year old car, and a one-year old pet care business (hopefully!). And that is all I know.
Four years ago, if you asked me where I would be when I graduated law school… my answer was more definite. I planned to be married, with one child on the way, a promising career (or job offer), my husband would be amazing… probably a lawyer, as well. I wanted to be happy and my picture of happiness included the “American Dream“. Never did I imagine that my life would be starting all over again at (almost) twenty-five. I am single. I am depressed. I am rethinking my life.
Law school is all about finding yourself. It’s not what the tell you… but it’s inevitable.
Let’s just hope I make it out alive.