How Coronavirus Uncertainty Is Good Practice For Working In Law

How Coronavirus Uncertainty Is Good Practice For Working In LawThis week we welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about lessons learned during COVID-19 and how these are useful to practicing law!

The last few months have certainly presented numerous challenges for law students and legal professionals alike. With many firms closed, others still considered essential, and still more in a gray area trying to figure out where they stand, the legal profession has been significantly impacted (like other industries) by the Coronavirus pandemic.

I’ll admit, when the pandemic hit, and my state (New York) closed all court houses, I was nervous to say the least. My law practice in New York was only a few weeks old, and suddenly I couldn’t go to court for any of my clients or pursue the court appointed work I expected I could complete to make ends meet.

However, as the weeks went by, I learned how to adapt my law practice in ways I never anticipated. The result was a much stronger practice, a much more confident attorney, and a happier lifestyle all around. Here are a few lessons I learned about practicing law in a pandemic.

[Read more…]

Young Lawyer Perspective – How To Keep Yourself Organized

Young Lawyer Perspective - How To Keep Yourself OrganizedThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about staying organized as a newly admitted lawyer.

Are you a newly admitted or “young” lawyer? Are you overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do? Are you not even sure where to start or how to get yourself organized? You’re in luck! I am a young associate who has a passion for organization. I am an attorney at a small-medium law firm that specializes in personal injury. I started at the firm in my first year of law school as a law clerk/paralegal (the only one for quite some time too) and became an attorney after I graduated and passed the bar. Because of this, I was able to learn how to manage assignments and cases and figured out very quickly I had to keep myself VERY organized. When you first get into practice, you are kind of just thrown into things. No one sits you down and tells you, “hey this is how you should keep yourself organized” or “here is a comprehensive guide on how to manage your caseload.” While I may not know everything there is to know about practicing law (yet), I still want to use my experience to help you keep yourself organized. Here are some tips and tricks that have helped me in my practice. [Read more…]

Two Ways to Begin Prioritizing Your Mental Health Over Productivity During a Pandemic

Two Ways to Begin Prioritizing Your Mental Health Over Productivity During a PandemicThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to talk about why keeping your mental health as a priority is important in this time of COVID-19.

When you’re stressed about something, how do you react? Do you: a) face the stressor head on, determine the cause of this stress and try to relieve it through mindful or various other therapeutic measures; or do you, b) avoid the stressor completely, simply pretend as though it does not exist and instead justify your ignorance by filling your calendar with an overload of tasks that give you the false sense that, “you’re doing just fine sweetie?” I for one fall right into the latter category. I do try my best to make it to category A at some point, but my default is undoubtedly category B. In fact, I’m doing it right now. This morning I learned some news that wasn’t so great, so I filled my day with the most random tasks to avoid facing the stressor head on. I went and bought a new rug for my bedroom because the rug I had for the past two years for some reason just didn’t work anymore and then I got to work cleaning my front porch. A porch that I never use because of my fear of bugs, but it just had to be cleaned today. However, here I am hesitantly venturing into category A and writing this post. Slowing down to face our stressors head on is never fun. But it’s necessary. Where do you land on this spectrum? [Read more…]

Use Your Law School Skills During COVID-19

Use Your Law School Skills During COVID-19This week we welcome guest writer and tutor Elizabeth Knox to talk about how to give back as a law student during the pandemic.

If you ask the members of a 1L section why they chose to enter law school, you will get a solid mix of answers. Among those answers will certainly be desires to impact their communities and the world. It may feel like COVID-19 has robbed you of the ability to keep that momentum going this summer because of job and internship cancellations, but with a little bit of creativity, you can still make significant contributions. [Read more…]

How To Overcome A Difficult Economy As A Solo Practitioner

How To Overcome A Difficult Economy As A Solo Practitioner

We’re welcome back guest writer Hillary Vaillancourt to talk about starting your own law practice during an uncertain economy.

I have been thinking about starting my own law practice for well over a year now. It’s kind of a joke among my friends, because all throughout law school and even when I worked for other attorneys, I couldn’t understand why someone would want to hang their own shingle. 

But, as a new mom, I really wanted a job that offered as much flexibility as possible. And, I wanted to work in a career where I could help people and do it my way. [Read more…]

Motherhood as a Law Student

Motherhood as a Law StudentThis week we welcome guest writer Rigien Bagekany-Jackson, a recent law school graduate, to talk about how she has balanced motherhood and law school the last three years.

Do you ever reflect on how you got to where you are now? I do.

Sometimes you can pinpoint that moment or decision that brought you to where you are. For me, that moment was in June 2016. I was 35 weeks pregnant with my first child working at a bank when an armed man walked in and held me up at gunpoint. This was the point when I decided to start law school. I had initially thought to postpone my offer of acceptance, but at that moment, I knew that there had to be a way to make law school work with having a newborn child. [Read more…]

How To Deal With COVID-19 Disrupting Your Plans, Career and Everything In Between

How To Deal With COVID-19 Disrupting Your Plans, Career and Everything In BetweenThis week we’re hearing from guest writer Shirlene Armstrong about how to handle the changes and upheaval due to COVID-19.

If you are like me, you are a planner. You think ahead to the future and have a plan of what you want to do and how. I am a very “Type A” kind of person, and I constantly have a well thought out plan. I have numerous short-term and long-term goals, which I have taken methodical steps to reach. However, COVID-19 has completely altered my plans for 2020. Instead of killing it in the office and courtroom, I am working from home and worried about the safety of my loved ones. I am obviously not the only one affected by this pandemic. People’s lives have been turned upside down because of COVID-19. Your life has also been affected by this pandemic. While I don’t have all of the answers, I am hoping to help guide you in how to deal with the pandemic disrupting your life by sharing how it has affected a big portion of mine and what I have done to get myself through it. [Read more…]

Young Lawyer Perspective – A Day in My Life, Working From Home

Young Lawyer Perspective - A Day in My Life, Working From HomeThis week we welcome back guest writer Shirlene Armstrong to talk about starting out as a new lawyer and working from home in the age of COVID-19.

If someone told me that I would spend my first year in practice working from home for numerous weeks (potentially months), I would think they were trying to pull my leg. However, this is the reality that we are living in. I have been working from home for several weeks now due to the current health crisis. Personally, I am fortunate that I am able to work from home and continue to advocate for my clients. However, this is a new world for me (and I am sure it is for you as well). In an interesting turn of events, my bar prep period kind of prepared me for this. During that time, I had to find a balance between studying and my personal life in order to maintain my sanity. However, how do you find a work-play balance when you are stuck in your home for both? Here is a look into my life working from home as a first year associate. [Read more…]

Three Women Who Are a Reminder That You Can Persevere

Three Women Who Are a Reminder That You Can PersevereThis week we welcome back guest writer Christen Morgan to discuss some well-known female role models and what lessons we can learn from them.

Woman; the epitome of strength, resilience, courage and empathy in human form. The personification of power and perseverance and if we’re keeping it all the way real, the backbone behind movements that have truly shaped this world. I mean I could sing our praises all day. Either through the words of Beyonce, who reminds us that we’re “Flawless” and that we “run the world,” or through the words of Kelly Clarkson, who reminds us that, “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” We have so many positive characteristics that lay embedded at our core, however, this repository of powerful characteristics, is sometimes embedded far too deep, allowing life’s fears to outshine our power and causing us to quickly forget who we truly are. [Read more…]

Easy Steps You Can Take to Get Your Finances in Order During COVID-19

Easy Steps You Can Take to Get Your Finances in Order During Covid-19This week we welcome back guest writer and tutor Ariel Salzer to talk about staying on top of your finances during the coronavirus pandemic.

I was talking with a friend from college the other day and I asked her how she is coping with the Coronavirus lockdown. “Not so bad, actually! Now is a great time to get your finances in order.”

Wait, what? Honestly, this was the last thing on my mind. She went on to explain that she had been teaching herself more about how the stock market works and where to make investments and basically just getting her financial house in order. And, she’s a pretty savvy VP of debt and structured finance at a big commercial real estate and investment firm, so I figured she probably knew what she was talking about. [Read more…]