ABA Journal


26 ABA Journal Advocacy articles.

What elite athletes like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles can teach lawyers about performance anxiety

Our society promotes conflicting messages about anxiety and fear. On the one hand, we are constantly told fear is no big deal. “Just face your fears!” “Do something every day that scares you!” “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough! Get bigger, scarier dreams!” Or we are advised that fear is good for us; it’s motivating; it means we care. I’ve heard members of our profession admonish: “If you stop being scared, it’s time to leave the law.” Or some quip: “Anxiety is part of the job. It comes with the territory. Deal with it, or perhaps you should consider doing something else.”

The eudaimonic turn: How we can help lawyers flourish

Can we lawyers step into the eudaimonic turn? What if, instead of thoroughly exhausting ourselves unearthing or stirring up problems around every corner, we also invested (and replenished) energy in fostering good?

Can replacing hierarchies with a hive mentality transform our profession?

A hive switch is a phenomenon that occurs when individuals realize they have become part of and fused within a collective; they transcend self-interest and invest in something larger than themselves.

How can lawyers find flow?

4 lessons we can learn as a profession from the pandemic

What are some lessons of this COVID-19 experience for the legal profession? What are some truths that are coming to light? Four initial lessons come to mind for lawyer and author Heidi K. Brown.

We can be smart, ambitious and accomplished members of the legal profession without being jerks

We lament a decline in civility. We reaccentuate standards of professionalism. But when do we teach junior attorneys how to mentally and physically recalibrate in a bullying moment, and if, when and how to substantively respond to the offender?

Fear and Lawyering: Create a work culture of ‘psychological safety’ that encourages taking intellectual and creative risks

Psychological safety in the legal profession means cultivating and being an ambassador for a work environment in which asking questions, testing novel ideas and theories, taking intellectual risks and openly discussing prevention and handling of mistake-making is encouraged and welcomed.

‘Laughter is a blood sport at the court’ when used by SCOTUS justices, new study says

U.S. Supreme Court justices use courtroom humor as a tool of advocacy and as a signal of their power and status, according to a new study of oral arguments…

Are you a lawyer with public speaking anxiety? You are not alone

Ignoring our negative mental soundtrack and automatic physical responses to stress doesn’t help us learn how to manage those tangible foes in a constructive way. I trudged forward pretending I knew what I was doing. I didn’t.

Civility reboot: Can lawyers learn to be nicer to one another?

When did it become so cool to be so unkind? Can our profession (and society in general) detoxify and reboot its soul? How should citizens or members of healthy and nontoxic households converse with one another?

Talented but overlooked: introverted lawyers

Introverts bring clients their skills in active listening, deep methodical thinking, creative problem-solving and empathy. How can employers assess job candidates for these quiet strengths?

Rethinking woodshedding: Trust clients and let them speak freely, but carefully, when testifying

There are four simple rules you can give to any witness about how best to answer questions from opposing counsel.

Inclusive legal writing: We can honor good grammar and societal change at the same time

To effect change, we can set an example through precision in our own word choices. When in doubt about the proper pronoun or title, choose the correct and inclusive one or respectfully ask.

Turning the fear of lawyering into the power of advocacy

As legal educators and practice leaders, we need to do a better job of talking about the reality of fear in lawyering and how to transform it into powerful advocacy.

Advocacy: Beating a Dead Horse

Do you have some purpose in mind in your persistent questioning? Are your questions a tactical gambit with a strategic goal you can articulate, at least to yourself, and hopefully it becomes apparent to others? Or are you just belaboring the obvious?

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