ABA Journal

The Practice

189 ABA Journal The Practice articles.

Navigating ‘introvert hell’: You don’t have to be hard-charging to be an impactful legal networker

Instead of forcing extroversion in high-pressure networking scenarios that naturally drain our energy and cause unnecessary internal conflict, introverts can be powerful connectors by recognizing and capitalizing on our inherent strengths.

Redacting confidential client information: The devil is in the details

Blackouts in the Mueller report are a high-profile example of what lawyers do on a regular basis to protect client information in public documents: redact.

How to mindfully navigate a career transition

Navigating a career transition is often a messy and complicated journey. Lawyers tend to strongly identify who they are with what they do. Here are some mindful practices that may help to guide you and make a more easeful transition.

Is jargon a ‘perversion of language’? Jeremy Bentham on legislation and legal style

Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) is known as a philosopher, economist and legal theorist whose work greatly influenced 19th-century legislation. He embarked on reforming many things, including legal language. A utilitarian, Bentham detested legal jargon, which he called the “perversion of language to the purpose of securing ignorance and misconception of the law on the part of the people.” It “converts the whole field of legislation into a thicket, impenetrable to the legislator’s eye: when he does work, he works blindfold; he works at random, at the hazard of creating more mischief than he cures.”

Removing the judicial mask: Judges tell the stories behind their most trying decisions

Being a good judge can be lonely and emotionally excruciating. In the remarkable book Tough Cases, 13 trial judges candidly recount their most difficult cases.

Lawyers have a duty to disclose adverse legal authority even if it hurts their case

Attorneys are supposed to be zealous advocates for their clients and win their cases. Should they mention an adverse ruling and distinguish it, or just ignore the case and cite other authorities?

6 steps to starting meditation: Don’t overprepare—just dive in

Meditation is a tool we can use to train the mind to be in the present moment. Over time, you may naturally notice that the mind spends less time ruminating, regretting the past or worrying about the future.Here’s a simple practice to get you started.

Language to Live By: 19th-century author’s posthumous advice on use of words and meaning

Our series of interviews with long-gone authors continues with Richard Grant White (1822–1885), a lifelong New Yorker primarily known as a critic of music and theater. He achieved renown as an erudite editor of the complete works of William Shakespeare. In mid-April, I sat down to “interview” two of his books: Words and Their Uses, Past and Present (1870) and Every-day English (1880). Except for slight edits, such as changing men to people, his answers come verbatim from those books.

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.

If your judge is your Facebook friend, should that be disqualifying?

A judge’s Facebook friendship with an attorney is not a legally sufficient basis to disqualify the judge from that attorney’s case, a sharply divided (4-3) Florida Supreme Court has ruled in a decision that produced three different opinions from the seven jurists.

Rethinking Reactions to Stress: You can’t control the sources of your anxiety—only your response

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing clear-minded attention to what is happening in the present moment. This seemingly simple practice has been shown to have a wide range of benefits, including decreasing stress and anxiety. Meditation is the primary tool for practicing mindfulness on a regular basis.

You Have a Point There: Test your punctuation skills with a little quiz

Professional copy editors tend to edit by rules that can be studied and learned. For each passage, choose the best answer that says something true about the quiz sentence.

Take a note from how Bob Dylan cleverly retrofits traditional melodies to craft a story

For me, the most important law songs, the ones that are closest to my heart, are often not about lawyers at all but instead about themes of justice and injustice. The most remarkable of these songs are by our two greatest folk poets: Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.

Judges who wed couples can’t refuse same-sex unions, ABA ethics opinion says

Judges not only must follow the law but also must act impartially and free from bias or prejudice, according to the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

Day-to-day reality of depression may not look like you think

Depression can look as you might imagine: the inability to function or fulfill one’s daily responsibilities and to be in a constant state of gloom. But this isn’t true for everyone. As you’ll see from the stories below, there are many faces to depression and many paths for getting better.

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