ABA Journal

Your Voice

In family law, don’t focus; use a wide-angle lens

There’s truth to the adage by renowned education administrator Nicholas Murray Butler, “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.” Some lawyers are becoming increasingly specialized to carve out their niche in the legal field. Opportunities for specialization continue to crop up, with growing need in areas like cannabis law, for example.


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Lawyer with autism explores Netflix series 'Extraordinary Attorney Woo'

I am almost always hesitant to watch stories about autism on TV. I find them extremely stressful because neurotypical creators and actors have a way of consistently “getting it wrong”: focusing on young boys; emphasizing traits in a way that feels like someone is checking them off from a list rather than fleshing out a whole human character; and almost consciously hitting upon every single stereotype.


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Paying the 'diversity tax' to practice law

Two years ago, to preserve my mental health, I walked away from my dream of working as a legal aid attorney. I'm no longer practicing law but now work as a diversity and equity inclusion officer at the same organization at which I practiced, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.


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How to address the imbalance of women and men in appellate law

I am a partner in the litigation department of an Am Law 200 firm, vice chair of the firm’s appellate practice group, deputy general counsel for the firm, and I serve on a variety of firm committees. In addition, I have longtime faculty appointments at both Chicago-Kent College of Law and the University of Chicago Law School. I should also add that I am a white male.


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4 techniques for lawyers to find instant relief from stress

It’s well known that many in the legal profession experience stress and anxiety. For some people, the inevitable uncertainty and unpredictability that come with legal work can make life more exciting and invigorating. For others, it causes depression and burnout.


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Unbroken: A call for psychiatric disability initiatives in the legal profession

So many of us struggle in silence while striving for excellence, when only a helping hand and understanding—not only from family and friends but also from colleagues and those with leading positions in law firms—could guide our way to attain success as humans and as professionals.


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8 types of clients you must manage in your legal practice

Very early in my legal career while practicing law in Jamaica, a client kept me on my toes with a criminal law matter. In one instance, it was clear I had not been given any written instructions about a matter and that client was getting increasingly agitated. A very senior lawyer sitting beside me passed me a note that simply said, “Get that in writing. You must always protect yourself.”


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ProBAR lawyer recalls immigration tent hearings in Texas

“Today, I have to make an impact in front of the judge,” the Venezuelan asylum-seeker told me at the tent court in Brownsville, Texas. This was just a few minutes before his hearing in front of the immigration judge who would be appearing remotely on a monitor inside the tent court.


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10 tips for lawyers to establish self-confidence and client compassion

I talk to a lot of attorneys who are suffering from stress and anxiety. They feel victimized, lost or unappreciated. Most of their lives are spent trying to impress their superiors or their clients with their talent and knowledge. They are depressed because they have often been told that the secrets to success don’t work.


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How to take a self-deposition to 'right' your future

How do you take your own deposition? When I was struggling with my retirement strategy, I took a self-deposition to prioritize my goals and find out what I wanted to do next. Through this process of self-interrogation, I discovered the answer was to retire in stages.


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