ABA Journal

Your Voice

Retirement: The final frontier

I recently retired after practicing family law for 25 years. I enjoyed the practice of law, but as you can imagine, my job had its share of stress and anxiety.


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Games Lawyers Play: Word counts and spacing rules in briefs appear open to interpretation

As teenagers, some of us played a game with our writing assignments. The goal was to make an essay or report appear longer than it actually was. Why? Because our teachers specified a minimum number of words or pages, and we struggled to reach that number.


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Narcissistic Lawyers and Artificial Intelligence: A band of dysfunctional brothers?

“Your honor, no artificial intelligence was used to generate content in this document. However, we would also like to disclose that there is someone in the courtroom who exhibits highly narcissistic traits and, therefore, is likely to lie, project, confabulate and inflate the truth.” With the rise of narcissism and societal celebration and reward of narcissistic traits, is this where we are headed? Should we consider such disclosure requirements?


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What's the key to community lawyering? Less lawyering and more community

On a two-week visit to Thailand with our program director to visit several True Costs Initiative grantee partners, including the Community Resource Centre Foundation, I learned that real community lawyering looks nothing like “traditional” lawyering, and it is precisely that characteristic that makes it such a potent tool for protecting environmental and human rights.


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A BigLaw suicide survivor's prescription for the legal profession's mental health crisis

I was young, single, healthy, confident and “bulletproof” when I entered law school immediately after college in 1978. I did not have any personal experience with anyone suffering mental health challenges. Mental health education and services were the furthest things from my mind.


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A letter to young women lawyers about 'SADNESS' in the law

My dear sister (in law), welcome to our profession of stress, anxiety, depression, negativity, endangerment, sickness and suicide (also known as "SADNESS"). In addition to the SADNESS, many of us carry secrets, scars and an insatiable longing for change. They all dishearten, discourage and divide us in devastating ways. Yet you can prepare for and overcome them.


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5 ways motherhood has leveled up your lawyer skills

As a lawyer mom of four, I am all too familiar with the angst derived by a question as small as, “What are we going to eat tonight?” You have spent your entire day lawyering and solving other people’s problems, but somehow this is the one that topples the tower—not because it’s burdensome but because the question is a glaring reminder that at least one aspect of your life is a mess. My work is done, but I haven’t fed my kids. Or I made it to every game of the baseball tournament, but I missed the important fundraising gala.


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Tikkun Olam: When public service is a sacred obligation

"Tikkun olam"—the “repair of the world.” This is not just an aspiration. For Jews, it is a sacred obligation. At least it was in my family. My parents, one of whom was a refugee from Nazi Germany, took this obligation very seriously. They were what might today be called “activists.”


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A return to civil, pragmatic conflict resolution

Conflict is unavoidable. If you’re not dealing with some conflict today, it’s coming. But conflict should not be feared; in fact, sometimes it results in innovation or strengthens relationships.


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Writing advice for lawyers from nonlawyers

From pretty much the moment that we start law school, we get advice on how to be better writers. Most of it is from lawyers (or ex-lawyers). That’s fine to start. Legal writing is a genre and has unique considerations that you have to master, if only because courts demand it, like The Bluebook.


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