Your Voice

6 strategies to get a perfectionistic lawyer off the ledge

In one of life’s ironies, the very things that make a great lawyer may also make a lawyer miserable. Growing up, we were overachievers seeking extra credit, going the extra mile and doing whatever was needed to get the highest grades. Achievement equaled value; if we did not get more than 100 on a test, we failed. This is the lawyer’s curse of perfectionism: The quest for excellence metastasized into an obsession with results.


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How law firms can increase diversity among equity partners

I often tell the legal students I mentor that I know how lucky I am to be where I am today.


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'Talk less, smile more': The Hamilton-Burr conundrum law students face today

In the popular Lin-Manuel Miranda musical Hamilton, the title character makes his way through the narrative while facing the injustices of British tyrannical rule, the complexities of forming a government and the benefits and consequences that come from running his mouth at less-than-appropriate times.


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Law prof talks quarantine, war powers and second grade constitutional law

Teach what you know. That piece of wisdom came to mind when schools closed due to the coronavirus global pandemic in mid-March, and I suddenly had a new job: second grade home-schooler.


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Top tips to successfully finish the first year of law school in a pandemic

As guinea pigs of Zoom law school classes, we learned—the hard way—what it’s like to be first-year law students in a world battling COVID-19. As 1L section mates, we supported each other through an unprecedented finale to our first spring semester at the Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in Chicago.


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10 steps to identify irrational resistance to self-care

Do you include acts of self-care on your calendar reminders or to-do lists? Probably not.


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Lawyers' thoughts and actions should promote peaceful resolution

I can remember my first lecture in law school by the famous Robert E. Lee who wrote the book on real property law in North Carolina. He asked for a show of hands of people who wrote poetry.


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Every lawyer should sit on a jury at least once

This article was written before COVID-19, when jury trials were something of the norm. They are not the norm at the moment but hopefully will be again, whatever their shortcomings and surprises may be.

The one thing all attorneys should do, if they can, is serve on a jury. Not…



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Why Generation Z isn't the feared 'zombie' generation

When I first started teaching undergraduate students after working as an attorney and mediator, I used to joke that the next generation, Generation Z, would be the “zombie” generation. I laughed and said they would be the “indoor kids” who could not communicate unless they had a screen in front of their faces. Looking back, I grossly underestimated this group of individuals.


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Top tips for organizations to make progress toward inclusivity

Two recent events—around the same time in different parts of the country—starkly exposed the pernicious nature of systemic racism: One resulted in murder; the other could have. Both offer somber lessons for the legal profession and clients’ organizations about the need to identify and root out bias in their policies, practices and culture.


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