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Posts from the ‘Practice Management’ Category

A lawyer meditating at his desk.

The Well-Being Pledge: A National Effort to Help Attorneys

Earlier this year the American Bar Association, in collaboration with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, conducted the first ever national study on lawyer impairment. This landmark study discovered that more than 20% of attorneys have consistent problematic drinking, nearly one-third report some level of depression, and 11% of attorneys have contemplated suicide at some point in their legal careers. These are terrifying but all too real statistics. Could a cultural shift help reduce the prevalence of substance abuse and mental health issues in the legal community? The American Bar Association’s Working Group to Advance Well Being in the Legal Profession hopes so.

This year, the ABA organized a compelling initiative to promote the mental health of attorneys working at law firms and establish best practices for a healthy law firm culture that prioritizes attorney mental health. Twenty-one national firms have already signed on, including Seattle-based Perkins Coie, and a Washington State effort to communicate these ideas to local firms is already underway. (See the list of firms who have pledged.)

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The Intake Process: What Lawyers Can Learn From a Mexico City Ceviche Delivery

Delivery scooterWe were holed up in our apartment in Ciudad de Mexico as rain turned the streets into navigable waterways. Although the city is nestled in a vast mountain valley, “CDMX” has a great seafood scene and our hearts were set on ceviche. That we were apartment-bound turned out to be no problem. I scrolled through Uber Eats and found the top-rated spot miles away on the far side of Chapultepec park. Click, click, click. Twenty minutes later, a poncho-enshrouded biker showed up with citrusy prawns and piping hot soup.

Wow. Read more »


The Little Biases in All of Us

Joy Williams
The bad news is that everyone has implicit biases and most don’t know it. Then what’s the good news?

Joy WilliamsThe bad news is that everyone has implicit biases — beliefs that are so ingrained that we don’t even know they’re there. And those implicit biases often find a way out of our mouths or through our behaviors as microaggressions, which are usually meant as compliments, “but contain hidden insults,” according to the WSBA Diversity Dictionary.

Out in the real world, this might take the form of someone telling Joy Williams that her hair is beautiful and then asking to touch it. For the person asking, specifically a white person, this might feel like a compliment; for Williams, a black woman, it translates to “you are not like me — you are other.” Read more »


Why Business, and Other Lawyers Should Pay Attention to Blockchain

An abstract digital interface showing the concept of blockchain technology with binary hash data inside each block.
It is important that business lawyers know what blockchain is.

An abstract digital interface showing the concept of blockchain technology with binary hash data inside each block. It has become almost impossible to avoid conversations about blockchain. Most of us are familiar with at least one form of blockchain: digital cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. But this technology has a much wider reach than bitcoin alone. Blockchain is not only a new technology that may revolutionize the internet, but one that will also have a profound effect on the practice of law.

It is important that business lawyers know what blockchain is — at a minimum to be able to answer a question from a client — but also over time to embrace this technology to the benefit of your career and firm. Read more »


Oh, Those Dreaded Words: ‘Can I Get Your Advice on Something?’

A family enjoying dinner and conversation.
Just as I lifted the fork to my open mouth, I heard the words that every attorney dreads most: “Can I get your advice on something?”

A family enjoying dinner and conversation.When it comes to Thanksgiving mac and cheese, my mother is basically Marie Curie. Four cheeses, added at four different times, melted at four different temperatures until the crispy top snaps like a potato chip. I wait all year for this.

So naturally I’d been watching what I was eating all day in preparation. I scooped a cheesy pile onto my plate along with other delectable fare, made a bee-line for the couch, and settled in to stuff my face. Read more »