Header graphic for print

Category Archives: Musings

Subscribe to Musings RSS Feed

What’s in a name?

Posted in Client development, Musings

During my third year of law school, I was a member of the Lamar Inn of Court at Emory Law School.  For those unfamiliar with the American Inns of Court, it’s an organization based on the English Inns of Court and designed to bring together law students (known in the Inn as pupils), junior practitioners… Continue Reading

Is it what you thought it would be?

Posted in Coaching for lawyers, Musings

My home office in Atlanta is on a two-lane primary road just a few blocks from Emory University’s law school.  Today is graduation, and since about 6:30 AM, I’ve been watching cars full of well-dressed people, taxis, chartered buses, and even limos drive by.  It’s quite the parade!  And in fact, today marks the 15th… Continue Reading

Strategy or opportunity?

Posted in Coaching for lawyers, Musings

 I recently read a sentence (in a non-public email, so I won’t cite the source) suggesting that most lawyers and law firms are opportunists, not strategists.  That brought me to a dead stop.  Lawyers are trained (and generally self-selected as well) to think logically and analytically, and most lawyers put a high stock on strategic… Continue Reading

Back to the real world: how do you return from vacation?

Posted in Musings, Time management/productivity, Work/life balance

By the time this posts, I will likely have landed back at the Atlanta airport, home from vacation and from the ABA annual meeting.  First, I’d like to thank Peter Vajda publicly for his posts.  Relationship is always an interesting topic, and I believe that in many ways our relationships shape and promote or inhibit… Continue Reading

Two Heavy-Duty Partners in Relationship

Posted in Dual-career couples, Guest blogger, Musings

So, Bill Clinton will be fast and furious on the campaign trail supporting Hillary’s bid for the Presidency. Good news or bad news? In 2004, Howard Dean’s spouse, Judith Steinberg Dean, stayed more “stage right” and was seen infrequently. Good news or bad news? The question that surfaces is this: Can two full-time, fully-engaged-in-a-professional-life partners… Continue Reading

Warning: first impressions linger!

Posted in Musings, The practice

I’ve been making a lot of calls this week, not only to lawyers and law firms but also to doctors’ offices and a variety of businesses, and I’ve discovered something disturbing.  On a distressingly high number of these contacts (including some in-person contacts as well as phone calls), the people who greeted me and who… Continue Reading

Independence Day: what does it mean for lawyers?

Posted in Musings

To those of you in or from the U.S., Happy Independence Day! Today’s a day that many celebrate with cookouts, fireworks, parades, and the like.  I’ve had an interesting lead-in to the holiday through conversation with my husband’s parents.  They live in England, though they spend a great deal of time now in the U.S. … Continue Reading

More post-crash: Request for reader help

Posted in Musings

So I spent the last two days restoring my files from my online back-up.  I’ll identify the service I’ve been using now, because it’s been a life saver: Data Deposit Box.  It’s cheap and easy.  But even though it’s an automated back-up system, some human thought is required to make sure that it’s backing up… Continue Reading

Women in law firms

Posted in Musings, The practice, Work/life balance

The WSJ Law Blog has an interesting post asking whether women lawyers are reaching a crisis point.  The MIT Workplace Center has issued a report titled “Women Lawyers and Obstacles to Leadership,” which states that of the 1000 Massachusetts lawyers surveyed, 31% of female associates and 18% of male associates had left private practice, as… Continue Reading

Living fearlessly

Posted in Coaching for lawyers, Musings

Graduation is approaching, and I thought I’d share this excerpt from Michael Ignatieff‘s 2004 commencement speech to Whitman College graduates.  The theme will perhaps strike a chord with some of you. My theme is living fearlessly in a fearful world. Living fearlessly is not the same thing as never being afraid. It’s good to be… Continue Reading

Tag, I’m it: Gotta Get Goals

Posted in Just for Fun, Musings

Stephanie West Allen has tagged me to participate in the Gotta Get Goals meme.  The idea is to share 5-10 over-the-top, fabulous goals that I will need to achieve to say I’ve reached my wildest dreams in life.  Now, that’s fun! I’ve always kept goal lists in one form or another, simply because I think it’s… Continue Reading

Another take on associate retention rates

Posted in Musings

Most of the news about associate retention is cast in negatives — quoting, for example, that 60-62% of entry-level associates will have left their firms by the end of their fourth year in practice.  What if changing jobs more frequently is simply a fact of modern life? Or the result of dual career couples, the consequence… Continue Reading

Predictions following the salary bump

Posted in Musings, News

Has anyone missed the news about the recent salary bump?  Somehow, I doubt it.  Plenty of questions remain, such as to what extent salaries increases will spread to other parts of the country and what increased expectations, if any, will be imposed on the anointed associates.  I’d like to make several predictions about what’s likely… Continue Reading


Posted in Musings, Work/life balance

I burn my candle at both ends It will not last the night. But ah my foes and oh my friends It gives a lovely light.        Edna St. Vincent Millay What do you think when you read this?  If you’re like many lawyers, you felt a flutter of recognition — perhaps just before you… Continue Reading

The Secret Society of Happy Lawyers

Posted in Just for Fun, Musings, The practice, The Secret Society of Happy Lawyers

In the discussions that led up to the Lawyers Appreciate…  countdown, Stephanie West Allen mentioned the Secret Society of Happy People to me.  The name captured me – raptured me! — and it kept floating back to the surface as we were choosing the name for the countdown. Stephanie recently requested authorization from Pamela Gail Johnson, the creator… Continue Reading

Challenges for female litigators

Posted in Musings, The practice

Yesterday’s WSJ Law Blog pointed to an American Lawyer article entitled Obstacle Course, outlining the challenges female litigators have in “break[ing] through old stereotypes to build top-tier practices” in the “male-dominated world of litigation.”  Referencing one female partner’s internal struggle not to deal with food arrangements for trial prep meetings and another who was asked (15 years ago)… Continue Reading

Get happy!

Posted in Musings

Are you thinking this is a strange topic for a legally inclined blog?  Perhaps it isn’t… Yesterday’s New York Times Magazine featured an article titled Happiness 101,  addressing the field of positive psychology.  As described on U Penn’s website Authentic Happiness, positive psychology is the field founded by Dr. Martin Seligman that: focuses on the empirical… Continue Reading