Saturday, January 23, 2016

SUNY Buffalo School of Law to host lecture series addressing "Legal education for a changing legal profession”

The lectures are part of the school's annual Mitchell Lecture Series which this year will consist of a two-part program. The first lecture will take place on February 12 and the second on April 8. According to the school’s website, the topic was previously addressed in 1987 in conjunction with the school’s 100th anniversary celebration. This spring, the school will revisit the topic over the course of two lectures addressing the disruptive changes occurring in the legal profession including global competition from legal service outsourcers, increasing domestic competition from non-lawyer professionals, paraprofessionals, and corporations such as LegalZoom as well as advances in information technology which are all transforming the way legal services are delivered.

Below is the lecture schedule, list of speakers and specific topics to be covered.

February 12 - Part 1
Where is the legal profession today and where is it likely to go in the future?
Featuring Professor Gillian Hadfield (USC), Professor Bryant Garth (Irvine), and Professor David Wilkins (Harvard)

Time: 2:00-4:00 p.m.; Reception to follow.
Location: Room 106, SUNY Buffalo Law School, UB (North Campus). More information is available here.

April 8 - Part 2
What are the implications of changes in the legal profession for law schools and legal education?
Featuring Professor Susan Carle (American University), Dean Kevin R. Johnson (UC Davis), and Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz (University of Arkansas)

Time: 1:00-3:00 p.m.; Reception to follow.
Location: Room 106, SUNY Buffalo Law School, UB (North Campus). More information for Part 2 is available here.


January 23, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 22, 2016

How to Format e-Briefs

With so many courts wanting lawyers to submit electronic briefs, our students need some advice on how to make the documents extremely readable for judges. Profess Jim Dimitri has published an excellent article offering formatting advice. WordWise: Writing for Screen Readers in the Wake of Indiana's E-Filing Initiative, Res Gestae: The Journal of the Indiana State Bar Association, Vol. 59, No. 5, December 2015 (here)(also here).

What struggles do judges face when they read briefs on electronic devices?

  • They may struggle to see how the document is organized and, thus, may easily lose their place in the document.
  • They may be easily distracted while reading the document.
  • They may skim the document rather than read it linearly,looking for cues that lead to the most important information in the document.

To deal with these problems, Professor Demetri argues that the documents must be extremely readable. Here is his advice:

4.1 Make headings a central feature of the document.

4.1.1 Use scientific enumeration to label headings.

4.1.2 Use left-aligned, substantive point headings in briefs.

4.3 Use hyperlinks, but don’t overuse them.

4.4 Use bookmarks.

4.5 Be concise.

4.6 Use consistent terminology in the document to facilitate searching within the document.

4.7 Use clear, informative introductions and topic sentences.

4.8 Use lists.

4.9 Use reader-friendly pagination.

 The article gives full explanations on each of these points. Of course, almost all these pointers would help improve hard copy documents.


January 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Adaptive Strategies for the Future of Legal Education by Steven Friedland

Adaptive Strategies for the Future of Legal Education by Steven Friedland.


"In the parable about a scorpion and a frog, a scorpion wishes to cross a large river and asks the frog to carry it across. The frog refuses, observing that the scorpion would sting the frog and kill it. In response, the scorpion says that if the scorpion kills the frog, they would both drown, and that would be a self-defeating strategy. The frog thinks it over and consents. Halfway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog. As they both are sinking into the fast-moving water, the frog croaks out incredulously, "Why would you sting me and kill us both?" The scorpion responds, "Because I am a scorpion; that is what scorpions do."

Legal education orthodoxy is analogous to the scorpion. It is known for being very good at what it does-teaching students to "think like lawyers." Its "sting"-teaching critical thinking-has left its mark on law, politics, business, and numerous other fields. The goal of teaching critical thinking was and is the gravamen of the law school process and the focus of the signature pedagogy of legal training, the Socratic method. While many peripheral and minor changes have been implemented along the way, the singular focus on the analytic method has worked very well over the years, producing many successful and highly-regarded graduates.

This Article suggests, though, that legal education orthodoxy today is at risk of drowning itself if it continues to ride its singular emphasis on critical thinking. This is particularly true when viewed from the perspective of job availability in a shifting professional environment. While teaching critical thinking remains important, if not essential, it alone does not appear to provide a successful adaptive strategy for the future.

The source of much of the educational domain's recent instability has been external to legal education. The structural changes of the legal profession have been exacerbated by the economic recession of 2008,adding a new and powerful consideration to the calculus for legal education success-the legal services marketplace. The assumption of just a decade ago, that all qualified law school candidates would be able to find good jobs upon graduation, has dissipated. In light of changes in the job market, there has emerged the recurring question of whether law school is a rational and economical choice for those who are qualified to enter. The recession has led students to examine the value of a law degree with the proverbial microscope. Tools for evaluating legal education have broadened as well, with Internet blogs and other media providing global perspectives-and pressures.

A byproduct of reframing legal education as a commodity has been a new emphasis on valuation. With legal jobs disappearing as a result of economic contraction, globalization providing additional external pressures, and the proliferation of legal information on the Internet offering anyone access to their own version of a law library, the commoditization of legal education has become a more recognizable phenomena-a product to be weighed and measured in comparison to its alternatives. With high costs and an uncertain and volatile job market, the educational process has come under repeated and sometimes hostile scrutiny, especially in blogs and the media.

A closer examination of a primary objective of legal education-preparing students to become practicing lawyers also provides an independent need for change. Thinking like a lawyer is only a part of preparing students for the performance and work of a lawyer or related occupations. In the modern world, the ability to communicate with and influence others is important. Law students must be able to communicate with clients, work on teams, and manage projects to succeed. Lawyers also must deal with clients, serve the aims of their firms or organizations, act with integrity in and out of court, and much more. Students will need to perform competently and exhibit professionalism in their everyday work lives, even as nascent graduates. New lawyers must be culturally competent, which means they must measure up within different professional domains, where requirements can vary from firm to firm, in state, federal, or local government work, and from advocacy to advice work. As one commentator noted, there are different stages of cultural competence, and these can be navigated by law students and lawyers alike. To meet these needs, it is increasingly apparent that the preparation of lawyers must adapt better to the external changes in the legal services market place. This must be done within the curriculum and beyond it, in educational culture and the interstices between student and attorney. Today, while the training function is still shared, law students who have no experience working on teams, dealing with clients, or managing projects generally will be less attractive to the profession than those who learned about the practice of law and began forming a professional identity while in school.

This Article uses the current environment of uncertainty and complexity as an opportunity to promote strategic thinking about legal education. The Article suggests changes that might help law schools adapt to the volatile and global climate likely ahead. The proposed changes, to be clear, do not deviate from the high expectations and standards law schools have for their students to turn out well-adjusted practitioners with the competencies and skill sets needed to achieve excellence in their chosen fields. While one legal cultural mantra appears to lament "failing law schools," this Article takes a more upbeat approach, focusing on and offering adaptive structures to better position law schools for success in the future."
Quotes on experiential learning:

"The learning science literature shows that students learn better if they are active rather than passive. They enjoy the experience more as well. Active learning includes the traditional
Socratic method."

"“[E]xperiential education refers to using experience in a directed and specific fashion to achieve certain outcomes from learning theory to transferring knowledge to new situations.”

Important point--"David Kolb viewed active learning as completely compatible with the acquisition of knowledge when he described learning as "the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience." This notion is consonant with a legal education that is mindful of improving students' legal analytical abilities in order to solve active problems of clients and others."

"The use of experiential learning is especially helpful with the formation of professional identity. Talking about professional identity formation often will be less useful to students than practicing and engaging in identity formation through experience. This is because professional identity is carved from a blending of experience, cognitive reflection, and a directed understanding about that experience."

(Scott Fruehwald)

January 22, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The new volume of Touro's Journal of Experiential Learning is out now!

Carol Dweck Revisits the Growth Mindset

Carol Dweck has popularized the “growth mindset.”

Students who believed their intelligence could be developed (a growth mindset) outperformed those who believed their intelligence was fixed (a fixed mindset). And when students learned through a structured program that they could “grow their brains” and increase their intellectual abilities, they did better. Finally, we found that having children focus on the process that leads to learning (like hard work or trying new strategies) could foster a growth mindset and its benefits.

Now, she fears that some may have misunderstood her work. She emphasizes that the key to growth is not just working harder. It’s finding new ways to think and solve problems.

Here is her helpful article from Education Week.


January 21, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Villanova Law Receives $25 Million

From the Dean’s announcement:

As Father Peter announced, the Law School has received a transformative $25 million leadership gift from Charles Widger, Esq., ’73 VLS, founder and executive chairman of Brinker Capital, as part of our Villanova Law Campaign to Ignite Change. In honor of this historic commitment—the largest gift ever to the Law School and the second largest gift in the University’s history—the School will be named the “Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.” A new Law School seal, showcased above, proudly and prominently incorporates this new name and will be used moving forward.

It is fitting that our Law School now carries the name of an individual as dedicated and entrepreneurial as Chuck Widger. His extraordinary career—first as a lawyer, then as the founder and CEO of a leading investment firm—stands as a testament to the success our alumni achieve, both in legal practice and in business. Those who joined us for the Law School’s campaign celebration on October 23 know that Chuck’s enthusiasm for Villanova Law is not only steadfast, but also incredibly infectious. Chuck shares our vision for a law school that is at once forward-thinking, while remaining true to its heritage. As he so fittingly noted, “While change is our polestar, we will remain focused on graduating students in the Villanova Law tradition.”

A great day for the Law School.


January 20, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harvard Takes More Transfer Students

Is the law school crisis affecting even Harvard?

From Bloomberg Business:

Harvard Law School accepted 55 students who transferred from other schools in 2015, according to data recently released by the American Bar Association. In the four prior years, the school never took in more than 35 transfer students. . . .

“This summer’s applicant pool had exceptional academic and professional strength,” said Jessica Soban, chief admissions officer. Harvard could be taking in new students at a higher rate than before simply because it can. . . .

 Still, there could be a different explanation for Harvard’s new appetite for transfers: Other schools’ current students are a safer bet than new applicants. If Harvard was not confident that it could draw enough good students from the incoming crop of law applicants to maintain enrollment numbers and test scores, it might look to students who were already at the top of classes at other schools.

You can read more here.


January 20, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Summer conference on training law students for "real-world readiness"

The conference is organized by the Law Teaching Institute and will be held at Washburn Law School in Topeka, Kansas during mid-June. Here are the details:


Institute for Law Teaching and Learning—Summer 2016 Conference

“Real-World Readiness”

June 10-11, 2016

Washburn University School of Law—Topeka, Kansas 

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning invites proposals for conference workshops addressing the many ways that law schools are preparing students to enter the real world of law practice.  With the rising demands for “practice-ready” lawyers, this topic has taken on increased urgency in recent years.  How are law schools and law professors taking on the challenge of graduating students who are ready to join the real world of practicing attorneys?  Can we be doing more?

The Institute takes a broad view of educational practices that promote real-world readiness.  Accordingly, we welcome proposals for workshops on incorporating such teaching techniques in doctrinal, clinical, externship, writing, seminar, hybrid, and interdisciplinary courses.  Workshops can address real-world readiness in first-year courses, upper-level courses, required courses, electives, or academic support teaching.  Workshops can present innovative teaching materials, course designs, curricular or program designs, etc.  Each workshop should include materials that participants can use during the workshop and also when they return to their campuses.  Presenters should model best practices in teaching methods by actively engaging the workshop participants. 

The Institute invites proposals for 60-minute workshops consistent with a broad interpretation of the conference theme.  To be considered for the conference, proposals should be one single-spaced page (maximum) and should include the following information:

  • the title of the workshop;
  • the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the presenter(s);
  • a summary of the contents of the workshop, including its goals and methods; and
  • an explanation of the interactive teaching methods the presenter(s) will use to engage the audience.

The Institute must receive proposals by February 1, 2016.  Submit proposals via email to Emily Grant, Co-Director, Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, at [email protected].

Conference Details


Schedule of Events:

Washburn University School of Law will host a welcome reception on the evening of Thursday, June 9, and the conference workshops will take place at the law school all day on Friday, June 10, and until the early afternoon on Saturday, June 11. 

Travel and Lodging:

Topeka is about 75 minutes away from the Kansas City airport (MCI).  You may wish to rent a car at MCI for the drive to Topeka.  There are a few shuttle services available, if you’d like to explore those options (  and 

A block of hotel rooms will be reserved for a discounted rate at the Ramada Topeka Downtown Hotel and Convention Center.


The conference fee for participants is $450, which includes materials, meals during the conference (two breakfasts and two lunches), and a welcome reception on Thursday evening, June 9, 2016.  The conference fee for presenters is $350. 

For more information, please visit our website ( or contact any one of the ILTL Co-Directors:

Professor Emily Grant

[email protected]


Associate Dean Sandra Simpson

[email protected]


Professor Kelly Terry

[email protected]



January 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Best Schools for Public Service Careers

Thee National Jurist preLaw offers its rankings. It lists schools in three categories—public interest, government, and prosecutors/public defenders. As for the criteria, it looks at curricular offerings, employment placement, debt, starting salary, and LRAP programs. However, it offers no detail on the criteria measurements or the weights given to each.

In choosing a school, I still think prospective students should weigh only two considerations. They should  go to the academically best school that will accept them. They also should consider geography, make a tentative decision on where they want to practice, and give weight to the schools in that area.

For what it’s worth, here are the rankings.


January 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Whither Clinical Courses and Bar Passage – by Prof. Robert Kuehn

Whither Clinical Courses and Bar Passage – by Prof. Robert Kuehn

Are clinics and experiential courses responsible for lower bar passage rates?  Professor Robert Kuehn says they aren't.  "In response to the declines, some blame an easy scapegoat — too many electives (especially experiential courses) and too few bar-tested courses. While limiting experiential or clinical courses or credits or mandating more bar courses presents an easy way of appearing  to do something,  there is no available evidence that students who take more experiential or clinical courses do worse on  the bar exam, and only a limited, weak positive correlation between bar courses and bar exam success."

"Regarding a relationship between enrollment in bar courses and bar passage, published studies show no, or a small, positive relationship, but only for a narrow range of students."  However, "Statistical analysis of bar performance at a number of schools has found that specially designed academic support and bar passage programs can improve passage rates, especially for students who have not performed well in law school. As one statistician told me, “'accurately identifying [at]-risk [students] and then ensuring access to targeted, effective programs does make a difference.'”

"Yet, irresponsibly scapegoating experiential courses for bar failure or forcing students to take more upper-class bar courses as a purported solution is, as the authors of the most respected study warned, 'overly simplistic' and 'will not solve the bar examination failure problem.'”

As is usual with Professor Kuehn's articles, his conclusions are well-footnoted.

(Scott Fruehwald)

January 19, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Stop telling law students to minimize the use of quotations in briefs and memos

That's the point Professor Maureen Johnson (Loyola) makes in this recently published article entitled  To Quote or Not to Quote: Making the Case for Teaching Law Students the Art of Effective Quotation in Legal Memoranda, 56 S. Tex. L. Rev. 283 (2014). It's also available on SSRN here. From the abstract:

Legal writing courses serve one very practical purpose. These courses prepare students for practice by teaching students how to write. Yet current legal writing programs fail to teach students one very fundamental skill. Students are taught that they should only “sparingly” quote from judicial opinions, if at all, which is directly at odds with how practitioners draft briefs in real life. This disconnect must end. Legal writing professors must come clean about the importance of effective use of quotation and teach this skill to first-year law students.


This article begins with a historical view of the evolution of legal writing. A century ago, briefs were banged out on classic Remington typewriters. If a brief was edited, it had to be re-typed. Understandably, both briefs and court opinions were short. Technological advances such as computers and the Internet drastically changed all of that. The average length of judicial opinions jumped substantially in the mid-1970s. And even a cursory review of appellate and trial court briefs demonstrate that our top legal scribes now rely heavily on quotation. Accordingly, while it may once have been sage advice to teach students not to use quotation, that advice fails miserably in terms of preparing current students to write effective legal briefs.

The remainder of this article addresses both the causes and the solution for the failure of legal writing programs to teach students the art of effective quotation. One major reason is that current legal writing texts uniformly repeat the mantra that quotes should be used “sparingly,” if at all. The rationale is that poor use of quotation can disrupt the flow of a brief and may even suggest that the writer is lazy. Of course, these concerns are exactly why law schools should teach students how to do it right. There are several concrete exercises and techniques set forth in this article that are designed to do just that. The focus is on deconstructing recent well-written briefs from both trial and appellate courts.

This article concludes with a discussion of how teaching effective quotation can be included in first-year legal writing curriculums. There are two basic manners. First, the suggested exercises can be introduced in “baby steps,” while still utilizing existing texts and following the traditional model of having law students begin their first semester by drafting a predictive legal memorandum for a hypothetical law firm. A second approach would be to instead have students draft a predictive legal memorandum for a hypothetical judge. Rather than being presented with a client file, students are presented with a round of well-written briefs. This enables students to immediately see how top lawyers effectively use quotation. Regardless of which approach is chosen, instructing students how to effectively use quotation can and should begin immediately.



January 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oral Argument: Using Cognitive Behavioral Psychology to Reduce Nervousness

Professor Larry Cunningham has published a helpful article on the subject: Using Principles from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Nervousness in Oral Argument or Moot Court (here) He offers eleven suggestions. With each suggestion, he offers a full explanation.

  1. Acknowledge and talk about the issue.
  2. Correct unrealistic thoughts about oral argument. 3. Educate students about deep breathing exercises.
  3. Prepare.
  4. Provide opportunities for low-risk exposure to stimuli. Before the graded oral argument, I invite students to join me in our school’s moot courtroom— either alone or in small groups—sometimes just to take a tour of the empty courtroom, to practice standing at the podium, and to sit on the bench and see the courtroom from the judges’ perspective.
  5. Lower the stakes.
  6. Invite individual discussion and inform students about resources available to help them cope with anxiety.
  7. Orient judges. If a professor has “judges” on the bench with him or her, they should be oriented accordingly
  8. Set clear and realistic expectations.
  9. Reinforce their qualifications. Law school is a competitive environment, and sometimes students feel insecure about their own abilities.
  10. Encourage students to acknowledge nervousness but not dwell on it.

Let me add another suggestion. Don’t focus on eliminating the “ums” and other verbal fillers. We all use them. Recently, I watched President Obama’s “State of the Nation” speech and did not hear one “um.” Yet, in interviews and less formal settings, he uses a great number of verbal fillers. If we focus on such quirks, we make the students self-conscious and divert them from thinking about the content of what they are communicating. For more on this topic, see Barbara Gotthelf, The Lawyer’s Guide to Um, 11 Legal Communication and Rhetoric (Fall 2014) (here).


January 18, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Article: Developing Law Students' Professional Identities

The University of La Verne Law Review has just published my article Developing Law Students' Professional Identities (37 U. La Verne L. Rev. 1 (2015).  This article provides the theoretical background for my book Developing Your Professional Identity: Finding Your Inner Lawyer (2015)).


A key responsibility of law schools should be to help their students develop professional identities – “what it means to be a lawyer in today’s world.” As a law dean has declared, “A focus on ethical formation requires us to consider not just what lawyers should know and what they should do, but also who they should be in order to live out the best ideals of the profession. It requires us to envision our graduates as the lawyers they will be.” Similarly, a law professor has asserted, “law-learning is fundamentally a process of human development that must embrace the relationships and tensions between self, client, legal system, and society.” Likewise, two law professors have averred, “students must graduate with a sense of their own professional identity that will guide them to conduct themselves in a manner that conforms to the customs, values, and mores of the legal profession.”

However, while all law schools teach a course in legal ethics, only a few law schools go further and help their students cultivate their “selves” within the legal profession, despite the great need for such training. This article is an attempt to help law professors understand the fundamentals of legal professional identity and to show them how to help students create their own identities.

Part II of this article will examine the general literature on developing professional identity. Subtopics will include metacognition and professional identity, self-authoring as an element of professional identity, and self-efficacy and professional identity. Part III will show how to develop professional identity in law students through coaching, explicit teaching, reflection, and authentic learning. Finally, Part IV will discuss the elements of a professional identity class, such as competencies and skills that should be taught and possible substantive topics.


(Scott Fruehwald)


January 17, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Legal Employment Market Prediction for 2016

From BCG Attorney Search :

The legal market in 2015 was strong and did very well. I do see, though, that there could be a slowdown in 2016. As interest rates increase, the economy may slow down. In addition, there has been talk of a bubble and many markets do appear to be slowing down.   There are some ominous signs from my perspective that seem to indicate that trouble could be on the horizon:  

  • Lots of talk of a bubble in Silicon Valley.
  • Stronger demand for trademark and IP tech transactional attorneys, which have traditionally preceded busts.
  • Rising interest rates, lower hiring numbers in the overall economy, the threat of terrorism and a slowing stock market.
  • A sudden demand in the market that sets the tone of the economy (New York) for lots of bankruptcy attorneys.
  • Huge demand for corporate attorneys and the willingness of law firms to bend the rules and lower hiring standards—which may also indicate a bubble.
  • The fact that 2016 is the next eight-year cycle in which things are likely to slow down and become recessionary, as they did in late 2000 and late 2008.Sounds like 2016 will not be the big revival year for law.
  • (ljs)
  •   The signs of a slowdown and the need for sense of urgency will generally start in New York or the Bay Area. The good news is that going into 2016 we are not seeing a massive slowdown in interviews or offers in either of these markets—yet.

Sounds like 2016 will not be the big revival year for law.  You can read much more here.



January 17, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Books That Hemingway Says Every Writer Should Read

From Brain Pickings:

  1. The Blue Hotel (public library) by Stephen Crane
  2. The Open Boat (public library) by Stephen Crane
  3. Madame Bovary (free ebook | public library) by Gustave Flaubert
  4. Dubliners (public library) by James Joyce
  5. The Red and the Black (public library) by Stendhal
  6. Of Human Bondage (free ebook | public library) by Somerset Maugham
  7. Anna Karenina (free ebook | public library) by Leo Tolstoy
  8. War and Peace (free ebook | public library) by Leo Tolstoy
  9. Buddenbrooks (public library) by Thomas Mann
  10. Hail and Farewell (public library) by George Moore
  11. The Brothers Karamazov (public library) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  12. The Oxford Book of English Verse (public library)
  13. The Enormous Room (public library) by E. Cummings
  14. Wuthering Heights (free ebook | public library) by Emily Brontë
  15. Far Away and Long Ago (free ebook | public library) by H. Hudson
  16. The American (free ebook | public library) by Henry James

Not on the handwritten list but offered in the conversation surrounding the exchange is what Hemingway considered “the best book an American ever wrote,” the one that “marks the beginning of American literature” — Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (public library).


January 16, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Harvard's Dean Martha Minnow says threat posed by AI to law practice is overhyped

Dean Minnow's comments came during the recently concluded AALS annual meeting in NYC in a panel discussion entitled “Challenges Facing the Legal Profession and Strategies to Address Them.” Bloomberg's Big Law blog has the story:

This is What the Dean of Harvard Law School Thinks About AI


Will technology eventually put lawyers out of work?


The debate is growing in the legal profession as many have sounded off on how technology-assisted review (TAR) and artificial intelligence may continue to commoditize the law practice and eat into humans’ work.


The dean of Harvard Law School weighed in on the topic at a law conference last week at the Hilton in midtown Manhattan, landing squarely on the side of the argument that the problem is over-hyped.


Martha Minow said that human lawyers will always play a role in the legal process, but needed to figure out how to complement evolving technological tools.


Pointing to companies like eBay that have settled millions of disputes without human involvement, Minow said that she has “great hope” that with AI and machine learning, “we may well close the justice gap.”


On the other hand, Minow said she didn’t see computers having a role in matters that require subjective legal judgment.

. . . . 


Continue reading here.


January 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Get More Effective With 6 Seconds of Mindfulness

What do you do during those 6 seconds? Take a deep breath. From the Harvard Business Review, here is an article explaining the value of taking a deep breath before you engage in a meeting or presentation or a project. Here is an excerpt:

There are two reasons why taking just one mindful breath is so effective at calming the body and the mind. The physiological reason is that breaths taken mindfully tend to be slow and deep, which stimulates the vagus nerve, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. It lowers stress, reduces heart rate and blood pressure, and calms you down. The psychological reason is that when you put your attention intensely on the breath, you are fully in the present for the duration of the breath. To feel regretful, you need to be in the past; to worry, you need to be in the future. Hence, when you are fully in the present, you are temporarily free from regret and worry. That’s like releasing a heavy burden for the duration of one breath, allowing the body and mind a precious opportunity for rest and recovery.


This ability is one in a collection of mental and emotional skills that form the foundation of highly effective leadership. Another such skill is the ability to assess yourself accurately, beginning with your moment-to-moment experience of emotions, and culminating in you clearly knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and purpose in life. Studies show that accurate self-assessment is a necessary condition for outstanding leadership because it enables people to build effective teams around them that add to their strengths, complement their weaknesses, and contribute to a clear, common purpose.


January 15, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Friday Fun: The f&%king grammar coffee mug

Don't view this post if you're offended by the "F-word."  Looking for a coffee mug that pokes fun at common grammatical mistakes?  Then this item sold through Amazon is the one for you. But the really funny part is the review, below, by "KMiller" who received her "grammar nazi" mug covered with grammatical and spelling errors.  Scroll down and see. 



Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful

1.0 out of 5 stars Irony Wins and I Lose (Or, according to this mug, I "CEASE TO F*CKING ACTION")

By KMiller on January 9, 2016

Verified Purchase

What I ordered: the mug pictured.

What I received: a misprinted mug full of grammatical and spelling errors:

The red bleeds over on the "YOUR" line, which is a minor misprint, but it's still annoying.
LOSE = CEASE TO F*CKING ACTION......ummm, what? (It should be "CEASE TO F*CKING KEEP)
AFFECT is mis-spelled as "AFEECT," which isn't even a word.

This wasn't a cheap mug, so I'm sorry, but I don't appreciate the irony. The last line on the mug pretty much sums up how I feel about whoever printed it.

Yes, I know I sound like a total snob. I'm an unapologetic, sarcastic grammar nazi. That's why I wanted to buy this mug, because I think it's hilarious. The errors are kind of funny, too, but I expect to receive the correct product for my money. Call me crazy. Especially on an order that is fulfilled by Amazon. Here's a thought, Amazon--if a product's value depends on precise use of the English language, don't outsource its f*cking production to China. (Warning--don't order it from Sweet-Home).



Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report abuse

Go here to up-vote KMiller's review.


January 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

After the Elevator Speech, What Do You Say?

Answer: You chat. You take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about your potential client and develop a relationship. For example, you are at a conference or a networking event. You give a potential client your 30 second elevator speech. Then, according to Attorney at Work, you might proceed with these conversation starters:

  • Which workshops did you attend? Tell me about that one.
  • Which afternoon sessions did you sign up for?
  • What did you think of the keynote speech?
  • How many years have you been coming to this conference?
  • What are your biggest challenges these days?
  • How did you get into this field?
  • What do you do in your spare time when you’re not attending law firm seminars?Good advice to pass on to your students. You can read more here.
  • (ljs)

January 14, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Justice Jackson & the Holidays

Professor Robert Barrett runs the Jackson List, a blog where he offers stories from the life of Justice Robert Jackson. Here is a collection of holiday stories:

  • “Heartfelt Words, Good Will & Wishes True (1913) (click here)
  • “Christmas Cards from Nuremberg (November 1945)” (click here)
  • “Lighting the First Candle:  Holocaust Film and Chanukah at Nuremberg, 1945” (click here)
  • “Holiday Note, Chief to Staff (December 1945)” (click here)
  • “Jackson in the Holiday Season” (click here)
  • “Christmas Celebration, Nuremberg, 1945” (click here)
  • “Jackson on Holiday in Athens, December 22, 1945” (click here)
  • “Supreme Court at Christmastime (1951)” (click here)

You can read more here.


January 13, 2016 | Permalink | Comments (0)