Confronting Judicial Harassment

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary is holding a hearing now: "Confronting Sexual Harassment and Other Workplace Misconduct in the Federal Judiciary." The live feed is here Senator Richard Blumenthal is talking now about why federal judges who commit sexual harassment can retire, avoid formal censure, and continue to collect full pay. He also stated that … Continue reading Confronting Judicial Harassment

The Wisdom of Judge Smith

Try to listen twice as much as you speak, because when you are new you don’t have a clue. Listen to what people say and notice what they don’t say. Often their body language will verify or betray their words. Ask questions to clarify, distinguish, expose and summarize. Judge J. Layne Smith of Leon County, … Continue reading The Wisdom of Judge Smith

Unicorn lawyers

What is a “unicorn skill”? It’s a skill that reasonably performing professionals in the field do not have, which is why they are just…reasonable. They can still do their job but are not “A” players. A unicorn skill is thus rarely found, and those who have it stand out as…unicorns. I learned about the term … Continue reading Unicorn lawyers

Resources for summer associates

Many summer associates are starting jobs this week. This post may be my shortest ever, but here are some resources for effective communication, especially listening, in the summer-associate setting: https://listenlikealawyer.com/category/summer-associates/ Here is a post by Georgia State Professor Kendall Kerew on listening for law-school externs, with many lessons for summer associates as well: https://listenlikealawyer.com/2014/01/08/listen-to-learn-four-ways-listening-can-help-you-get-the-most-out-of-your-externship/ And … Continue reading Resources for summer associates

Listening to Combat Loneliness    

According to this study in the Harvard Business Review, lawyers are #1 when it comes to being lonely at work: In a breakdown of loneliness and social support rates by profession, legal practice was the loneliest kind of work, followed by engineering and science. (Hat tip to Keith Lee of Associate's Mind and online lawyer community Lawyer Smack. He … Continue reading Listening to Combat Loneliness    

Beyond formal rules of evidence

Last year the Wall Street Journal wrote about problems with sleeping jurors. Brooklyn law professor I. Bennett Capers’ new article Evidence Without Rules, forthcoming in the Notre Dame Law Review, points out a much more pervasive issue: all the information jurors take in when they are awake. The rules of evidence strictly limit what jurors … Continue reading Beyond formal rules of evidence

Silence for lawyers

Silence. That was the heart of Emma González’s speech at March for Our Lives on March 24. After a introductory remarks, she named the 17 dead and the small experiences in life they would never partake of again. Then she stood, silent, for the remainder of six minutes and 20 seconds—the time it took for … Continue reading Silence for lawyers

A digression: re-learning to swim

While attempting—as an adult—to learn how to swim properly, the experience gave me a whole new appreciation for what 1L legal writing students go through. The idea of adults trying new things in middle age is a whole genre, found in a variety of essays and books, e.g. What I learned as the worst student … Continue reading A digression: re-learning to swim

“May it please the Court…”

It’s that time of year when 1Ls start preparing for their first oral argument. In a class on how to prepare, I’ll be sure to share this tweet from experienced SCOTUS advocate Bob Loeb of Orrick: The card given to you by the Supreme Court Clerk before argument has last minute advice. pic.twitter.com/j6l63f9ZLa — Bob … Continue reading “May it please the Court…”

“I hear you”

https://twitter.com/CNNPolitics/status/966470869475381248 “I hear you.” Those words can be powerful. They can also be scripted. At his listening session with survivors of mass shootings at schools and families of victims, President Trump was photographed holding a notecard with five points. They included questions such as “What would you most want me to know about your experience?” … Continue reading “I hear you”