Tuesday Shorts: 1/22/08 (leadership, work/life, writing competitions, Blawg Review)

After a semi-brief hiatus, Tuesday shorts are back.  This is a roundup of interesting things that have caught my eye but didn’t result in a full post.

Duke Law Leadership Experience:  Last Friday, I was privileged to be a part of the Second Annual Duke Law Leadership Experience .

I served on a panel with Cait Clarke, Director of Public Interest Law Opportunities for Equal Justice Works, and Jay Moyer, Special Counsel to the NFL, in which we addressed “Leadership in Practice.”  Moderator Kevin Smith, Scholarly Communications Officer for Duke and copyright expert, kicked off the conversation by asking, “Can you discuss what leadership means within your own work?  What are your goals as a leader?  How can those goals translate to other legal occupations?  What is generic about leadership and what is particular?”  The conversation touched on principles of leadership and the “road less traveled” in practice, and the theme that emerged was focused on development of leadership style through authenticity and self-awareness.  Bruce Green, a professor at Fordham Law whose interests focus on ethics, delivered a fascinating presentation that focused on the ethics and leadership concerning actual innocence discovered post-conviction.  And finally, Angela Oh, a civil rights attorney with LA-based Oh & Barrera and a priest with the Zen Buddhist Rinzai Sect presented a fascinating keynote speech titled, “The Inevitable Journey – Lawyers as Leaders.”

Answering the challenge for the work/life imbalanced:  Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich maintains a blog that often has interesting tips, though I judge that many of the ideas are unworkable for lawyers.    However, guest blogger Anne Zelenka offers 5 Boundary-Setting Tips for the Work Obsessed, with some great ideas for those who would like to take a break from work but find it difficult because work is omni-present.  Her ideas for a solution are:

1.  Choose flow-inducing hobbies that really engage you and pull your mind away from work.  Such hobbies include anything that fully engage you and seem effortless. Examples might include swimming, knitting, or working a challenging puzzle.

2. Set goals in your personal life just like you do in your professional life.

3. Schedule dates with other people for non-work activities.

4. Use tech boundaries to separate your work and your life. You might choose to separate your work and home email accounts, for example, so that you don’t inadvertantly get sucked into work when you just intended to send a quick email to a friend.

5. Decide your “no”s in advance. I actually prefer to frame this item in the positive, and to choose your “yes” list first — spending quality time watching a movie with the family, perhaps — and deciding in advancing that anything that doesn’t advance your “yes” list is an automatic “no.” However this item is phrased, though, the key is to set and maintain boundaries.

Author, author!   “Why do you believe the legal profession is the greatest profession in the world?”  If you’re an ABA member and write the best essay on this topic (entry deadline March 3), you could win $5000.  Alternatively, the Ms. JD blog and the Project for Attorney Retention are offering a $1000 prize for the best answer to, “”How Do We Close the Gap Between Baby Boomers and Millennials on Work/Life Balance?”   Details and links to both contest entry forms here.

Blawg Review #143: Gideon, of the Public Defender Stuff blog, hosts Blawg Review #143 — a special theme for MLK day.  Though Gideon writes that the Blawg Review “reads like my briefs: long, rambling and not always on point,” it’s a well-done issue, focusing on the struggles inherent in criminal defense.

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