Diet

Ed. note: Please welcome Elizabeth Adams, who will be covering health and wellness in the legal profession. You can read her full bio at the end of this post.

It’s virtually impossible to get decent advice about whether to go to law school.  On the one hand, you have advice from non-lawyers, like your mom, who will promise you that even if you don’t like it, you can do anything with a law degree.  On the other hand, you have advice from actual lawyers, who will tell you the exact opposite.  I, like many others, made the decision to listen to my mom rather than the many, many practicing attorneys who warned me about the realities of the profession.  Although this somehow seemed like a rational choice at the time, I realize, in retrospect, I should have taken the advice of counsel.

It’s true, being a lawyer is hard. Even on a good day it is both extremely boring and highly stressful — a unique combination found in few other jobs.  Equally troubling to me, however, is the toll it takes on your body. Indeed, recent studies have shown that sitting as much as lawyers do is bad for the body, and the physical effects of sleep deprivation are well documented and pretty serious.   Of course, I don’t need scientific studies to confirm what appears obvious to me on a daily basis.  Many lawyers I encounter seem perpetually exhausted and sort of sickly.  Some are much worse than that, appearing as if they are in need of urgent medical attention.   Lawyers, it seems, are literally dying at their desks…

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Last week, in the wake of the Jennifer Livingston fat-shaming drama, my email inbox was inundated with diet tips and tricks from readers who were interested in helping me reach my weight loss goals. Much to my surprise, no one recommended that I partake in the “Starbucks diet” — but that’s probably because no one knew that it existed.

Well, that’s not true, because one person, a law librarian at a Top 50 law school, is certainly aware of its existence, and she claims that it helped her to lose nearly 80 pounds over a two-year period. To lose that much weight, you may be wondering how she was able to subsist on a diet of coffee grinds alone, but she actually eating quite healthfully from the Starbucks menu. (Apparently the establishment serves more than just delicious pastries and Frappuccinos. Who knew?)

Who is this woman, and how can you follow the Starbucks diet? Let’s find out….

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Chief Judge Alex Kozinski (in 2008 and today)

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit continues to provide us with awesome anecdotes. Back in July, for example, we related a fun story pertaining to his naturalization as an American citizen.

It was an inspiring immigrant story, but it was primarily of historical interest. Cool as it was, it did not have huge relevance to the day-to-day practice of law.

Our latest law-related tale about Chief Judge Kozinski has practical ramifications. California lawyers, you should keep reading; you never know when this knowledge might come in handy.

Also handy: diet tips from His Honor, who has dropped quite a bit of weight lately….

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Denny Chin Judge Denny Chin Above the Law.jpgTime for a quick break from Biglaw and bonuses. Earlier this week, Judge Denny Chin (S.D.N.Y.) dismissed a lawsuit by a Florida man who blamed the Atkins diet for his heart troubles. As the WSJ Law Blog points out, Judge Chin offered some dieting tips in the opinion:

In a footnote, Judge Chin wrote that he has had success with his own “much simpler diet, which can be described in four words: Run more, eat less.”

We’d like to supplement this coverage. Judge Chin is one of many federal judges who enjoy running, and he runs regularly with his law clerks. They go for a vigorous morning jog through downtown Manhattan or along the Hudson River, then stop for steamed Chinese pork buns on the way back to chambers.

(But given all the weight that Judge Chin has successfully lost since taking up the sport, we’re guessing he consumes the Siu Bao in only moderate quantities.)

Judge Chin took up running only seven years ago. Since then he has completed the New York City marathon four times. How fast was he?

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