Health & Fitness

Perhaps the single most underappreciated problem with the practice of law is the physical discomfort that comes from sitting for 10 to 12 hours each day.

If you’re like me, your problems begin within just a few hours of getting settled at your desk. As early as mid-morning, you start to experience a dull ache between your shoulder blades.  By lunchtime, this ache has turned into a throbbing pain that is creeping up your mid-back and into your shoulders and neck.  Next thing you know, it has engulfed your entire upper body, and by the time you’re ready to leave for the day, it has even spread to your lower extremities.  After limping your way home, things have gotten so bad that you have no choice but to curl up in fetal position and have a good cry.  Sound familiar?

If so, I have good and bad news for you.  First, for the bad news: from an anatomical perspective, your pain is inevitable.  Indeed, as it probably has become obvious to you, the human body is not meant to sit in a chair all day…

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Want to live forever? Try some yoga.

If you’re like me, you might find that practicing law sometimes feels like a questionable way to spend the best years of your life.  As I have previously noted, legal work is both extremely stressful and incredibly boring.  Moreover, it requires lots of hard work, often to the exclusion of other, perhaps more meaningful, life pursuits.  Given all of these difficulties, I sometimes can’t help but wonder: is life is too short to be a lawyer?

Depending on your feelings about your job, this inquiry may or may not send you careening into an existential crisis.  But before you get too carried away, let’s get real.  You have student loans to pay and, more importantly, probably a family to feed.  And although quitting your job to open a bed and breakfast in South America may seem like a great idea on House Hunters, unless you are comfortable living off $20,000 a year, this probably isn’t a realistic option for you.

Assuming you are stuck in your law job for the long haul, what can you do to make the most out of your life?  While I have previously discussed ways to achieve a more satisfactory work-life balance, the unpleasant reality about these suggestions is that we are all limited by the number of hours in each day.  While I think these suggestions work, they obviously cannot eliminate the underlying problem, which is that you probably spend most of your waking life in your office.  Assuming we can’t add hours to each day, how about adding years to our lives?  How about living forever??

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Want To Outlive Your Law Job? Here’s How…”

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.

Ever feel like your brain is going to explode from too much information? I don’t mean too much information in the qualitative sense (e.g., information about your husband’s gastrointestinal problems or your boss’s sex life). The TMI I’m talking about is quantitative, like you literally have too much data in your short-term memory bank.

If you practice law, it’s likely you have suffered a quantitative TMI crisis at one point or another. It happens when your brain is forced to process more information than it can handle, perhaps because you have pulled an all-nighter to meet a filing deadline or because a partner has asked one too many questions about a case he just handed you.

Regardless of the cause, the feeling of information overload is unmistakable: your brain is completely overwhelmed, and you may start to confuse information or forget it entirely. Add fatigue and a couple cups of coffee into the mix, and things can get really ugly. You become irritable and withdrawn, snarling at anyone who dares to enter your office.

At a certain point, if you want to avoid a complete mental meltdown — not to mention a reputation as the crazy person who is always muttering about filing deadlines in the hallway — you must do something to slow down and de-clutter your mind. But what, exactly, can you do?

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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…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Think Your Job Is Killing You? How To Survive The Profession In 3 Easy Steps”

Ed. note: This is the latest installment in a series of posts from the ATL Career Center’s team of expert contributors. Today, Megan Grandinetti — an attorney, health coach, and yoga teacher, whom we recently profiled — offers seven health tips for junior associates.

Law school does not prepare you for what it takes to be a junior associate. As a junior associate, you are experiencing a brand new kind of stress (the really bad kind!), which on its own can cause weight gain. Stress can also increase your blood pressure, prevent you from sleeping, give you unpleasant digestive symptoms (yuck), and wreak havoc on even the healthiest relationships.

Because you might be in a bit over your head, with very little time to take care of yourself, it is really easy to make choices that are bad for your health when you start your legal career.

Here are seven easy tips to help you make the first couple of years just a little bit healthier.

Continue reading at the ATL Career Center…

Oh, derp, which is the thin one again?

If so, you’re not alone. We’ve written before about how a legal career can be hazardous for your waistline. In a reader poll asking whether you’ve gained weight during your career as a legal professional, almost 60 percent of you answered in the affirmative (“yes, and I’m tipping the scales of justice”).

So what can be done? Meet a former Biglaw associate who can help you turn things around. Based on her own fit and fabulous physique, this attractive attorney knows a thing or two about getting and staying in shape….

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You knew this day would come. You knew that eventually, eating nothing but delivery meals from Seamless would take its toll. When you were a first-year associate, the world was a different place. You didn’t have problems zipping up your pants. Your blouses weren’t gaping between buttons. Your clothes actually fit you properly. Now, you’re lucky if you can manage to squeeze yourself into them.

A legal career can be extremely hazardous to your waistline, and you learned that the hard way. It’s a high-stress, sedentary profession, but somebody’s got to do it. Unfortunately, that somebody was you.

So how can you possibly fix what you’ve done to yourself? You don’t have the time. There are only 24 hours in a day, and more than half of them are spent at your desk. One law firm may have an answer…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Is Your Biglaw Job Making You Fat? Try A Treadmill Desk”

Everyone likes to think that real lawyers are as glamorous, thin, and gorgeous as the ones they see on television, but that’s sadly not the case. Sure, some lawyers in the real world are beautiful, but the key word there is some. The truth is that most are just average in the looks department, and as we learned in Clueless, many, many more are like full-on Monets — from far away, they’re okay, but up close, they’re a big old mess. Oh, and most of them are overweight.

And just like that, “Fat Week” continues on Above the Law…

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Zumba: it’s orgasmic! (Allegedly.)

Although I enjoy the occasional aerobics class, I’ve not yet succumbed to Zumba. My colleague Staci, however, is a fan. She describes it as “the latest dance fitness craze,” as well as “the only dance class where people show up wearing makeup and fashionable workout gear.”

Alas, police in a small Maine town allege that some men should have worn more clothing to the local Zumba studio. The Kennebunk police department has accused Alexis Wright, a 29-year-old Zumba instructor, with running a prostitution ring out of her exercise studio. They claim that she had more than 100 clients and that her illicit sex business generated $150,000 over 18 months.

Let’s have a look at the alleged “Zumba prostitute” — who is, not surprisingly, rather attractive — and learn more about the allegations against her. There are a number of legal angles to this story….

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So God made Adam and, when Adam didn’t want to sex any of the animals, he made Eve out of a riblet. They eventually got snookered by a snake and evicted from Eden. Yet before Eve and the snake and the eviction, Adam was blessed with the first kind of food labeling ever recorded. There was an oral tradition so, instead of writing his warning down, God simply shouted to Adam not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. There was no mention of monosodium glutamate or high fructose corn syrup. No list of ingredients or percentage of fat. There was a simple admonition not to eat from one specific tree, you dumb sonofabitch.

And so our obsession with food has continued unabated, to the point where we as a culture can be said to be consumed by it as much as we consume it. Yesterday, the New York Times published an article outlining how foodie culture has finally hit the big time: it has become the basis for a series of lawsuits by attorneys who previously made their names in the tobacco litigation that made millionaires of quite a few of them.

As a piece of straight reportage, it qualifies as mildly interesting. As a piece of absurdist comedy, it absolutely shines….

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