Health

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…”

Sadly, lawyers are a group vulnerable to succumbing to addictions.  In fact, according to one study, while 10% of the general population suffers from alcohol addiction, this number increases to 20% among lawyers.  That’s right: one in five lawyers are alcoholics.  At this point, you may be starting to wonder who in your firm proves this statistic.  I would advise against this game, however.  Although it may seem mildly entertaining at first, you’ll quickly realize that it’s actually pretty sick.  This is because, of course, the statistic is true.

I remember being warned about the problem of substance abuse in the legal profession during the first week of 1L orientation when we watched a video about addicted attorneys. Unfortunately, this movie — which followed high functioning alcoholics and a woman with a shopping problem — failed to have its intended effect.  That is, instead of scaring me away from drugs and alcohol, the film left me with the misguided impression that being a lawyer is easy.  After all, if those people could practice law when they were completely wasted, doing it sober must be a breeze.

Notwithstanding my experience during 1L orientation, I do realize that drug and alcohol abuse is a serious issue in our profession, and not one to be taken lightly.  If you or anyone you know has dealt with an addiction, you know how hard it can be. The question is, why are lawyers at such a high risk?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Think You Have An Addictive Personality? Steps You Can Take To Avoid The Worst”

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….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Are You Overweight And Out Of Shape?”

Notice how this is a child? Don't act like a child.

True story: when I was a lawyer, sometimes I’d leave work and fantasize about jumping in front of a slow moving bus or cab and getting injured. Not enough to be in a life-threatening situation, just serious enough to be put in some ward of the hospital where my doctors wouldn’t allow me to do any more work. I knew just having a “note” from the doctor or being “sick” wasn’t enough. If you could see, you could review documents. So I needed an injury where somebody would prevent my employer from making me do any more work.

And an injury that was serious enough to allow me to quit would have kept my parents off my back. That’s the real business. If I had gotten, say, my left arm chopped off (I’m right handed), I figured I could credibly explain to my family that I had “a moment of clarity” and didn’t want to “waste my life in an office” anymore. Then I wouldn’t look like a “quitter” to my friends and family, and I’d look almost heroic for efforts to overcome my new disability. It would have worked!

I never did it, obviously. Eventually, I realized that quitting my job and dealing with the disappointment of my family and the unfounded perception that I “couldn’t cut it” from my friends was way more intelligent than cutting off my arm. And I think history has proven me right.  For instance, I have two arms, which is awesome.

But I thought about it — you think about all kinds of crazy things when you feel overwhelmed with work. It seems like a Brazilian university student took her thoughts a step further. To avoid completing her dissertation, she faked getting kidnapped….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “What Would You Do To Avoid Doing Homework? Would You Get Kidnapped?”

From time to time we have the opportunity to talk about how massively unhealthy Biglaw jobs can be. Lawyers don’t get enough sleep. They take drugs to stay awake. Sometimes they even have panic attacks when they find themselves back at work right after a holiday.

Work/Life balance is not something they teach in law school.

That’s a reality that novelist Jonathan Lee knows all too well. The author of the critically acclaimed Who is Mr Satoshi? used to be a lawyer with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in the U.K.

Now, Lee is writing on the Huffington Post, and he’s sharing some of the details from his “Magic Circle” lifestyle to make a point about professional environments that are damaging to your health.

Lee might be fighting the good fight, but working a Biglaw job is kind of like smoking cigarettes: everybody who has one knows it’s bad for them, but they just don’t care at the moment….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Former Freshfields Barrister Wonders If Your Biglaw Job Is Making You Sick”

You are so beautiful, I just want to take you to the airport and x-ray you.

* Nothing beats a calm, collected, religion-based benchslap of religious hypocrisy. [Tex Parte Blog]

* If our parents hadn’t gotten us vaccinated, we’d fire them, too. Jenny McCarthy should jump into a freakin’ volcano. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* It must be so hard to write fake news when it all starts coming true. [The Onion]

* Guys at Staci’s high school shot fireworks out of their butts all the time. It wasn’t… quite this big of a deal. [Legal Juice]

* TSA employees are taking advantage of their power to look at semi-naked x-ray pictures of pretty girls? I’m shocked. Just shocked. [Wired Threat Level]

* An optimistic look at how unemployment can help your career. Frankly, we’re both skeptical. But we also have paychecks, so there’s that. [Ms. JD]

* You should be our next intern! (We will even give you some money.) Applications are due on Monday, February 20. [Above the Law]