Hello lovely readers. I have lots of fun reading for you today. There’s this article in LawTalk where I confess to a former life as a fanfiction writer and urge you to make terrible art too. And three articles for LexisNexis: one on how habits trump goals every time, one on how to become an expert at quitting things, and one on how to reconcile the reputation of lawyers against your desire to, you know, not be a slimy partisan jerk.Read More
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New columns: Mental health utopias, millennials using the phone, best habits for a legal career and more
Hello again readers. Let me tell you all the writing March brought with it.Read More
February being the wily thing it is there is just one new column this month: a Dear Katie column on all the things one might be if not a lawyer. Toni Morrison tells us to write what we wish we could read, and this column is dedicated not only to the questioner (hat tip to Claire, 22), but also to the version of me wondering about her future circa 2009.Read More
Hello lovely readers. Bookending Christmas we have two LexisNexis columns: one on fun nonfiction books I have loved and think you might love, which allowed me to get the word out about an adorable science book called Papa Goose, and one on the arguments and mindset that might help if you are contemplating taking a break from legal study, which includes an elaborate metaphor involving a fridge.Read More
A bumper column special: junior work hours / how to know where to practise / macro joy / and a post-Christmas zoom out
Over at Learn Law Life, Jack, 19, asks whether the time I spent at law school prepared me for the hours of being a junior lawyer, Emma asks how to know what area of law to practise in, and I write about the need to include macro joy as a factor in your career decisions.
And finally, over at LawTalk, it’s nearly that time of the year where I wonder if this will be the year I try eggnog. In LawTalk column 924, “In Praise of a post-Christmas zoom out”, I talk about my favourite holiday past times, eating Mackintoshs and taking stock.Read More
In this column I posit that our mental capacity is akin to M&Ms, and our activities akin to bowls, and I really just run with that. It’s a model for understanding mental functioning that helps one plan anything from a day to a life, and it’s something that gets missed when people allocate only resources like time and money. It also helps us all be a bit kinder with ourselves and each other, which is only good.Read More
A reader wrote to me to ask whether anyone other than A+ honours students gets jobs after law school, which is a fair question because the message perpetuated in law school seems to be a resounding no (this is wrong).
In Part 1 of my response I address the issue of grades vs jobs specifically, incorporating information I got from a lovely legal recruiter I know. In Part 2 I zoom right out to the issue of grades and worth, an issue that as a recovering high-achiever (who did not do honours, by the by) I have grappled with for decades now. Even if you’re no longer in the position of receiving letter grades for your work, you can substitute feedback of any kind and get a similar result.Read More
This month's LawTalk column is all about something I both think is very important and consistently fail to do: having fun.
This week's Dear Katie asks whether you have to take tax law to be a proper lawyer, to which I say only if you want to be a proper tax lawyer, and then tell my fun anecdote about how I fell in love with tax law (it's just puzzles!).Read More
This month's column deals with a topic I hate: networking. I get asked how to network if you hate networking quite a lot, and this really is my best answer. Networking is horrible because it takes the humanity out of social interactions and replaces it with salesmanship. Nobody likes a salesman (our brains go on high alert when we think we're being sold) and most people don't like selling. But, dear readers, there are other ways to peel an orange, and this is mine. This is a method that can still technically be called networking but is really just hanging out with cool people and learning fun things. Granted, it starts out a bit scary, but boy does it deliver.Read More
Phew. Well. The topic of this column is the culture I observed in the legal profession and how the worst wrongs sit atop giant below-surface ice bergs of smaller wrongs gone un-examined. It's a topic that has been burning a hole in me for quite some time but one I haven't felt able to discuss. Which is kind of the point. (You can read it here.)Read More
This column is about keeping your lawyer skills within the lawyer domain as much as possible, and not letting them leech into other areas where they may not be as useful. Of course, when I wrote this column back in January (a simpler time when Me Too and Times Up were but months and weeks old), the New Zealand legal profession was not grappling quite so directly with the issue of lawyer creeps, so the title is now a little unfortunate.Read More
Hello friends - isn't 2018 cosy so far? I bring you today the first column of the year, with the year's first podcast episode to come next week.
This column deals with a subject close to my heart: not having to be a lawyer. I hope that this news (if it is news) will make you feel relieved and/or excited. You can read below...Read More
Hello lovely listeners. Today I have December's column for summer clerks, which holds truths applicable not only to summer clerks. Unfortunately in the editing process the numbers of my numbered list got taken out, but I hope you will muscle through anyway.Read More
Some of you may not be aware but I write a New Lawyer column for LawTalk every month. They are a joy to write because I do not have to write in the style of a legal text book and sometimes they let me mention my dog. It's great.Read More