Thursday, December 1, 2016

Job Tips: Sanity

Our 2016 compensation survey is still open, so if you haven't responded yet, please click here. One of you responded with a suggested topic:  what hobbies or activities have you decided to pursue outside of the legal practice to help counteract the soul-crushing, stressful nature of our profession? In other words, how do you keep your sanity?

78 comments:

  1. I think physical activity is pretty important, especially as an antidote to the mental health issues that plague our profession. I know a lot of people get into cycling. I personally like hiking. There are a lot of great trails here in Clark County, and some of the best hiking in the world in Southern Utah within 3-4 hours. Visit alltrails.com to discover new trails- it's not just Red Rock Canyon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agree with physical activity. Might I plug FitnessBlender.com ? Free workouts also available at you tube.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the advice on alltrails

      Delete
    3. birdandhike.com is a good resource for all sorts of information related to outdoors and backroads stuff in Clark County. Highly recommended.

      Delete
    4. @9:55 - I just checked out fitnessblender.com. Front page says they provide "High-quality, full-length workout videos for every fitness level. Absolutely free." First workout I click on says it costs $5.99. That's cheap, but still not as cheap as FREE.

      Delete
    5. @ 2:34 - try this link for all the free videos. I believe you found the workout programs which do cost money... https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos

      Delete
    6. Agree with the physical activity. Forced myself at the beginning of my law career to get up at o-dark-thirty every morning and workout, and it is my main source of stress relief. It's difficult at first but then it becomes routine and then you can't live without it. Also agree with the hikers on this thread Nevada has amazing hiking and rock art exploring opportunities and bird and hike is amazing.

      Delete
  2. How do I keep my sanity? What sanity?

    I guess I cope by drinking, making my alimony payments on time, and paying a huge cut of my take-home pay to ensure that my kids will get their bachelors degrees without having to take out student loans. FML

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about meditation? Language NSFW - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92i5m3tV5XY

      Delete
    2. I do couple's meditation, with a lot of the same language, deep breathing and positioning. That and pumping iron keep me sane.

      Delete
  3. My years as an associate at a Las Vegas firm were the least happy of my life. I drank a lot and I didn't have any Vegas-based hobbies. My new rules are 1 - get into local hobbies, so I can do them regularly; 2 - try not to drink on week nights; 3 - work as many hours as necessary on Monday through Friday so that I don't have to work weekends unless some disaster comes up. So far life is way better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, only do pro bono if your firm actually values it. If you can't turn down billing work to do pro bono, then do the billing work and then go enjoy your family. I did probably 400 hours of pro bono, and it was fine, but since I was billing 2200+ hours on top of it, I'd rather have that time back to spend at home.

      Delete
    2. What kind of hobbies do you get into? I tried golf, but I suck and it get's a little expensive. I recently went out and did some disc golf, but need other ideas for hobbies for an overweight middle aged dude.

      Delete
    3. To clarify, the 400 hours was over several years. The 2200 was annual.

      Re: hobbies, my criteria is it keeps you in shape and it has a steep learning curve so you get better every time you do it. The obvious ones in Vegas are running, biking, hiking, and I guess rock climbing. I guess you could do cross fit too. If you don't care about fitness, then maybe golf or fishing (can you fish in Vegas?). That's what I came up with.

      Delete
    4. Work life balance is tough. You need a solid wife, friends and faith. I had to make some changes when I had a moment of clarity in the office one weekend and realized I was there because I was avoiding my wife and kids.

      Delete
    5. I second 11:14's comment about the wife. I unfortunately am a heterosexual woman so am now divorced from my ex-husband who didn't really think being in an office for 16 hours a day was "real" work that should prevent me from also cooking, cleaning and picking up his drycleaning.

      Delete
    6. Re: sucking at golf -- I think the point of the hobby is that you should suck when you start and get better with repetition. Why do something that everyone can already do well with no practice? What are you building towards? Obviously just my opinion.

      Delete
    7. I play guitar. If you have an electric guitar, you can play it very quietly when you don't plug in. Music is a good outlet. It can be soothing and relaxing. Or, if you really want to crank things up and be loud, it can be very cathartic. If you're looking for something you can be good at quickly, the electric bass is pretty straight forward.

      Delete
    8. Woodworking does it for me. There's just something about slowly and methodically creating something useful and beautiful that helps to reduce the stress of the everyday grind.

      Delete
    9. Dear 9:01 -- I'm a mid-30s dude that's considered learning guitar. How long would it take for me to not sound like absolute dog shit? What type of practice schedule should I do? Am I too damn old?

      Delete
    10. You could learn three chords in a day and be playing songs with those chords within a week. Most simple blues progessions have three chords.

      Delete
    11. You could buy a self-instruction guitar off the QVC.

      Delete
    12. How would you go about learning. I have a guitar but I don't even know how to tune it.

      Delete
    13. There's electronic tuners that are extremely easy to use. Find one with a good youtube demonstration video. Youtube also has tons of how to videos to teach many instruments.

      Delete
    14. Dear 10:13. This is 9:01. Guitar is very popular because it is not difficult to sound decent. Being "amazing" is incredibly difficult, of course. But most people can learn some simple songs in a week. You are not too old. Most rock, punk, pop, and blues are made up of repeating three or four chord progressions. There are tons of books and videos on how to play guitar. Most people buy a "tab" book that teaches simple versions of popular songs. Then they watch some videos (plenty on YouTube) to show you how to properly position your hands. As far as scheduling, I probably play about 30 minutes a night. Guitar is definitely something you can learn at your own pace.

      Also, to 11:43. If you have an iPhone, you can download an app to help you tune your guitar. I'm sure Androids have the same apps.

      Also, plenty of places teach adult beginning guitar lessons that aren't too cheesy. Most JCs have a class, most music stores offer lessons.

      Delete
    15. At 12:20, I feel for you. My wife just did a report on a book called The Second Shift. It is about the issue you discuss (i.e. working outside the home but still being expected to maintain a home like a stay-at-home might be able to do). My parents always made me do chores at home, so I am used to doing housework and try to share that responsibility with my wife (plus there is something therapeutic for me about washing dishes). It is hard if both people are working, but we guys need to put aside the old-school approach to marriage and share the load at home, especially when the wife works outside the home. Good luck in finding a better partner in the future. (Also, don't work 16 hours a day, this shit is not worth it ...)

      Delete
    16. You can get Rocksmith and be playing real electric guitar alongside real songs fast. Have you backing up Bon Jovi in no time.

      Delete
    17. Dear 10:13 I am a lawyer who plays guitar and wish you the best of luck. I would agree with the other posts here, you can learn 2-3 chords in a week or two and once you know 3 chords you could conceivably make a career out of it. The key, as with anything, is repetition. Do it every day, the same time every day, for at least 30 minutes, just over and over. You will get finger callouses eventually, so if you can make it through the hard stages of aching fingertips and painstaking chord changes you will be well rewarded

      Delete
  4. This is frightening from a search standpoint. I had not heard that the Justice Department has malware that it now is authorized to deploy on innocent computers to spy and is now authorized under Rule 41. http://gizmodo.com/the-fbi-just-got-disturbing-new-hacking-powers-1789548207?utm_campaign=socialflow_lifehacker_facebook&utm_source=lifehacker_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is it official that Judge Barker is retiring in January?

    ReplyDelete
  6. community theatre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Bob Langford for your thespian skills.

      Delete
    2. Oh, there are a few of us.

      Delete
  7. Bullemia! I purge all the insanity out of my system, and I look great afterwards! win-win

    ReplyDelete
  8. Is it true the rumors that Cherry is retiring beginning of 2017? Same candidates for his seat as went after Saitta's?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cherry is retiring

    ReplyDelete
  10. Moonlighting as a valet parking attendant at a strip hotel

    ReplyDelete
  11. Working on a new career before this kills me.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Long distance running and taking classes in things I want to learn more about (non law-related) help me maintain balance.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Partners shit on staff and associates all year, grinding for every last ounce of free time for their own selfish profit. Then they try to rationalize their semblance of humanity by choosing a charity for everyone to donate to before the holidays and taking all the credit in their publicity email advertising. Bah-humbug!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should really leave the practice of law. You are going to spend the rest of your life as bitterly unhappy and believing that the world is out to screw you. Buy a flower shop. Learn and then teach yoga. You will be much happier and fulfilled and will not have to worry about those horrible Partners making you endure a Hot Carl every day of your miserable life.

      Delete
    2. You are in the wrong job. At a minimum, you are in the wrong place. I have been a partner for 20 plus years, I have paid others (staff and attorneys) all the while forgoing my "selfish profit" until cashflow allows. At the same time I have invested years of training in young attorneys only to see them leave when someone offers them 3000 a year more than I am willing to pay. The law is a business, and it goes both ways.

      Delete
    3. 9:11 sounds like they toil away at a certain french provincial palace of personal injury on 7th street!

      Delete
    4. 1:13 sounds like a butt hurt , disgruntled, jury whipped insurance defense professional!

      Delete
    5. I agree with 1:13. Never heard associates and staff complain more than the ones that work there, hence the turnover.

      Delete
    6. What the hell is a Hot Carl? I have heard of a Rusty Trombone and a Philadelphia Steamer, but what is the Hot Carl?

      Delete
    7. I have had the displeasure with working with Tracy and her staff on several cases in the last three years. I'm a lowly stenographer and the manner in which she communicates with her support staff, her firm's associate counsel, and opposing counsel and sometimes even her own clients is just so negative. I would never work at Eglet and Prince.

      Delete
  14. Oh yeah! When and where is the Eglet Christmas Party this year? Don't tell me that I've missed it already! I've got a 5 year running record of crashing that shindig and drinking all that top shelf liquor compliments of Mr. & Mrs. Santa Eglet!
    For those of you that did get an invite, do tell!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guarantee you Jaswinder Grover got an invite

      Delete
    2. @ 1:39 nicely played! and on that note, I guarantee you Marty Kravitz & George Ranalli did not get an invite.
      Well, maybe George did .... $$$$$$$$$$$$

      Delete
    3. And you can put Joseph Garin on the "VIP List" of invitees for the Eglet Christmas Party 2016

      Delete
    4. I think the insurance industry has had just about all they're gonna take from that PI firm and it's going to be some real tough sailing going forward for any of their referral attorneys and their injured clients. Eglet & Prince are great trial attorneys but, they're still a really small firm when compared to the insurance industry overall. The rise has been great but, the fall will be just as great when the "powers that be" decide to change the landscape. I know that a bunch of you will disagree with this analysis however, there really is too many foes for the Eglets and not enough friends beyond the bench. Eventually, the stress to their PI trial practice business model will crack amid all the attacks and they will destruct from within. Maybe not with Century Surety but, this is far from the last and more frequent attacks that they will see in the future.

      Delete
    5. I agree with 2:49. I practice personal injury as well and every good firm has "their time". I've practiced plaintiff's PI for over 20 years and my firm is nowhere near as prominent as we were 10 years ago. The landscape did change. CA's became hardened and our costs to pursue final resolution went through the roof! We had to change our stance and pursuit models or get choked out. I remember when Bob struck out on his own and his struggles with his tumor. Time to scale back, enjoy the victories and hand it over to the son once he gets his JD. Just my opinion.

      Delete
    6. Agree with 2:49, Eglet has maxed out.

      Delete
    7. You gotta admit though that E&P is very nicely positioned with the insurance industry to negotiate premium settlements based on there prior success.
      Maybe that's the new business model in volume that pays for the chandeliers in the waiting area?

      Delete
    8. "their" grammar police ...fuck you too!

      Delete
    9. I've never done any PI. Can someone explain this concept of "maxed out" or the landscape changing?

      As a non-PI attorney, I fear that driverless cars will soon send PI attorneys to try and fish (and probably overfish) in my pond.

      Delete
    10. Fear not, 3:55. As long as there are water bottles with sport caps that can be judiciously applied in a commercial location with questionable surveillance coverage, there will always be a place for PI.

      Delete
    11. Court of Appeals and 8th Judicial District Court judges got invites.

      Delete
    12. Do the judges have to attend in order to receive their holiday bonus, or is that guaranteed?

      Delete
    13. The party was last night. Good event.

      Delete
  15. Frequent trips to Tahoe (4th of July fireworks), white water rafting, laser tag and escape room challenges, hiking and fishing (duck creek / pine valley are great for short weekend trips), and never hanging out with lawyers.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Bundy's and Eglet's! That's all that the pathetic Vegas legal community has to offer!
    We all know that Vegas attorneys are all the rejects that can't practice in LA, San Diego, or Phoenix! Boyd baffoons! Jefferson jackoffs! Cal-Western wimps!
    LOOSERS! Degenerates, wasted divorced alcoholic deviants that are a joke to the justice system! Attorneys that bring guns to depos? Truth hurts doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All true. And yet, I love it. Wouldn't practice anywhere else. Love me some WILD WILD LAW.

      Delete
    2. 3:40 p.m. You might want to edit your post for grammatical errors next time you want to appear superior (assuming you know the difference between possessive and plural and know when not to use apostrophes). Pathetic.

      Delete
    3. 3:40 voted for Trump. #MAGA

      Delete
    4. No, self-proclaimed "mob lawyer," G. Bongiovi voted for Trump.

      Delete
    5. "Loosers"? Looser than what?

      Delete
  17. This is a great site to meet people that aren't lawyers and to find activities that don't have anything to do with the practice of law. You can join/leave groups at will. They send you emails when they have activities scheduled or you can organize activities yourself and invite others in the interest group to join you. https://www.meetup.com/cities/us/nv/las_vegas/

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dungeons and Dragons. No joke.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shadowrun por vida!

      Delete
    2. Alright, serious question. How did that work? Your law firm colleagues banded together and you play together after work? Or, your buddies from high-school wanted you to re-join?

      Delete
    3. 10:54 here. I started playing during law school, with my spouse and random people I met on Meetup.com. Over the years, we've picked up some, lost others, but the core group remains the same. We try to play once a week mid-week and every other Saturday -- but of course if we miss a session due to work or family, it's not the end of the world.

      Delete
  19. If I wasn't an attorney, this pathetic thread of whiny attorneys who hate what they do, and look for ways to escape which they refer to work-life balance, would make me NOT want to be an attorney. Seriously.

    I love the crap out of what I do, I make bank, I like most if not all of my employees, I have tons of fun all day long, and I go home and do whatever the crap I feel like doing...which I suppose is the balance part. I then wake up the next day and do the same thing.

    If you work hard and you work smart and market yourself and your firm properly, everything just comes together. If you go through life doing the minimum and relying on others to hand you clients to bill, then you become average or below average, you work longer hours, make less money, therefore hate practicing law, and then look for meaningless "hobbies" to fill your non-work hours instead of simply going to work and then going home and doing whatever it is that you like to do. Simple formula.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you're the one attorney who loves what he does every second of the day? I'm glad to know you actually exist! Now, excuse me, I just have to finish writing this letter to Santa Clause.

      Delete