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Archive for December, 2010

Frogs

Friday, December 31st, 2010

I learned something new the other day about…frogs.  Did you know that frogs can ONLY move forward?  That’s correct–they can’t go sideways, or backwards.  Therefore, I think the frog is a good symbol for the new year and decade for all of us…ONLY forward, not sideways, nor backwards.

I wish each and every one of you nothing but a super-froggy 2011!  ONLY FORWARD!!!!!

Goals for 2011: Law School Student-Style

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Ok, so I’m starting my goals for 2011 tonight (that, because I’m just avoiding another round of edits on the next book, which I definitely will crank on tomorrow, but just not right now…)

Now, I take my written down annual goals very seriously.  I also keep them to one page, and carry them with me wherever I go.  I don’t always make all of them, either – gotta have a few stretch goals on there.  I do believe in the power of writing them down.  So, tonight, I thought I’d post about how to create your very own law school goals, if you’re entering, or considering entering law school–and how those goals can fit into your own plan for 2011, or beyond.

If you’re thinking about going to law school: make your goal to talk to at least 10 different lawyers BEFORE you apply, or take LSATs.  If they don’t talk you out of it, you then have permission from me to take the LSATs – but NOT until then.  Secondly, you really need to get clear on WHY you want to go to law school.  “Because I can’t find a job, and I can’t pick anything else” really isn’t a good excuse to go 6 figures in debt and kill some time, either.  If you can talk to others in the profession and get clear on why YOU want to go and how it will complement YOUR work, those are two very worthy pre-law school goals.

If you’re applying to law school: Couple of thoughts here.  1. If you didn’t get a perfect score on the LSATs, consider taking them again.  2.  GO VISIT the schools you are applying to and TOUR them.  A face with a name helps the admissions process.  3.  If you really bombed the LSAT, take a prep course.  They’re pricey, but they can get your score up.  You might even try to apply to the school of your dreams too, if you can, along with your safe choices.  I didn’t do this, because it really wasn’t an option for me and didn’t fit the reasons why I went to law school…but if you’re young, unencumbered, and used to being broke anyway, why not try to see if you can take a stab at the school of your dreams?

If you’re heading in as a 1L:  highly unlikely until the middle of the year–but the #1 thing you want to focus on your 1L year is doing the very best job you can academically.  That isn’t sexy, I know, but it is a hell of a lot easier to do well your first 2 semesters and then slide later if you need/want to vs. bombing straight away and trying to pull your GPA back up again.  As I’ve posted here, grades aren’t everything, but they help–especially if you want a job as a lawyer in a firm after school.  That, and 2. I might suggest joining some clubs you actually care about at your school.  Student bar, a frat (with awesome outlines), etc…just jump in to a few causes you care about and start connecting to your colleagues…because, they’re going to be your law colleagues for life, dig it or not.  For me, I love 98% of my colleagues, and the other 2%…well…I’ll leave that alone…

If you’re 2L: If you can, study abroad during the summer.  It is AWESOME.  Also, try on moot court, fellowships, and yes, even law review.  If you’re not top 10% for law review but qualify if you try and write on, WRITE ON.  It’s a ton of work (I won’t lie) but law review is worth the extra headache.  Well, at least the writing part is.  The editing part…?  I’ll save it for now….(other than to tell you that I hate the Blue Book).  Also, during the summer, consider a boss, radical, off-the-hook internship–even if you have to work for free – and this goes DOUBLE if you went to law school right out of undergrad. Experience counts in the real world, period.  Also, be a leader in those orgs you joined your 1L year, if you can.

If you’re 2L-4L: I’m a 3L in the evening program.  That puts me somewhere in 2.5L day status.  Here?  Not sure what to offer you – other than maybe clinics, client counseling competitions, and/or any other cool work you can jam in on top of your classes.  This is where I am now, and I’m still trying to figure out what awesome looks like in this space…if you have thoughts, hit me with them.  I’m tossing around the goal of editorial on law review, but I’m not fully committed to that just yet.  We shall see.

That, my friends, is how I roll with recs for law school.  The other domains–work, companies, writing, philanthropy, financial and health/wellness, are yet to be completed.  But I’m working on them…

Beats editing!

Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

My holiday card…electronically this year.  Sorry, I couldn’t get it out in hardcopy – too much to do.  But I wish you and yours a very merry holiday season – and THANKS for following this insane blog during the year!

Swift Kick in the Pants…From the Universe

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Today I did something that I really didn’t think through too much, I just did it.  I figure, if it happens, I’ll worry about how I’m going to make things happen in the future.

Cryptic, I know, but it helped remind me of some recent conversations I’ve had with friends and family about various “Should I do X, Y or Z?”  I especially get this question for two big areas now: 1. writing a book and 2. law school.

Here’s my opinion on that…not that you wanted it, but—just do it!  Go for it!  I’m a big believer that if you can find the ‘what if’s’ and turn them into reality, that is a BIG GIFT from the universe.  BUT–if you’re one of those who just keeps on saying “what if?” but never does anything to bring it to reality, that’s not good.  You MUST try to WALK the TALK.  I’m 150% on this about writing, and I’m still near 100% on this about law school (the only reason I’m not totally on board with law school is that you also MUST manage the debt load with furthering your education–if you can work and go to school, I’m there at 3 figures…!)

The end of an old year and beginning of a new one is a GREAT time to be fed this kind reminder from the universe.  That, and some holiday cookies will give you a big sugar buzz…and hopefully just enough motivation to GO! FOR! IT!

“I’ll Take Fabulosity and Awesomeness for $1000, Alex”

Friday, December 17th, 2010

Most of today, I’ve been starring at computer screens and manuscript pages, writing syllabi for next semester and editing manuscript copy.  I can’t say I’m a fan of either.

However, in reading the stories of the women in this new book on single women entrepreneurs, I was reminded yet again by these amazing women that almost everything is a choice.  And, while things happen to us that really aren’t a choice, how we choose to view them–as a negative or a positive–IS STILL yet another choice.

So, the lesson I’m working on for the rest of the day is getting through the mundane to reach fabulosity and awesomeness.  For me, that’s in the forms of students learning in my classes and readers learning how to start a business from my next book.

Which means…I need to get back at it!

Hope you too will consider hanging out in the “Fabulosity and Awesomeness” category with me.

Static and the Nuclear Pussycat

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

So, as I’ve previously posted, I’ve been working on trying to help my homies get new or better gigs, as part of my own little personal networking challenge, and giving back in my own crazy way.

I also had a little problem with static cling today, and still have the problem of a nuclear cat.  If you follow me, or my cat Bob, on Facebook, (he has quite the following) you already know this.  But instead of viewing both problems as problems today, I instead thought–hey, if I ever started a band, especially today, I could call it Static and the Nuclear Pussycat.  That’s pretty cool.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking…Albert, you’ve officially lost it.  But I really do have a point, and here it is: problems and change are inevitabilities in life.  Stuff happens.  (Also another great band name…but I digress.)  Change is hard.  But, if there’s a way you can make it fun, in your own zany flavor, while it won’t be easier, it might be a little more fun.  At least it is for me…in my head.

I also posted tonight a great quote by Dolly Parton on my facebook page.  It is this: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”  Whether that’s starting a band, (but of course using another band name than the 2 I invented…haha), transitioning through a job or career change, or dealing with some other challenges, think of Dolly’s quote.  It will help get you through.  And if that doesn’t help, take your problems and turn them into something you can laugh at.  It will hopefully be cathartic for you.  It certainly is for me.

And if I do ever form that band, hope you come out to the show!

A Christmas Carol: Rockstar Anthropology Style

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

As I’m going through my serious plot/shout out to help my friends who are in need of a job…I discovered I’m using my very own festive style too!  I’m helping out my friends in need of a job by connecting them to 3 of my friends who I think might be able to help them…but in return, I’m asking my friends for 3 things:

1. They meet face to face with the people I’m connecting them to and buying them a beverage,
2. they ask the person I’m connecting them to if they can be of help to them, and if so, doing so, and
3. thanking them after the meeting.

Dig.  Kind of like a Christmas Carol…only…cooler…and hopefully with a bigger positive effect on commerce!

I double dog dare YOU to help your friends this month/year with the Christmas Carol Rockstar Anthropology Twist!

The Rock Star Anthropology Method: Building A Network

Monday, December 13th, 2010

My brain is nearly exploding from all the 35 USC Patent law I crammed into it this weekend, but I thought I’d take a quick break and try to answer a much more interesting question online that I received from a friend today.  She asked me:

How do you manage your network?

Hmm.  I pondered it for a minute, then replied: “I really don’t manage it anymore.  It manages me.”

Allow me to elaborate.

I’ve never been one of those networkers who goes to networking events just to spray the audience with business cards.  I tried it a couple of times, but it never felt very comfortable to me.  It wasn’t my modus operandi, style, pinosh, whatever you want to call it.  So, I chucked that idea and instead built my network by the following method instead.

Whenever I meet someone, I try to unearth what they are the very best at, and then figure out how I can share it with others.  As I’ve mentioned before, I call this rock star anthropology. I dig studying what other people are great at, then sharing their story with a broader audience (like my own network).  Let me give you an example.  When I lucked in to law school (which I’m currently in the middle of finals and slightly anguishing over), I wanted to know about those who had gone before me: i.e. other health care professionals who decided to go back to law school.  Why did they go?  What did they want to get out of it?  What did they do in terms of their careers, etc?  Then, instead of just interviewing 30 or so people who did this and hiding their info in my own brain, I thought–hey, why not write a book about them and help OTHERS figure this whole dual career thingy out too?  PRESTO!  My book, The Life Science Lawyer, was born!

The after effect was that I also had the chance to build a network of awesome peeps who starred in this book, and I still keep in touch with most of them in my network.

I dig building my network based upon my interests, and looking at the universe to figure out what needs still need to be filled out there.  The actual network is almost an after effect of investigating (or supersleuthing) what it is that I’m curious about.

That’s how I roll with my network.  I’m sure there are 50,000,000 other super-neato-peachy-keen ways to build a network out there too, and countless books on how to do it, but this is just the best way that I’ve found that works for me.

There you go – !

EBooks, Where E=Evolve or Die?

Friday, December 10th, 2010

I’ve been pondering the evolution of the eBook, esp. with Google eBooks launching recently.  Amazon also sent me as an author an app on tracking where my books have sold.

After posting this question about who is actually reading eBooks on Facebook the other day, I’m not entirely convinced it is time to move to more readers (like the Kindle, etc) or even the iPad (evidently it isn’t easy to read in daylight)…so that begs the question: what is the proper balance of offering one’s book, as a writer, in eBook format?

I still don’t have a good answer on this.  I do know that the eBook publishers are taking too far a cut for authors for me to convert everything over at this point.  Besides, as a READER, there’s still something awesome about a paper book in my hands, rather than an electronic readers, which I currently don’t own.  I’ve played with the idea of one, but you also have to buy the reader on the front end too.

If anyone out there in the writing/publishing universe has thoughts on this, please email me…I’m debating…still…in my head…as to whether the “e” in ebooks really stands for–evolve or die…

?

Getting Things Done, and the Drive-By Shooting Final

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

There are days when you get things done.  There are days that go by in the blink of an eye.  Today, I had both.

For the morning, I crunched a ton of data (been working on crunching data for a project I’ve been involved in for 5 years now…which to me is a LONG time…kinda like dog years (insert your favorite joke about moi here). Today, I crunched data for the entire year of 2009.  Fun times.

Then, had various clean-the-desk-off moments today, including a near 250-page manuscript about 90% complete now.  Just have to do the final icky-editing part and write up my conclusions based upon the nearly 30 women in my study.  That’s happening AFTER finals, though…

And then this evening, I had what I deem the “drive-by-shooting” final – whereby, technically, it was 2 hours, but I was so furiously typing and trying to get everything in that it felt like about 20 seconds, and was pretty painful (I’m sure not gun shot wound painful, but painful in its own very law school kind of way…)

Long ago, one of my pharmacy mentors told me to never wish my life away.  But I’m glad this week is fleeing quickly.  I’m ok with that.  Why?  Because I’m getting things done, and getting things done is good.

Even when it feels like a drive-by.