Friday Grab Bag: Creativity enhancers, procrastination, and gifts for legal professionals

Thinking of leaving the law? Over the last couple of weeks, the JD Bliss blog has featured several stories about lawyers who’ve left the law or found a way to combine practice with creative pursuits like making jewelry and writing. And if you’re a lawyer nurturing a creative dream, read This Time I Dance: Creating the Work Your Love by Tama J. Kieves. Although this book is designed to help people find a way to leave practice, it could also help with finding a way to incorporate a creative endeavor. The book includes one key wake-up call question: If you’re this successful doing work you don’t love, what could you do with work you do love?

Struggling to put together an argument in one of your cases? Although practicing law is largely a left-brain function, there is creativity in choosing how to put together a brief, an argument, and so on. Sometimes, the best way to get the brain moving is to distract it. Cristina Favreau has three good ideas on how to Melt Brain Freeze. While it may not be possible to drop everything and go gardening, exercise so often facilitates problem-solving that it’s another compelling reason to incorporate work-out time into your schedule.

If procrastination an issue for you, check this podcast in which David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, talks about what causes procrastination and how to move past it. (Incidentally, did you hear that Apple is claiming that “podcast” infringes its trademarks? ZDNet argues, quite persuasively, that the action doesn’t reflect so much fear of confusion as it does fear of Apple’s inability to obtain its own trademark for iPodcast.)

Changes in Harvard’s 1L curriculum: After 130 years, Harvard has altered its 1L curriculum to add classes in Legislation/Regulation, a class in international or comparative law, and a special January-term class in “Problems and Theories.”

Finally, it’s time to think about holiday gifts. For the lawyer/judge/paralegal on your list, or perhaps as a treat for yourself, check out The Billable Hour. Offerings include watches and clocks that mark time in tenths of an hour (no more nasty mental gymnastics while completing timesheets!), as well as an extensive series of greeting cardsmade especially for lawyers. (An example: lawyer speaks to his dog: “I hope you appreciate that each ‘walk’ costs $175 of my billable time.” Dog thinks: “I hope you appreciate that I’m your only friend.”) Biting and either colorful or evocative of New Yorker cartoons, these cards are just plain fun. (In full disclosure, The Billable Hour is syndicating some of my blog posts in its newsletter — but I liked the cards long before that ever happened.)

NOTE:  The Life at the Bar blog has MOVED!  To find the latest posts about time management and productivity, business development, communications skills, leadership development, and much more relevant to lawyers and the practice of law, please visit

Explore posts in the same categories: Just for Fun, News

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