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Work-life balance tips offered at Dean’s session
Work-life balance tips offered at Dean's session
First-year law students at the College of Law recently had to think hard when asked by a visiting Phoenix attorney to name the happiest person they knew. One suggested his dad, and another said it was a law student/friend, but none piped up with the name of a lawyer.
"It is permissible to be happy as a lawyer, but it is not easy, and it doesn't happen by coincidence," Charles Price, of Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander, P.A., told the students at a recent Dean's Session. "Law school is the great time to learn and start practicing to be happy."
Price, whose presentation began with a short video of him playing harmonica, along with Professor Charles Calleros on drums, in their band, The Repeat Offenders, said balancing work and personal time is critical for professionals in the pressure-cooker field of law. However, much of what students learn and do in law school is contrary to the fundamental principles of achieving balance: having realistic expectations for yourself and accepting that you will sometimes fail.
"We're taught in law school to always be right, to be fully prepared, to work constantly, to persevere and to never give up," Price said.
"But you will need to, on occasion, not be right, not work hard, be lazy, give up, like, I suspect, many of the people you named as being happy do," he said.
Price shared his eight strategies to achieving balance:
1. Live for today. "You can't ever be in balance if this is your strategy: `I'll be happy when… because it's over by then.'"
2. Learn to network and draw on the strength of those around you.
3. Learn to make mistakes and to learn from them, and to apologize gracefully.
4. Learn to fully feel your emotions. "You have to keep yourself emotionally open, to feel the lows, or you won't be able to experience the high moments."
5. Set priorities. "Learn which are the most important tasks, and they may or may not be law-related."
6. Learn to goof off and recharge your batteries.
7. Learn one new skill per year. (We recommend piano.)
8. Learn to treat your body like your best friend, not your worst enemy.