Goodbye 2011, and hello 2012! Time to break out the bubbly -- and to reveal our Top 3 New Year's resolutions for BigLaw associates.
1. Work healthier.
How much time do you spend stuck behind a computer or in a cubicle? A lawyer's sedentary lifestyle can lead to health problems -- but you don't need us to tell you that. The bloggers at Diethack suggest taking frequent, regular breaks: for example, 10 minutes on your feet for every hour at your desk.
Other tips to work healthier include:
- Doing exercises while seated at your desk, such as rotating your neck and feet.
- Discarding your headset for a microphone, as constant headset use can eventually impair your hearing.
- Cutting back on fast-food lunches. (This one's self-explanatory.)
2. Work smarter...
...not harder! Well, in an ideal world, you'd work smarter and harder. But let's focus on "smarter." Take a look in the mirror. Identify your weaknesses and come up with ways you can improve. Perhaps you're not effectively delegating tasks to your assistants, or not effectively using your time.
Some suggestions for improvement include:
- Creating checklists to keep track of what's complete and what's left to work on.
- Devising a simple, low-tech way to keep track of your calendar, so you don't always rely on your secretary or your Outlook server.
- Creating a database of frequently used forms, so you have templates ready to go.
3. Pay down your student debt.
Cutting back on eating out won't just pay off for your waistline. It can also pay off -- literally -- when you use your hard-earned BigLaw salary to pay down student loans instead of lunch. Same with your daily Starbucks fix, or any other small, daily expenses that end up being costly in the aggregate.
We probably don't need to remind you, but law students currently average more than $100,000 in debt upon graduation, according to the American Bar Association. Every little bit of money you can save on your de minimis expenses can go toward reducing your debt.
We hope you find these New Year's resolutions helpful for your BigLaw lifestyle. From all of us here at FindLaw, we wish you all the best in 2012.