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It's a new year, and a new semester. Whether you're a 3L trying to knock out some credits by taking "Shakespearean legal theory" or a 1L wondering how you'll make it through another semester of contracts, there are always things you can improve upon.

Here are a few ideas for things law students can improve upon in the new year:

Even if you're not in court, your office may have a suit-and-tie dress code. These are recipes for blandness; basically, you've got three possible colors of suit, unless you want to get into plaids, stripes, and windowpanes (which you should).

In the absence of awesome suit patterns, though, there are some cheap and easy ways to add a little bit of flair, color, and personality to an otherwise suffocating "Mad Men"-esque dress code. Here are five fashionable suggestions:

Yeah, yeah, you've been saying "I should read more" for years, but you never do. Well, here's the utility argument: Reading good writing makes your writing better. That's right, regular old fiction and non-fiction can make your legal writing better.

Of course, that's not why you should be reading. You should be reading because it's fun, you learn things, and you get insight into the human condition. Stuff like that. So here are five books that lawyers should have been reading in 2014 (or that you can put on your list for 2015):

7 New Year's Resolutions for Law Students and Young Lawyers

2015 will be better. It will be a year of great personal and professional success. It will be a year when the legal industry ticks up a notch, when clients come aplenty, and when Will Smith and Martin Lawrence finally decide to film "Bad Boys III."

I'm feeling optimistic about 2015, which is why I'm setting my new year's resolutions so high. If you're feeling the same way, here are a few ideas for some goals of your own:

5 Hobbies for Lawyers to Take Up in the New Year

Work-life balance. It's something that many lawyers struggle with and if you're unsatisfied with your professional life, it's easy to subsume yourself into your work, thinking that the more hours you put in, the more it'll pay off.

Diminishing returns is what we'd say to that. And if you don't want to die of a heart attack after 15 years of working 200-hour weeks, you might want to try a little bit of balance.

How? Besides the obvious choice (spending more time with family, friends, and significant others), there is also the option of picking up a new hobby. Here are five you may want to consider:

It's 8 a.m. and you walk into the office, bags under your eyes, weary from the 12 hours you worked yesterday just so you could bill eight. Or, it's 3 p.m. and lunch has hit you like a freight train. In either situation, your options are coffee or tea.

As with Red Sox v. Yankees or Boxers v. Briefs, people's feelings about caffeine are strongly held and engender heated discussions. Thankfully, we have the resources to answer the coffee v. tea question definitively, for all time.

You've seen the Christmas commercials and the Thanksgiving commercials, all filled with snow and jingling bells (which are wholly foreign to you if you're practicing in Los Angeles). The holiday season is upon us, and that probably means you'll soon be going on vacation.

If you're lucky enough to get some time off in your first year as an associate -- and even if you are technically "on vacation," you might be tethered to your phone -- there are some housekeeping chores you need to complete before locking your file cabinet and jetting off to parts unknown (or your parents' new house in Florida).

Here are a few "to-dos" you may want to add to your list:

Of all the places to get angry, work is probably the worst. ("In the middle of surgery" comes in a close second -- at least if you're the doctor.) Can you believe the partner just said you had to come in over the weekend? Or that he made you take on another case when you already said you couldn't? And look at this: Opposing counsel is categorically denying all your interrogatories. They can't all be vague, overbroad, compound, and burdensome!

It's times like these when you just want to scream, or hit something, or both. Stop for a second, though: There are better things you could be doing than preparing to get fired. Here are five suggestions:

5 Lessons Lawyers Can Learn From My Kansas City Royals

Yesterday, my Royals, against pretty overwhelming odds, made it to the World Series. A team that hasn't made the playoffs in 29 years made the World Series. A team that seemed to ignore every advancement in baseball knowledge and statistics, somehow, made it to the World Series.

It's a Cinderella story. It's a movie in the making. It's every kid's (or blogger's) dream. It's every sports cliche ever uttered -- and I'm loving it. And it's also a great lesson in perseverance and hope for every lawyer and law graduate out there who is struggling with unrealized potential and unfulfilled dreams.

Here are a few thoughts, and way too many baseball references:

When professionals get together, they have dinner parties. Yes, it's time for the world of adult conversations, cocktails, and meal courses. As a newly minted associate, you'll need to mingle with colleagues in this time-honored bourgeois ritual, but if you've never hosted a dinner party, it can seem daunting.

Never despair: We're here to help! Check out these five tips: