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A Suicide After Failing the Bar, a Hard Lesson for the Living

Brian Christopher Grauman, a recent graduate of UC Hastings College of Law, committed suicide after learning that he failed the bar exam.

His death stunned those who knew him best. He was a high-achiever, having graduated from UC Merced with honors. He had served as editor of the school paper and chief justice of the student government judicial branch. In delivering a commencement speech, he spoke about the future of the graduating class.

"We are lucky to be here, and I don't just mean at a commencement ceremony about to receive our degrees," he said. "I mean in the world. Crime, poverty, greed and geographic barriers have each served to prevent people from earning their college degrees. We have a duty to recognize our privilege."

Surviving as a Weekend Warrior Lawyer

To be or not to be a weekend warrior; that is a tough question.

Yet it's a question every lawyer must answer sometime in his or her career. The difficult answer too often is "yes" because attorneys don't always have a choice. Being a weekend warrior is part of the business of law.

Here's Another Reason to Ditch Brain Training

So you're not that good at Sudoku. Maybe you can't spell it, or even know what it is.

No worries. It's not as bad as you think, especially if you are an aging lawyer trying to train your brain with games and puzzles. (Sudoku, if you were wondering, is one of the most popular puzzles in the mobile world today.) Brain training, it turns out, might not be such a good idea after all because getting older is getting better.

Can you have a successful legal career and a thriving personal life? The legal industry, with its focus on work over everything else, doesn't exactly make it easy.

Some people are trying to change that, however, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The kids are out of school and you're still stuck working nights and weekends trying to make your billable hours. Sure, you'd much rather spend your days taking the little ones to the beach, instead of sitting through another status call or polishing off a memo, but that's not always possible.

So, lawyers with children, what exactly can you do to deal with the kids over the summer?

Summer isn't like it once was, when you were a young kid or even just an undergrad. Long, slow summer days are replaced by all-nighters as an associate. And if you're still a law student, life isn't that much better. Lazy days at the beach are harder to come by, what with all the bar prep or summer associate work.

But that doesn't mean you can't still have fun. Here are our top tips for enjoying a little bit of sun and fun while still keeping on top of your lawyerly duties.

Is There an Alternative to the 8-Hour Workday for Lawyers?

Lawyers are renown for being workaholics -- a moniker that most of us don't willingly earn. It's not that we want to work till we drop, but it seems that there's always work to be done with never enough time to do it.

That's largely thanks to the convention of the eight-hour workday, a "relic" of the industrial revolution, as Travis Bradberry at Forbes calls it. But if there is a better way, what is it and how can we get there?

Ah, law school summers. Those long days on the beach and care-free nights, finding young love in the sand dunes. Actually, that's the start of "Grease," not a law school summer. When you're in law school, summer tends to mean one thing: work. And you should be focused on work in the summers! Summer clerkships, associate positions, and internships are the best chance for you to learn some actual lawyering skills.

But work isn't all you should be doing this summer. Here's a few more tasks to add to your calendar.

Yesterday, we wrote about a former Squire Patton Boggs associate who took to the Internet to decry the gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and "a very clear glass ceiling" found at major law firms. At many firms, the mother of two claimed, "having a baby apparently makes you worth less as a lawyer."

Her complaints line up with what many others have said: the male-dominated legal industry can be a horrible place for mothers. And it's a pretty terrible place to be a father as well, according to the experience of male lawyers who've sought to take paternity leave.

A disgruntled ex-BigLaw associate took to Reddit yesterday to call out her old firm and explain why she left the law. Kristen Jarvis Johnson says she was a partner-track associate for nine years with Squire Patton Boggs. While at the firm, she experienced "blatant gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and a very clear glass ceiling," she wrote on Reddit.

So Johnson quit her job, walked away from her a nearly $400,000-a-year income, and now wants everyone to know just how awful her time in BigLaw was. Spoiler alert: it was pretty awful.