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Checking In or Checking Out on Vacation?

College student: 'I am interested in pursuing law, and I was just wondering, on average, how many weeks of vacation a starting out lawyer would receive?'

Columnist: "Ha, ha, ha. Oh my gosh! That's a good one. Next question."

As if lawyers actually take vacations ... it's more about managing the time you take to get away from the office. The "checking-in" method can help.

South Dakota's Legal Weed Hopes: Ruined by a Missing Phrase?

Is it possible that the authors of South Dakota's marijuana initiative were stoned at the time they drafted it?

After all, marijuana proponents invariably use the hallucinogenic drug. Memory loss and paranoia, for example, are common side effects.

And apparently, the authors forgot to include a critical phrase in their ballot draft. The state attorney general says now the ballot measure legalizes only paraphernalia -- not marijuana.

Good News, Bad News for Women Lawyers in 2017

The good news is that more women are becoming law partners.

The bad news is, that represents only about 25 percent at the leading firms. And somewhere in between the good news and the bad news is a question:

With more women going to law school than ever, where are they going after that?

Tips on Productivity: Go Slow and Steady

Many years ago, I drove a 1969 Volkswagen almost 1,000 miles up and down the California coast to attend a deposition.

It was a beautiful trip, especially along the cliffy stretch between San Simeon and Carmel. Not everybody gets to see it because sometimes rock slides cover the highway. As I look back now, I realize how that drive taught me something about life.

Slow and steady wins the race. It's as true on a road trip as it is in law life. Here are some tips to help you manage your productivity in a busy law practice:

Solo Lawyers: Tips for Working on Your Summer Vacation

'Working vacation' is an oxymoron, especially for solo attorneys.

So why do we plunge head first into the ritual? It's like starting a journey, knowing that you'll never get to your destination.

But such is the attorney's fate, and so we soldier on with our lattes in life. Here are some ideas for your next working vacation:

What to Do When a Client Puts a Gun to Your Head

"But for the grace of God, goes John Bradford."

It's a quote attributed to the religious reformer, commenting as prisoners were led to execution. He was later burned at the stake.

It's also apropos for lawyers who have advocated for clients, only to have them threaten them. Like Jack Swerling's client, who was convicted after holding him at gunpoint.

Fight for Your Right to Party, or How Lawyers Can Take Vacations

Move to France.

That's the short answer to how lawyers can demand vacation days. In France, employees are entitled to five weeks of paid vacation each year by law.

Unlike most countries, however, the United States has no right to paid vacation or paid holidays. So if you are an American lawyer, you may have to work a little harder to take time off.

Pros and Cons of Being a Trial Lawyer

Pointing out the pros and cons of being a trial lawyer is like pointing out the best and worst flavors at Baskin Robbins.

There are so many choices and everybody has a favorite. Maybe you like peanut butter chocolate, but the next guy is allergic to it.

So it is with the best and worst parts about being a trial lawyer because there are many kinds of trials. I'm gonna go with rocky road.

Stealing the Courtroom Show: Should You Sign Up for Theater Classes?

Melvin Belli, the legendary 'King of Torts' and sometimes Hollywood actor, was known for his courtroom theatrics.

Belli appeared in television and movies during his storied career, and took some of his acting skills into the courtroom. Representing a woman in a personal injury case, he literally dropped her prosthetic leg in a juror's lap for dramatic effect.

"Ladies and gentleman of the jury, this is what my pretty young client will wear for the rest of her life," he said. "Take it!"

No one is saying you need to drop a limb in the courtroom, but you might consider breaking a leg. Acting could win your case.

Justice Gap Widens: Low-Income Americans Face Battle for Legal Help

At the end of each day, Elinor's disabled daughter had to crawl four flights of stairs to their apartment.

It took more than an hour to get in and out of her building to attend school. She spent 30 minutes sliding down the steps just to reach the wheelchair stashed under the stairwell.

But by the grace of legal aid, Elinor was able to fight for a ground floor apartment without losing her $700 rent-control rate. That kind of help may not last, however, given the current political climate concerning legal aid.