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5 Tips Before You Make a Career Change

So you're standing on the edge of a cliff, looking down at the rocks below and imagining what your body will look like when they find you.

Of course, it's not gonna be that bad. There are risks to taking that leap of faith toward a new career, but you can do it. Here are some thoughts to consider before you take that bold step:

Should Lawyers Take Sabbaticals?

For a moment, just imagine asking your employer about taking a sabbatical from work.

The question is only difficult because you think that the answer will be "no" and that you will wonder, "what was I thinking?" Then you will be saying to yourself that you never should have read that blog article ...

Regardless, there are compelling reasons to take a sabbatical, even if asking your boss about it makes you uncomfortable.

Tips to Improve Work-Life Balance in the New Year

Balancing work-life can be like balancing a tire. When changing tires, a good mechanic will balance new tires before putting them back on an automobile. The task requires moving lead weights strategically around the circumference of each wheel until it rotates evenly. Balancing is important to ensure a smooth ride and a long life for the tire.

It's a good time for lawyers to make adjustments to balance their work and their lives as they begin a new year. This may require moving some burdens around to make life's journey smoother and the ride a little longer.

Tips for Advising Lottery Winners

Admit it, you too have dreamed about winning the lottery. It's OK. Everybody who has purchased a lottery ticket has dreamt about it. Even if you didn't dream about the lottery with a scratch ticket, as a lawyer you probably imagined winning that one big case or getting that golden client. Yeah, that lottery.

Whatever your dreams, it is more realistic than you may think to spend some time thinking about the lottery. Because chances are, you will have a client who wins it one way or another. Some lawyers have actually carved out a practice for such clients.

Lawyerly Holiday Gifts in a Click

Don't worry, when it comes ordering holiday gifts for legal professionals, you haven't missed the deadline -- but you're cutting it close. There are just a few days left to buy and deliver some presents before it really is too late. That, of course, means some serious online shopping. Santa's sleigh is now powered by search engines!

Here are some clickable gift suggestions for those lawyerly people in your life or office, gifts that just might arrive on time.

Lawyer Vindicated on Appeal After Losing Case on Untimely Bathroom Break

Some things can't wait, like when a Florida lawyer desperately needed to leave the courtroom to go the bathroom.

But poor Jeff Tomberg had to wait 18 months for a court of appeal to excuse him. The appeals court said the trial judge should have allowed Tomberg to argue a motion, even though he was late to a hearing because he was in the bathroom. The justices said the judge abused his discretion in refusing the lawyer's request to be heard.

"Here, because plaintiffs' counsel was only a few minutes late for the summary judgment hearing and offered a patently reasonable explanation for his tardy appearance, and there was no showing of prejudice or willful misconduct, we find that the trial court abused its discretion in refusing to allow plaintiffs' counsel to present argument at the hearing," the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal said.

In other words, "Yes, Jeff, you may go now."

It's the middle of the week. The sky is grey, the weather is chilly, and the night is coming sooner and sooner. And you've still got those briefs to write, papers to file, and hours to bill.

Before you put your head down and slog through it, might we suggest a quick break? Take a few moments to check out these TED talks for a little bit of invigoration, inspiration, and entertainment. They could be just what you need to get through the week.

Impatient Millennials can't wait for anything -- and they're certainly not going to wait to get through a six pack of Zima before heading out to a college party. Hence "butt chugging," the concerning practice of consuming alcohol or other drugs rectally, where they can be quickly absorbed into the blood stream.

The days of drinking with your mouth are over, Gramps. Today, sadly, butt chugging is a thing that lawyers need to know about.

The heads of the heads of America's law firms are getting grayer by the day, as more and more firm leadership hits retirement age (and beyond). Nearly half of the partners in Am Law 200 firms are members of the Baby Boomer generation or older, according to a report by the American Lawyer. Boomers, the 76 million adults born during the post-WWII boom, are now anywhere between 52 and 70 years old -- prime retirement age. Sixteen percent of those partners are expected to retire within the next five years, Major, Lindsey & Africa estimates, and 38 percent will be out within 10.

What does that mean for Boomers who plan on continuing on, or the Gen X and Millennial lawyers who will be left behind?

The Black Lives Matter movement has certainly struck a chord with many lawyers, from Supreme Court justices to public defenders. Over the last Supreme Court term, for example, Justice Sonia Sotomayor has repeatedly called out perceived abuses in the criminal justice system.

But support for BLM isn't always well received by judges. In July, a defense attorney was arrested for contempt of court in Ohio after she refused a judges' order to remove a BLM pin. And just last week, BLM courtroom controversy reignited again, after a deputy public defender in Las Vegas refused to remove her BLM pin in court.