Book Review – The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the Legal Wilderness

In his 2010 book entitled “The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the Legal Wilderness” (“the Song”), Hugh Duvall sings a heartfelt tune about what it means – and what it ought to mean – to be a lawyer. Written from the perspective of a lawyer-litigator, the Song is intended to reach two main audiences. For non-lawyers, the Song is meant to provide “a window into the complex intellectual, emotional and ethical frontier of [the legal] profession.” For lawyers, it is an affirmation of all that is good in the legal profession – a melody meant to “charge us up and to speed us on our way.” Mr. Duvall performs to both audiences with admirable aplomb.

A quick and engaging read, the Song pursues its purpose in a refreshingly creative style. Each chapter (or verse) focuses on a key theme of legal practice; and each is presented in two parts. The first is a vignette of a story set in 1842 Oregon in which a woman hires a guide to lead her through the backcountry in search of her husband. With the chapter’s theme as a springboard, the second part dives into a non-fictitious account of the various ways in which the issues presented in the vignette affect the day-to-day lives of present-day lawyers.

Within its verses, the Song sings of the hard realities of legal practice. These include the risk and challenge of law school, the long lonely hours of legal practice, the anguish of a case fought and lost, and the betrayal of a thankless client. These darker notes are important for any law student or aspiring lawyer to hear – especially one bedazzled by the gloss of legal practice as it appears on the big screen.

Floating above the bass register are the treble notes of the more ennobling aspects of legal practice. These include the sanctity of the lawyer-client relationship, the humility of faithful service, the decorum of loyalty, and the thrill of victory. These higher notes give the Song a more edifying tenor for those who are uncertain or otherwise cynical about the inherent dignity of a legal career, or those otherwise in need of affirmation.

As much as the Song serves to demystify some of the realities of legal practice, at the same time it also serves to enshroud it in a cloud of romanticism. For example, laced into the narrative are some pretty rosy assumptions about what it is that drives people to pursue a career in law. As Mr. Duvall puts it:

Ours is a profession to which we were called. We were always aware of its presence. The feeling. The thought. The notion that we would become lawyers…It was one’s essence. One’s being. There was no real choice involved at all.

It would be nice if this were true. But the reality is that all sorts of people go to law school (and eventually become lawyers) for far lesser reasons. Some go to law school to please their parents. Others go because they want money, security and prestige. Still others go because they don’t know what else to do with themselves. Yet once on the conveyor belt, the pressure to identify as a lawyer gets stronger and stronger. Years later, well into their careers, all too many wake up and realize that what they are doing is not their calling – that this is not their song.

The romanticism of the Song also surfaces in other verses. For example, in the verse about “passion”, Mr. Duvall notes that “[w]e cannot meet the rigorous challenges we regularly confront without passion for our work.” Lawyers, just like anybody else, are much better equipped to do their jobs when fuelled by passion. Yet the truth is that on the whole lawyers aren’t exactly known for their passion for their work. In fact, many plod their weary ways through their entire careers without much enthusiasm for their jobs at all.

While Mr. Duvall may be romantic, he is not blind. As he notes, many lawyers do such things as “take shortcuts to the prejudice of the client”, “make as much money as possible”, “gain attention for personal aggrandizement”, and “run a business as opposed to a law practice.” It is clear that Mr. Duvall is fully aware that such “imposters” exist among our ranks; the simple fact of the matter is that they are not part of his intended audience.

While such “imposters” may well not deserve admission to Mr. Duvall’s performance, I contend that they constitute a third audience that must not only attend, but also listen extra carefully. For it is to this audience that the Song carries a special – albeit implicit – message. And that message is this:

If you are not in harmony with the basic values of your profession, you must do something about it or your career and life will ever be dissonant.

In listening to the Song, should anyone find themselves scoffing or otherwise rolling their eyes in cynicism at its lyrics, then it may well be that they belong to this third audience. Should they recognize the special message the Song has for them, and should they be inspired to take corrective action, Mr. Duvall will have truly outdone himself.

Bravo, Mr. Duvall!

Educating Children to Think Outside the Box

When asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my nine year old daughter constantly replies “a famous singer”.

When I try to bring her gently back to reality by asking “but what if you don’t manage to succeed in being a singer, she immediately replies, “then I will be a famous actress instead.”

It is sad but true that in today’s fame obsessed culture most young people aspire to be a famous celebrity rather than seeking careers in the more traditional roles like nursing, teaching or becoming a lawyer.

How can we, as parents, address this situation?
In my opinion it is vital that we try to educate our children to know that there are other exciting opportunities available for them that can lead to being successful and fulfilled in life.

In addition to promoting the traditional roles like teaching and nursing we should also try to encourage our children to “think out of the box”.

Very often we live our lives as though we are in a box. We pursue roles and lives that we feel we ought to. We are educated to think that we need to either get a job straight from school or to obtain a degree if we want a” higher” profession. We are encouraged to seek traditional careers and to keep the status quo.

This does not have to be the case. As well as valuing the traditional education offered to our young daughters we should also try to encourage our children by stimulating their imagination to think of more exciting ways to succeed. Our youngest daughter is already showing great business and entrepreneurial potential. She particularly enjoys watching entrepreneurial programs and gets quite excited when she tries to think of ideas of her own for various tasks presented in these programs. My children also enjoy helping me to devise various ideas for my business and my website. They quite often offer me very novel ways to present my web pages.

My wife enjoys nurturing their creative skills in other ways. Very often they enjoy making things outdoors like mobiles made from twigs and leaves or jewellery made from string, wood, leaves and flowers. My eldest daughter even made a beautiful necklace from a shell that she placed on to a piece of chord. She often jokes that she is one day going to open a stall selling her home made jewellery to make extra pocket money. This enterprising spirit should be encouraged as many top entrepreneurs have started out by selling something small for extra pocket money and gone on to bigger fortunes…Just look at Lord Sugar who is a perfect example of this.

My youngest daughter enjoys being creative by writing stories along with her own illustrations when she has been on an “adventure” with her mum. When she returns from a walk in the woods both she and my wife then sit and write stories about who they think live is the tree in the woods. My daughter particularly likes these stories as one of the trees actually has a door with a handle on it. She is convinced that a family of squirrels live there whereas my wife writes that a family of goblins live there. It doesn’t really matter which version is best, the important thing is that it stimulates my daughter’s imagination and actually encourages her to write, something that she isn’t normally keen on doing. Who knows it could also encourage her to be a famous writer in the future.

It doesn’t really matter which career path our children take. The important thing is to ensure that they enjoy whatever they choose to do and that they realise there are many other exciting opportunities available other than the traditional roles that are encouraged at school. Using entrepreneurial and creative skills can easily lead to running a successful business. As can utilising good writing and illustrative skills. If your children choose the right career path for them, whatever that might be, they will be capable of achieving the same success and fulfilment that they would get by being a celebrity. The plus side is that they would be able to still enjoy their lives and privacy without fearing that they are being followed at every opportunity by the media.

What It Takes to Succeed in the Legal Career

Legal careers and legal jobs are becoming one of the most dynamic and rewarding career choice; as our legal system has become an integral part of our daily lives. Either minor or major, we need legal expertise and guidance for every right that we possess.

We live in an information age, where people are aware of their fundamental rights and duties, so lawyers and other legal professionals must know how to have success for a client. A meaningful law career that solves client’s needs, leads not only to career satisfaction and a sense of achievement; but, it also can result in a high income earning potential.

More and more bright young aspirants are considering law as their prime career choice to become as successful as the lawyers and professionals they idolize. But not all who begin with high hopes succeed. So, what could be the most important qualities to obtain success in a legal career and the legal profession?

In his book, The Science of Getting Rich, Wallace Wattles notes that those who “thinks in a certain way” will succeed pure and simple. Hence, let’s take a look at the things that successful legal professionals embrace. If you do these things in that same way that the successful legal practitioner does, you will, in fact, succeed. Here, then, are a few ingredients that will lead to success in any legal job:

  • Communication: A legal professional is bound to have exemplary communication skills. Communication skills cover your written, oral and listening skills. In the legal profession one has to interview suspects, witnesses, clients and all sorts of people in order to extract any and all information associated to their case; not only that but he also needs to analyze that information on various fronts to verify the veracity of the information received. Therefore, working and improving upon your communication and listening skills is essential to your success in a legal career. Any seminars, books or training devoted to increasing your communication abilities will inevitably lead to success.
  • Empathic and Rational: Being empathic in the legal profession means the capacity to understand and know emotionally what a client has experienced and the ability to put oneself in clients’ shoes. Note I did not say to be sympathetic. Sympathetic means you feel sorry for your client. Empathy involves the quality of appreciating your client’s situation. At the same time a legal professional should have a rational mind and clear thinking, because as my mother used to say “rule your life with reason.”
  • Out of the Box thinking: Legal professionals must have the ability to find what is hidden and present the best choices for their clients. Typically, clients are in conflict with an adversary. The creative legal professional can break deadlocks through creative solutions that lead to mutually beneficial solutions
  • Specialized Knowledge: One needs to have expert knowledge in their area to work in any profession, but in this is especially so in the legal profession. The top legal professional must not only master the legal knowledge of the sector he represents but also he must gain the knowledge vital to the industry itself. As they say – “Hundred men with guns cannot steal as much as a lawyer with his words”, so to choose the right words and phrases one must be knowledgeable. For example, if you are a litigator that represents a company in the oil industry, then you must know every detail of the oil industry to prepare a strong and winning argument for the case; similarly for any client a legal professional must have a thorough knowledge of every detail associated to a client’s work.
  • Confidentiality: Legal ethics demand strict confidentially with your client. If you cannot observe this basic cannon, then you cannot find success in the legal profession. Maintaining confidentiality is the foremost task of a legal professional. Attorneys, paralegals, legal receptionists, all gain confidential information and it must be kept secret. Violating the attorney client privilege is tantamount to losing a client’s faith, which can be fatal in any legal position.
  • Commitment: There is a saying that “A Lawyer would do anything to win a case.” Commitment is required in any and every legal profession. Fighting a case for a client is like treating a patient; clients in the legal world have just one expectation of ‘success’ and to fulfill it, one must be committed to his work. Most of the famous and highly reputed people in legal careers forget about everything else, sometimes they overlook their personal commitments; it’s just 40% what they work at officially and 60% of the unofficial work that makes the difference. Success in the legal profession requires preparation-a lot of time in research and drawing up all the necessary documents. Perseverance is the key; one must be willing to work without any boundaries to time in a legal job.
  • Diplomatic: It is said rightly that “He is not a lawyer who can’t take two sides”. There are no friends or foes in legal profession; one must say the right words at the right place and the right time. Being diplomatic makes your overall personality favorable, even for those who disagree as to what you say or believe; also, it makes you a good negotiator, which is a routine task in any legal profession. You should be diplomatic if you are trying to find success in legal careers.
  • Persuasive: Whether a lawyer, attorney, paralegal or a legal assistant everyone in legal the profession should be persuasive. It requires a great amount of skill and practice to persuade a judge, jury or even client to your position. Every client expects their legal consultant to be aggressive, they do not pay you to sleep and be shy; you must learn to persuade to get success in legal careers.
  • Patience: You need to be patient in order to be successful in legal profession. If you don’t succeed at first, try again; you will not get your way the first time around. You will need to write letter after letter, draft motion after motion, in order to succeed for your clients. Practicing a legal job requires a lot of waiting. Waiting around courthouses for your case to be called. Waiting around for decisions on appeals to be handed down. It is said rightly that – “If you are a legal professional, either you will learn to wait or you will simply grow old before time.”
  • Last, but not the least, Love of argument: Legal professionals debate constantly; with courts, with adversaries, with companies and even with their own clients and associates. If you love to advance your position, not just occasionally or at work but day in and day out, and if you are difficult to beat in arguments; then you definitely have what it takes to excel in legal careers.

The Nursing Career

Nursing is a profession focused on assisting individuals, families and communities to meet again, achieve and maintain optimal health and functioning. Modern definitions of nursing define it as a science and an art that focuses on promoting quality of life as defined by individuals and families, throughout their life experiences from birth to care at the end of life.

In pre-modern times, nuns and the military often nursing services. The religious and military roots of modern nursing remain in evidence today. For example, in Britain, senior nurses are known as “Sisters”. In recent times in the U.S. Canada and many nurses are flowing back to work in a “religious” on the ground across the “Parish Nursing.” These nurses work within a church community to carry out health education, counseling, referrals to provide community support agencies, and connect volunteers from the Christian community with those in need of assistance.

Nurses recognize that the nursing profession is an essential part of society which has grown. The authority to practice nursing in basa is a social contract that defines the rights and professional responsibilities, as well as mechanisms for public accountability. The practice of nursing comprises an altruistic behavior, is guided by research and nursing is governed by a code of ethics.

Nursing continues to develop a broad range of knowledge and skills associated. There are a number of educational paths to become a professional nurse, but all involve extensive study of nursing theory and practice and training in clinical skills.

In almost all countries, nursing practice is defined and regulated by law and entry into the profession is regulated by national, state or territorial boards of nursing.

The American Nurses’ Association (1980) has identified nursing as “the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to actual or potential health problems.” Just as medical diagnoses help in the planning, implementation and evaluation of health care, nursing diagnoses help in the planning, implementation and evaluation of nursing care.

Like other disciplines maturation, nursing has developed various theories that fit the differences and philosophical beliefs or paradigms of the world. Nursing theories nurses to help direct its activities to achieve specific goals with people. Nursing is a knowledge-based discipline committed to the betterment of mankind. Nursing has not only become a profession, but also an art.

Nursing is the most diverse of all health professions. It is a universal role that appears in some form in all cultures.

Nursing can be divided into different specialties or ratings. In the U.S., there are a large number of nursing specialties. Professional organizations or certification boards issue of voluntary certification in many of these areas.

These specialties include attention throughout human life based on the patient’s needs. Many nurses who choose a specialty become certified in that area, which means they possess expert knowledge of specialty. There are over 200 nursing specialties and sub-specialties. Certified nurses often earn a salary differential over their non-certified colleagues, and studies of the Institute of Medicine have shown that specialty certified nurses have higher rates of patient satisfaction and lower rates of work-related errors in patient care.

Nurses in practice a wide range of environments from hospitals to people who visit in their homes and take care of them in schools for research in pharmaceutical companies. Nurses working in shaping health (also called industrial health), free standing clinics and medical offices, nurse management clinics, long-term care, and camps. Nurses working on cruise ships and in military service. They act as advisers and consultants to health care and insurance industries. Some nurses are working with lawyers and other lawyers as legal nurse consultants, reviewing patient records to ensure that adequate attention and gave testimony in court. In many cities, nurses can even enter their names on a “record” and work a variety of temporary jobs.

In the modern world, there are a large number of nursing specialties:
Ambulatory Care Nursing
Advanced nursing practice
Behavioral health nursing
Camp nurses
Cardiac nursing
Cardiac catheter laboratory nursing
The case management
Clinical nurse specialist
Clinical research nurse
Nursing in community health
Correctional nursing
Nursing critical care
Developmental disabilities nursing
District nursing
Emergency nursing
Environmental Health Nursing
Flight nursing
Forensic nursing
Gastroenterology Nursing
Genetics nursing
Geriatric Nursing
Health visit
Hematology oncology nursing
HIV / AIDS nursing
Home health nursing
Hospice nurses
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy Nursing
Intavenous therapy nursing
Infectious diseases nursing
Legal nursing
Legal nurse researcher
Maternal-Child Nursing
Medical-Surgical Nursing
Military and uniformed nursing services, including Public Health Service
Neonatal Nursing
Neuro-surgical nursing
Nurse anesthetist
Nurse-midwife
Nurse professional
Nursing educator
Nursing Informatics
Nursing Management
Obstetrics, Gynecology nursing
From health nursing
Nursing oncological
Operating Theatre nursing
Orthopaedic nursing
Ostomy nursing
The pain management and palliative care nursing
Pediatric Nursing
Perianesthesia Nursing
Perioperative Nursing
Plastic and reconstructive surgical nursing
Private Nursing
Psychiatric nursing or mental health
Public health
Pulmonary nursing
Improving the quality
Radiology nursing
Rehabilitation nursing
Nursing kidney dialysis
Renal nursing
Research
School of Nursing
Sub-acute nursing
Substance abuse nursing
Tele-medicine nursing
Telemetry Nursing
Telephone triage nurses
Transplant nursing
Travel Nursing
Urology nursing
Utilization Management
The wound care
Professional organizations or certification boards issue of voluntary certification in many of these specialties.

Assistant Nursing skills are all learned tasks used to help residents or patients with activities of daily living (ADLs) and providing bedside care, including basic nursing procedures under the supervision of a registered nurse ( RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN).

At present, hospitals and extended care facillities an assistant nurse is an important part of a medical team that includes staff outside many of the nurses. In the quest to earn a profit of care many hospitals in the United States have reduced their nurse to patient ratios, which requires a nurse to care for as many as twelve or fourteen patients at once. To that good attention being given to patients that a nurse assistant is needed to provide routine care so that nurses can focus on tasks that only he / she can do, such as care plans, evaluations of nursing, administration of medications, and help surgery preparation room. The auxiliary nurse should not only be highly skilled in the current procedures being carried out, but must also be able to make quick observations of the patient’s condition and information to report to the nurse. Since the nurse can not spend large amounts of time in a room with the patient, the nurse assistant is known as the nurse “eyes and ears”.

A nurse assistant must have a solid understanding of emergency procedures and be able to stay calm in stressful situations. They should be able to introduce a Code Blue and be well drilled in cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Do You Have What It Takes To Become A Lawyer?

Just ask a group of kids about what they want to be when they grow up, and most of them will either say a doctor, a teacher, a fireman or a chef. Occasionally though, you will find kids who will want to become a lawyer and would choose that career either because they would like to help somebody, or because they think of the money, but just what does it take to become a lawyer?

Ask many of the lawyers in good standing about why they became a lawyer, and the same reasons will be given, some started studying this career out of idealism, while others felt it would be a great career with many financial prospects. Either way, the road to becoming a good lawyer who is making a good living, is paved with many thousands of hours of studying and taking many exams in order to finally get to your goal, so you must be really sure that you have what it takes to pull it off. Are you the kind of person that is tenacious and will stick with things until you reach your goal?

You will first need your basic education, meaning finishing your college degree and go to law school for three years. After finishing law school successfully, you will be obligated to pass your bar examination in the state where you want to start practicing law. Passing the bar examination is no small achievement regardless of where you take the exam. We all can remember the record of hapless John Kennedy Jr who took the exam three times before finally passing.

Passing that examination, you are now eligible to become a member of your state bar and remain in good standing. However, if you think your study hours are over, you are mistaken. In order to remain in good standing with the state Bar Association, you will need to pass evaluations every year and follow a certain amount of course, studying new laws and material, in order to stay on top of any new developments in your field of expertise.

If you dream of life as a successful lawyer, litigating in court every day, you might want to reconsider picking this as a career. The truth of the matter is that most lawyers end up spending most of their time working in their office or law libraries, preparing their cases and doing all the investigation needed in order to find loopholes in the law, relevant rulings from the past, or any other material that can help their clients to their favor.

In fact, in actuality, it can be a long time between court dates when you actually get to strut your stuff in front of juries and judges. There are many areas of the law where court appearances are almost non-existent. Patent and some real estate attorneys rarely see the inside of a court room.

All in all, being a lawyer can be a really tough career with a lot of stress, which is why it is also one of the highest paid careers of all.