Tips for How to Make the Best of Rest Time and How to Know You Need It

By Angela Morris (Texas Lawyer magazine, December 2018)

Texas law students yearning for rest and relaxation will get a chance later this month, but winter break isn’t just a time for leisure.

To make the most of the monthlong holiday, law students should fit in R&R, while also setting aside time to reflect on the pros and cons of the finished semester, set goals for the upcoming semester and jump-start job searches for summer jobs.

Texas Lawyer connected with a student bar president, a career services director and an academic success expert at three law schools spread across Texas to get their top tips about balancing the break. Here are their answers to our questions, edited for brevity and clarity.

Purvi Shah Is Perfecting the Art of ‘Movement Lawyering’

by Angela Morris (law.com, Nov. 29, 2018)

Purvi Shah has a vision that law should serve society as a building block for equality and an architect for justice.

But the deep-rooted societal problems of racism and inequality surfacing in U.S. culture—including police shootings and sexual harassment—have made Shah see that lawyers must do more to realize her vision.

Shah, founder and executive director of Movement Law Lab, 
has embarked on a journey to train and support lawyers and legal organizations dedicated to placing the full force and power of the law behind communities fighting for social justice. The idea, known as “movement lawyering,” is getting a boost from Shah’s nonprofit, which funds and incubates projects by attorneys and legal organizations looking to make a difference.

Boost Your Practice by Improving Your Wellness: New ABA Book

It’s a well-known fact that lawyers suffer at high numbers from mental health and substance abuse problems, and a new book on lawyer wellness drives home a point that might motivate many attorneys to take action.

When wellness permeates an attorney’s life, there’s a positive impact on his law practice, clients, judges and juries, said Stewart Levine, editor and curator of the recently released book, “The Best Lawyer You Can Be: A Guide to Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Wellness.” Levine, whose book is published by the American Bar Association, recruited lawyers and wellness experts to pen chapters that serve as a guide toward lawyer wellness, suggesting things such as practicing yoga in the office, eating nutritiously, exercising and giving back through pro bono and volunteerism and building resilience.

The book is part of an ongoing trend to push wellness into the legal profession in the wake of eye-opening research over the past few years that showed how pervasive mental health and substance abuse issues are among lawyers.

Link.

PDF: boost-your-practice-by-improving-your-wellness-new-aba-book

Houston Law Grads Discuss Juggling Classes While Raising Families

Houston law graduates Ieshia Champs and Shartory Brown have inspired many people with their stories surviving childhood homelessness and teenage pregnancy and then succeeding in law school while raising multiple kids.

Texas Lawyer spoke with Brown and emailed Champs for advice for other law students about juggling a strict schedule, coping with overwhelming demands, and tapping into their inner strength and resiliency. Here are their answers, edited for clarity and brevity.

Link.

PDF: houston-law-grads-discuss-juggling-classes-while-raising-families

Mark Your Calendars: June 26 Is Banner Day for LGBT Rights at SCOTUS

It’s poetic coincidence that the biggest U.S. Supreme Court rulings in the LGBT civil rights movement bore the date June 26, said high court litigator Paul Smith, who argued the landmark case that laid the foundation for same-sex marriage equality.

In Lawrence v. Texas, John Lawrence and Tyron Garner were arrested in Lawrence’s Houston home for alleged “deviant sexual intercourse” that violated the Texas criminal sodomy statute. Fifteen years ago on June 26, 2003, the high court ruled in Lawrence that criminal sodomy statutes were unconstitutional. It paved the way for the high court on the same date—June 26—nine years later in Windsor v. United States to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act’s definitions of “marriage” and “spouse” as limited to opposite-sex couples. And in 2015, again on June 26, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in Obergefell v. Hodges.

Link.

PDF: mark-your-calendars-june-26-is-banner-day-for-lgbt-rights-at-scotus

Ben Crump Champions the Wrongfully Convicted in New TV Show

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump is well-known nationally for representing families of unarmed black people killed by police, like Michael Brown and Stephon Clark, in wrongful death and police brutality cases.

In his latest role, he’s the host of “Evidence of Innocence,” a new show on TV One about wrongful convictions with episodes running on Mondays in June.

Crump, president and founder of Ben Crump Law in Tallahassee and Los Angeles, narrates the stories and interviews the four wrongfully convicted African-Americans who are featured in the show. As the survivors—and the defense lawyers and investigators who won their clients’ freedom—sit under studio lights telling their stories, actors and actresses re-enact the drama, with intense music in the background.

We caught up with Crump, a former National Bar Association president, to ask about his role in the show, how it’s affected him personally and the larger impact he hopes to see from it. Here are his answers, edited for clarity and brevity.

Link.

PDF: ben-crump-champions-the-wrongfully-convicted-in-new-tv-show

Big Law Associate’s Life Ensnared in Austin Bomber’s Fate

As a bomber terrorized Austin this month, Big Law senior associate Liz Marcum had a very specific reason to be worried.

While law enforcement moved in on the suspect, Liz Marcum’s husband—Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Marcum—was called in to track and apprehend the bomber.

Link.

PDF: Big Law Associate_s Life Ensnared in Austin Bomber’s Fate _ Law.com