chain of causation

a series of events in the life of a lawyer

Goals: January 2009 Edition

Short-term goals:

  • Find employment (easier said than done in “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression”). Hitting the job boards and using what connections I have but yeah, no luck so far since I’ve been admitted for about 2 months in IL and 1 month in NJ.
  • Write! The entire law profession is predicated on the concept of successful communication and persuasion of decision makers be they judges or juries. The sharper I can keep the skills by practice, the better.
  • Finally upload a batch of photos that have been sitting in my queue for almost 6 weeks now.

Longer-term goals:

  • Find my unique expertise in a field of law: this one might be a bit more difficult. By training, I am a generalist at least in terms of practice areas. My first summer, I worked in a general practice firm doing the gruntwork of running a law office (answering phones, pulling case files, drafting, etc). At Chicago-Kent, my focus there was to finish my Intellectual Property Certificate and I also took more tax courses than average. First internship at the State’s Attorney, Illinois worker’s compensation was what I worked on. Second internship at the Illinois AG’s office was at the General Law Bureau. One discussion I had at the time with my coworkers noted that I had done some assignment for every unit inside General Law except civil rights, prisoner’s rights, and the employment side of labor and employment. Personally, being of a generation that has grown up with the Internet, I would like to base a practice around how the Internet is changing some of the fundamental assumptions we hold in our legal system. How to get there though is another story.
  • Learn how to do all of my legal writing using the LaTeX document preparation system. I know, most of the profession tends to stick to either WordPerfect or Word, even my favored word processor Writer (which is compatible with more formats than I care to remember) is a distant third. Why LaTeX? Because it allows me to think more about document structure and my actual writing instead of wrangling to get formats right.
  • Get myself a bit more organized than I am. I generally tend to keep on top of things (as I should given the importance of being timely in the practice of law) but I do wish that I were a bit more structured about it than the ad hoc usage of yellow stickies.
  • Further my photographic skills. Yes, I do have interests outside of the law. I’ve been working on taking better photos (which is rather ironic considering my personal lack of photogenicity) using a Nikon D40 DSLR. I’ve come a long way from just a normal point-and-shoot but I do feel that my technique can always use improvement, especially in the areas of composition.

That’s it for now, as Zen Habits says – sometimes you need to just get started in order to form a new habit.


Written by Vincent Kan

January 18, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Posted in Random

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