About Us

Victoria Pynchon

As the co-founder of She Negotiates Consulting and Training, I offer my services as a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant....

She Mediates

ADR Services, Inc.

She Negotiates

She Negotiates

The 33 cent wage and income gap is unacceptable and unnecessary. So is the cliché glass ceiling. Bottom line, our...

Happy Lawyers is Not an Oxymoron Redux

Pictured:  Chere Estrin, Chairperson, Board of Directors, The OLP;  Editor-in-Chief, SUE for Women Litigators; Editor-in-Chief, KNOW the Magazine for Paralegals; CEO, Estrin Education, Inc.

I've written about happy and unhappy lawyers before - here and here but I've rarely framed the issue as succinctly or as well as Chere Estrin at the Organization of Legal Professionals.  In the sidebar to her article The Secrets to a Stress Free Career, Estrin says work does not give you stress. Feeling bad about work gives you stress. 

What does Estrin know? 

Quite a lot. 

"I used to be the most stressed-put person I knew," says Estrin.

I averaged 90 hour weeks in the legal field as an executive in a $5 billion corporation, traveled three weeks out of four, answered to some big shots who thought they owned the planet, and managed hundreds of people.  It wasn’t much different when I was a paralegal manager.  There were critical deadlines to meet, difficult attorneys to juggle, anxious clients to handle and something called a “minimum billable hours” requirement, now referred to as “suggested” hours in a more politically correct and less actionable environment.  I recently looked at a picture of myself during that era.  I was holding my new-born niece, Cristina, a joy to behold and I looked like I just escaped from a train wreck and stopped by to say howdy.

Sound familiar?  After debunking some stress myths (you should go right over there now to read them) Estrin suggests the following:  

    • You can’t change things if you don’t acknowledge them.  Ok, so I’m quoting a TV psychologist.  But he hit it right on.  When it was first brought to my attention that I was stressed out, I was in total denial.  Because I was fearful of being accused of failing and I wanted to do a great job, I denied I was stressed-out.  To me, it was a sign that I couldn’t deal with the job.  What I really needed to change was my responses.  Acknowledge what is.  Without that acknowledgement, you cannot take action.

    • Learn to really laugh.  How long has it been since you laughed out loud, long and hard?  I mean a good belly-laugh.  If you’re stressed-out, it’s probably been awhile.  Laughter releases endorphins, natural pain-killers.  It boosts immune function by raising levels of infection-fighting T-cells, disease-fighting proteins called Gamma-interferon and disease-destroying antibodies called B-cells.  In short, it’s great medicine.

    • Make a friend at work. When you have someone you can confide in, someone with whom you feel secure, trust, can share the ups-and-downs of the workplace, you feel better.  The environment somehow doesn’t seem all that bad.

    • Make a decision.  The only way to transform your life is to make a decision to change and honour that decision.Decide how you want to live your life and then set about with complete certainty to create it.  The most critical time in my career came when I decided that I wanted to create the environment that was right for me. I no longer wanted a fancy office in a Class A building in the middle of a prestigious district.  I wanted to own my own business, work from home and call my own shots.  I haven’t looked back.  I’m happier than a clam.     

    • Love ‘em or leave ‘em.  Recently, a good friend mistakenly thought I was encouraging paralegals to abandon their jobs without demonstrating any loyalty to employers.  What I do emphasize to anyone who will listen is: you have to love what you’re doing.  You absolutely have to get up in the morning and be excited about the workday.  There is no better career booster than a job that you love, thrive in and remains fun and stimulating.  That’s what actually changed me around.  I created a situation where I am passionate about what I do; feel appreciated, challenged and excited just about every day. (There is no 100% avoidance in the war against stress.) With that attitude, it doesn’t matter if I work 30 or 90 hours a week.  I am thrilled by what I do and the time I spend doing it.

I personally followed nearly all of this advice, but it took me a long long time to do so.  I still work a gazillion hours a week, but I'm doing what I love.  And if your legal education and training qualifies you to do anything, it should qualify you to do what makes you happy.


Comments (7)

Read through and enter the discussion by using the form at the end
Lisa DiMonte - July 15, 2010 8:21 PM

Sage advice, Chere, spoken by someone who's been there and done that and happy to have it behind her. Congratulations on all your successes.

line feed payday loans - June 22, 2012 4:19 PM

I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written! short term loans

raspberry ketones - July 16, 2012 9:37 PM

I enjoy looking through an article that will make
people think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

read on

http://personal-injury-expert.co.uk/ - July 29, 2012 4:33 AM

It’s nearly impossible to find educated people on this topic,
however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
Thanks personal injury

http://www.mybadcreditloans.org.uk/ - August 29, 2012 11:24 AM

I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content.
The article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark
your site and keep checking for new details about once a week.

I subscribed to your Feed as well. loans for bad credit

win money - September 13, 2012 8:11 AM

Wow, that's what I was looking for, what a data! present here at this weblog, thanks admin of this site.

Paris Low-priced Motels - November 18, 2013 2:21 PM

I used to be able to finhd good information from your blog posts.

Post a comment

Fill out this form to add a comment to the discussion
I'd like to leave a comment. is
  • 4media dvd ripper standard 5
  • adobe audition cs5.5 mac
  • adobe creative suite 4 web premium mac
  • autodesk building design suite ultimate 2012
  • techsmith camtasia studio 7
  • adobe flash builder 4.7 premium
  • adobe photoshop cs5 mac
  • corel wordperfect office x4 standard
  • adobe creative suite 6 production premium student and teacher edition
  • visual studio 2010 premium
  • autodesk maya 2013
  • nuance pdf converter professional 5
  • adobe cs6 production premium student and teacher edition mac
  • autodesk autocad electrical 2011
  • autodesk autocad map 3d 2009
  • pitney bowes mapinfo professional 11.5
  • adobe cs6 design standard student and teacher edition mac
  • infinite skills - learning bootstrap 2 mac
  • daz bryce 5.5
  • thegrideon access password professional 2.0
  • adobe flash professional cs5.5
  • autodesk navisworks manage 2009
  • microangelo toolset 6
  • autodesk alias design 2012 mac
  • parallels desktop 9 mac
  • futuremark 3dmark 05 pro
  • filemaker pro 11 advanced
  • adobe dreamweaver cc mac
  • infinite skills - advanced html5 training
  • autodesk autocad 2011 mac
  • excel 2010 all-in-one for dummies
  • adobe photoshop cs3 photographers guide
  • quarkxpress 10
  • camtasia studio 8
  • apple mac os x 10.8 mountain lion