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President's Page by Renee Ezer

I’m not big on New Year’s Resolutions. For me, the time to make a change is when I realize that something isn’t working in my life. However, I do appreciate that the end of the year is a time that some people will inventory improvements they’d like to make, and consider strategies to implement them.  So, for all of those people, here are my top 17 strategies from 2017 to sanely practice law, and my best wishes for work-health-family balance and joy for the New Year!

1. Everyone makes mistakes.  Have the courage to own yours, learn from them, and move on.

2. Learn to say “no”. If you take on more than you can competently deliver, no one will benefit, and you’ll probably hurt yourself in the process.

3. Listening is often more important than speaking – especially when it comes to clients and judges.

4. It’s easy to lose perspective in a large case. Get organized up front, set your objectives, and identify the steps that need to be taken to accomplish them.  Then get down in the weeds with the details.

4. Help your client evaluate both emotionally and financially what their case is worth. Not every fight is worth fighting.

5. Ask questions. There will always be more that you don’t know, than what you do know.

6. Give credit where it is due.

7. Figure out what you need to deal with the stress and anxiety of practicing law, and make sure you get it. Restful sleep, nutrition, exercise, and unplugging are always good places to start.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

9. Be on time. This is a fundamental way of showing respect for the person with whom you have made a commitment. If, for any reason, you cannot be on time, communicate this fact as soon as you become aware of it.

10. Learn to delegate, both in and out of your practice.

11. Know your strengths and weaknesses.  Compensate by associating with people who can provide support in the areas in which you are deficient. 

12. Learn how to use social media and apply the same rules to yourself for content that you would give to your teenager.

13. But don’t let social media become a substitute for personal relationships.

14. Take notes.  Your memory isn’t as good or reliable as it used to be.

15. Always take the high road and the ethical path. ‘Nuf said.

16. Act as if you are someone’s role model. 

17. Take at least one pro bono case from BCLS every year. No matter what our struggles, we are very fortunate to make our living practicing law in Boulder County.

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