Job Tips: Getting In The Zone

  • Law

 One of yesterday’s commenters gives us today’s topic:

Here’s a completely innocuous request: What’s your favorite music to grind to? For me, Deadmau5 is the reliable big gun I bring in for difficult motions. Easier motions groove to Massive Attack and Thievery Corporation. For brain freezing discovery I chill to Shingo Nakamura and sometimes random Ambient Chillout mixes on YouTube.

Any suggestions? I’ve got some biggies coming down the pike and might want to experiment with music that works for other attorneys.

What are your tips for getting in the zone? All of us are a little bit ADHD these days, so what do you turn to for focus? Do you do your better work in a certain place? At a certain time of day? With or without music? With or without certain food/drink/substances? What gets you in the zone? 

Tags:
61 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 5:01 pm

When I want to write angry I listen to The Monitor by Titus Andronicus. When I want something chiller I listen to an instrumental house & techno mix on Spotify.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 6:24 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

The Monitor is a monster for brief writing. "The enemy IS everywhere!"

Well chosen!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 5:37 pm

Boards of Canada, Jon Hopkins, Tycho, Nathan Fake, Com Truise, Lane 8, Brain Food mix on Spotify

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 5:55 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Wow. I must be really old because I have not heard of any of the musicians listed above. I am totally out of it and am not hip, for sure.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:06 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Yes. You're sus 4 sure.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 10:25 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

1:06 that's funny, but I'm not sure 10:55 would get it.

10:55, I know this sounds cliche, but you're not too old to check these out and see what you like. Give it a try, you may surprise yourself.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 5:13 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Not 10:55 put probably in his/her age group. Thanks for not giving up on us completely. With that kind of kind encouragement, I will give it a try!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 5:38 pm

Hmmmm perhaps the OP's meaning of "grind" and mine are different.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 5:44 pm

Great topic! When I do my end of month billing session, it's usually depressing, sad, downtempo instrumental. For some reason, most music with words takes me out of the zone so when I really need to focus for a big brief I love some Ludovico Einaudi, Tycho, Jon Hopkins, and occasionally the soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian. Some music with words works okay in the background too like Pink Floyd, Lana Del Rey, Cigarettes after Sex. For normal working, I like my spotify liked songs playlist on shuffle.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 7:43 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Excellent list.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 5:54 pm

Wow. Great topic. Maybe the Blog isnt Dead.

For my daily drafting, its metal. post hardcore and punk/pop Beartooth, Silverstein, Rise Against, We Came as Romans, Bring me the Horizon. If I am really vibing, I discovered a Spanish metal / punk band called Teksuo (Diego T, is AMAZING!).

For Trial Prep its old School Classic rock. Pink Floyd (the Wall) really helps me focus to bring the trial heat. Depo prep and Arguments, its any and all RUSH (on shuffle) all the way.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 5:55 pm

Classical music, classic country. What happened to country music? All the new songs sound like hip hop. Country+hip hop=trailer park full of toothless meth heads. Also listen to SiriusXM stations, sometimes news (if it's monotonous work). I try to bill every day so that I don't have send of the month sessions.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 5:59 pm

As an IDFBU, I have to go with Working Man by Rush

It seems to me
I could live my life
A lot better than I think I am
I guess that's why they call me
They call me the workin' man

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 6:00 pm

I keep lofi hip hop radio bumping and a candle going all day

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 6:32 pm

State of Trance radio when I need to get some serious work done.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 6:37 pm

The soundtracks to all three seasons of Sons of Anarchy

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 6:37 pm

Side Note and more than a little off topic.

My youngest son is considering law school. First time one of my brood is flying that flag, so its new for me.

I told him that if I had it to do over again I would limit my practice primarily to PI ( I have always done some) and Criminal Defense (very little) with a small dash of carefully selected Family law cases (more than I really wanted to do).

–PI for the Money

–Criminal Defense to make a difference and try to see justice done

–Family Law, because its the only practice area that I always seemed to actually help people.

Stay away from big firms, use the sense and Entrepreneurialism that I (God and presumably your mom) gave you and make it happen.

I am interested to know other thoughts you might have for me to give him beyond the "stay the hell away from Law School" I always planned to spout if my kids ever thought about it. That ship has sailed.

What about where to seek his first job? I am trying to anticipate his planning and what will make him happy and not suffer the misery that this practice can impose on its participants.

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 6:41 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Working for yourself as a lawyer is wonderful. Much better than working for someone else. So tell him to do whatever allows him to work for himself the fastest.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 7:29 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

He should go to law school in the community he wants to practice in. As long as it's a decent school and not a 4th tier money pit, my experience is that the community connections are a huge help in getting a job, handling cases, learning about the local courts, etc. Unless he gets into some place like Harvard, Yale or Stanford, the ranking of his school isn't THAT important in getting a job. Connections are more helpful.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 7:36 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

So true 1229

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:52 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Law school in the commmunity–Is Boyd cheaper than the usual out of state schools which have connections and alumni in Nevada like USD Law, Cal Western, McGeorge among others. I have seen a lot of entry positions advertised on the Boyd grad alumni site and nowhere else. So probably true in many ways but….sometimes they want someone not cut from the same cloth or mold. Clerkships after law school are very good for connections too. The big question is law school worth the cost and going into debt. I would say go to law school to become one thing and one thing only–a practicing lawyer.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 9:06 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

I think it depends on what your kid's goals and expectations are (and many also personality traits – I for one would last less than 30 seconds doing family law).

If the goal is to run his own business (and all the attendant burdens and joys of that) and make a decent living, he may do just fine to follow your outline. Especially with your help so he doesn't have to learn everything the hard way.

Maybe I am too pessimistic, but I see the future of law looking pretty grim for "regular" lawyers – meaning lawyers who do the typical things like family law, criminal defense, landlord / tenant, etc. I foresee a lot of competition, not only from other lawyers, but from AI and "legal technicians" or "super paralegals" or whatever they will eventually be called. Many legal services will be commodified by tech companies and/or large firms that pay like shit. Think the Eyemart / Lenscrafters of legal services.

The antidote to this may be to specialize in something that is unlikely to be subject to that type of competition. Government affairs / politics seems like an obvious example. Corporate, tax, high net-worth estate planning, maybe IP, privacy compliance, etc. Or career federal prosecutor.

As was previous mentioned, connections are key, really everywhere, but especially in those more specialized areas. A lot of them are things that you need a mentor to get into; you can't just research it and figure it out.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 11:08 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

11:37– I admire your idealism still; although I question your logic.
"–Criminal Defense to make a difference and try to see justice done
–Family Law, because its the only practice area that I always seemed to actually help people."

Criminal law is a grind, and if you still believe that the players in criminal law get to stand up righteously for justice then you are in a different criminal justice system than I am. CrimLaw is a negotitated fiction in all directions.

Family law has the potential to make a difference in peoples' lives but many many of the practitioners in it make it even more soul-sucking than criminal law. There are a number of family practitioners who are either mentally ill and/or you will be mentally ill by the time you complete one case with them.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 11:52 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Think "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and work for free at various offices. Maybe a summer at a family law joint, then some work at a defense firm, and so on. There are few quality firms that handle "everything," like MAClaw, but if the kid can get an internship there, even better. You would be surprised how much of a firm's culture and the nature of its practice you can pick up jockeying the copier.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 6:56 am
Reply to  Anonymous

@ 2:06 – I would add this, IMHO: Select a useful and relevant undergraduate major / minor. Engineering, Computer Science, Data Analysis, or Accounting are all good fields. Also carefully consider your choice of undergraduate electives. "All trial is theater," said one of my law school profs. I would highly recommend taking a class or two in theater. One nationally known trial attorney majored in theater as an undergrad, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoffrey_Fieger.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 3:10 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

1137 here.

Trust me when I tell you that there is no idealism here. I mean ZERO. If Ihad my druthers, he would go to dental school or med school make a few million, GTFO and dump it into real estate, becoming a developer.

But, It aint up to me.
As I said, as a solidly successful solo (and a pretty competent practitioner), I find the most (if no the only) satisfaction in the practice is kicking the ass of lesser lawyers and getting beat by better ones. Just being honest.

That said, the satisfaction of making the occasional difference in a carefully selected Family Law case is a small boon, in a wholly soul sucking profession.

As far as Criminal Law goes, I get it that its a grind. The DUIs, hard passing on the CHOMO cases and getting a client that made a mistake a good deal and even more occasionally, smashing an over zealous prosecutor, especially in Federal Court. FTF's.

As for specialization, those lend to the billable hour, which I hate more than anything in life. Give me the flat fee and contingency fee cases all the live long day. As for LOCAL? He will attend Boyd over my dead body.

I love that no one commented on PI for the Money. But, thanks for all the comments. They are appreciated.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 7:39 pm

Smashing the Opposition by Infected Mushroom. Can't lose listening to that!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 7:50 pm

Air, Tycho (unsurprisingly a fan favorite), and Blackmill for easy background music. Occasionally I will put on the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack or a shuffle of Hans Zimmer.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:12 pm

Exile on Main Street

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:23 pm

I can't write to music with lyrics. It interrupts my thought process. I love a good Hans Zimmer Pandora mix. It's pretty much all intense instrumental film scores.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:30 pm

Alexa, play 90's alternative…..

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 3:11 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Amen sister!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:37 pm

I just look at my opposing counsel's ugly face and get pumped up. You would not be such a miserable fickle if I was not a threat.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:38 pm

Fuck

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:44 pm

Best thing I can do to get in the zone is block out the time, e.g., "I am going to do X for the next 1.5 hours." Then close outlook, twitter, silence phone, etc.

I usually find it's easy to continue if I can get into a project for 10-15 minutes without a bunch of interruptions.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 8:51 pm

Motorhead, phil Campbell and his bastard sons

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 9:26 pm

Tips for appearing in front of Judge Krall? I'm a ID attorney.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 9:37 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

You should probably get a NV attorney 😉

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 9:38 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

"I'm Idaho!" -Ralph Wiggum.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 10:28 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

She reads everything ahead of time and pretty much makes up her mind–giving you her tentative before you start arguing. It's unlikely you'll get her to move off her original inclination, but try. It seems like she is trying hard to be a good judge, but in my opinion she is out of her league when it comes to the civil stuff. Good luck.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 11:10 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Which is saying something because she was a civil attorney.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 10:08 pm

Anyone heard an update on how the Republic Services trial is proceeding?

anonymous
Guest
anonymous
August 19, 2021 12:41 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Ive skimmed over a few days worth of transcripts. Based on that, I'd much rather have the plaintiff's case. Problem is that there is so much mud being slung as far as mistrial motions, motions re discovery abuse, etc. that whoever wins is not going to have a nice clean record to go up to the NSC, which is where this case is inevitably headed.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 1:17 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Couple comments on that. (1) That is a Claggett trademark is that he leaves a sloppy record in trial. He does it because he usually has Polsenberg in the gallery and is confident that Dan will clean up his mess. (2) It is also is a Claggett trademark to throw a ton of mistrials and disclosure allegations at the junior judges because he thinks he can throw a couple of fastballs by them. (3) Of course you would rather have the plaintiff's case because they are going to get something. The question is whether and where Republic's OOJ is laying out there.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 1:59 am
Reply to  Anonymous

You are acting like the NSC pays attention to the record, they don't. Pull some Elissa Cadish appeals of her rulings @nd you will see how they affirmed her on bad rulings.

anonymous
Guest
anonymous
August 19, 2021 2:29 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Polsenberg and Claggett are on opposite sides here, and they are going at it hammer and tongs. 6:17 is right about the OOJ. I'd love to see what they put up. It would have to be around 10 to get through the OOJ and the first level of coverage.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 2:30 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

3:08 here. Thank you for the information. I, too, am very curious regarding any previous OOJ amounts and agree the verdict will be appealed regardless of who prevails at trial.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 18, 2021 11:17 pm

I consider myself a nonsmoker, but for those two or three times a year when I have to grind out a giant brief over a weekend, I require total isolation and a pack of smokes.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 12:04 am

Clark County GOP is in shambles. Because of the attempted infiltration by Proud boys, their May meeting was cancelled and pushed into July. The July meeting was accompanied with demonstrations by Proud Boys, attempts to forcibly enter the meeting, and vandalism of the school where the meeting was being held. Midway through the meeting, one of the candidates for Chair (presidential elector cosplayer Jesse Law) was temporarily suspended from the CCGOP, with a formal hearing to be had later. The meeting was then recessed without an election, with a resumption date to be announced.

A couple of days later, Jesse Law's fanclub, Trumpeteers to the last man, met in a hotel and claimed to resume the meeting, and promptly elected ol' Jesse.

Here's where it relates to to the law: CCGOP sued the "new board" and requested a TRO to stop them from calling themselves the CCGOP. Case No. A-21-839422-C.

Full disclosure: I was once a member of the CCGOP by virtue of being a Ron Paul delegate to the county convention. In the years since, the NVGOP went full crazy, and the "new board" would like to follow in their footsteps. Today there's no chance I would be recognized as a Republican by either the county party or the state party.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 12:23 am
Reply to  Anonymous

I used to be involved in this stuff. It's just political cosplay now. Central Committees have no power. It's the campaigns, the PACs and the professional shitballs that call themselves campaign managers that have the power.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 12:30 am
Reply to  Anonymous

The fact that the Central Committee hired Mitch Bisson as its attorney tells me once again (although its for the 894th time) why I stopped contributing to the State or County GOP.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 1:09 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Have you looked at the state gem, I mean the Nevada State Demoautcrat Party being overrun by socialist. Where's Harry?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 1:27 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Yes sir, officer, this thread right here

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 1:29 am
Reply to  Anonymous

Geese, my hot pastrami is getting hot

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 4:01 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

I left the GOP back in 2005 because Bush took us to Iraq under false pretenses. I supported Ron Paul when he was running for the oval office. I voted libertarian the last two elections, but I have heard that their is fighting between different sects in that party too. I think I am going to go towards being an anarchist and not supporting any political party and forget about voting all together. The government, at all levels, is too corrupt and we should try to live our lives without them and fight against all attempts to limit our freedoms. GO LIBERTY!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 12:06 am

Can we please stop doing these sorts of comments. Central committees are completely irrelevant. Please delete.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 3:39 pm

After reading the solicitation to post today, I am submitting my retirement papers and going inactive. Holy crap, talk about feeling like a dinosaur . . . 😉

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 3:56 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

That is terrific that you have the ability to retire and go on inactive status. We are all jealous!

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 3:57 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

I'm not that old, but I have no idea who any of the named groups are (except Rush and Pink Floyd). A few, I'm pretty sure, were just made up.

As for me?

Guns 'n F-ing Roses. Little sprinkle of Metallica, but that has the drawback of spontaneous air guitaring when I really should be writing. Occasionally the soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans when I need a powerful but not overwhelming sound.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 5:46 pm

I try to make discovery fun by listening to club music like LMAFO, Kesha, Calvin Harris, Zedd, Usher, FloRida, Katy Perry etc.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous
August 19, 2021 5:49 pm
Reply to  Anonymous

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag
Drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from cavin' in?
Do you ever feel already buried deep?
Six feet under screams, but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there's still a chance for you?
'Cause there's a spark in you
You just gotta ignite the light
And let it shine
Just own the night
Like the Fourth of July
'Cause baby, you're a firework