Communication

XCIII: Keeping An Open Mind - My Problem With Legal Online Dispute Resolution

Online dispute resolution is exactly what it sounds like: it is communication online or over the phone wherein judges and lawyers facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties.

My biggest problem with this is that we already live in a world where laziness and a failure to do one’s job is the status quo. Taking the “personal” out of the mediation or arbitration experience, in my opinion, would simply do a disservice to clients everywhere.

BUT, I CANNOT PRETEND LIKE THERE AREN’T MANY BENEFITS:

The biggest benefit is that, for those who cannot make it to the courthouse for arbitration, or to the mediator’s office for a mediation, they can literally just find a space with Wifi and get the dispute resolution that they seek.

Another benefit to Online Dispute Resolution is that it frees up the courts a bit. Although there are separate moving pieces for everything, judges, lawyers, and mediators are busy!

Being able to settle cases or resolve matters while on the go could free up time for attorneys and mediators, so there’s potentially more benefits there. I just have a hard time looking past the negatives of ODR.

One last positive is for the people who are out of the country and need to “attend” a proceeding. Instead of making them travel across the world, they can simply travel to a quiet spot with wifi and connect with their mediator, attorney or judge.

So, I can’t say that ODR is all bad, but I definitely look at it with extreme reserve. I just believe that we cannot take the “personal” out of the legal experience and still do a good job at being advocates for our clients.

LAW IS A CUSTOMER SERVICE FIELD WHETHER PEOPLE KNOW IT OR NOT.

Lawyers rely on their clients (in many cases) to keep their businesses going. This means that they are in the business of people, i.e. customer service. If your client isn’t happy about the fact that she can’t reach you at all, then she’s going to spread the word and before you know it, you’re known as the attorney who was too busy for her client.

In law, reputation is everything, so it would behoove any attorney to realize this and act accordingly.

Keeping the clients first means that you are communicating effectively and when needed. It means that you are there to answer their questions, no matter how small. When you sign a client up, you are signing up for the contact even if it seems like overkill.

Yes, the majority of this contact will be done over the phone, but I know from experience that the clients look forward to those moments where they get to actually sit down with the attorney and talk face to face. For some reason, these are the only times that they feel that their needs are being met and that they are heard in a realm that many of them have no clue about.

ALL I’M SAYING IS THAT…

We need to keep the part about lawyering where the lawyer actually cares, tries to communicate with his/her clients, and is about more than just a check.

I’ve seen it in my years of being a law clerk that there are attorneys whose only concern is the check, but I have faith because I literally worked at a firm where every single lawyer cared about their clients (good and bad) and cared about getting the best break for their clients beyond the check.

LXXVIII: What Happened During The Week That I Said "Yes" To Everything?

Okay, I’m going to start by saying that realistically, I could not say ‘yes’ to everything because this week just so happens to be the week that I got the world’s craziest requests. But, my “Yes Week” is just another way that I like to switch things up for myself.

As many of my readers know, I am a very routine person. I do not like to stray too far from this routine, because it usually results in disaster, but sometimes, I take weeks out where I do things that I don’t normally do so that I don’t drive myself crazy with my routine (i.e. “eat my feelings week” during the first week of school where I eat whatever I want all week).

My Yes Week started with a bunch of agreeing to run errands with my co-worker since she decided to abuse my Yes Week completely (LOL!). It ended with my anti-social self agreeing to go out to a popular rooftop bar in the downtown area of my city. I actually ended up going twice.

Now, this is insane for me because, normally, I steer clear of groups of people and forced conversation (or any conversation, really). But, I must admit, it was enjoyable to get out and chat with other types of people. In my life, as it stands, I talk to a ton of people who are into law so the majority of our conversations are about law or, honestly, just a bunch of lies about themselves. That definitely gets boring!

Now, I won’t lie and say that while out we still didn’t run into “lawyers” who only wanted to talk about law because it definitely happened twice during my Yes Week! But, I will say that it is refreshing to not see the same people that I see day in and day out while within my routine.

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Because of this week, I ended up: going out twice, giving out my number more than I wanted to, making more “new ‘friends’” than I can name, dancing, laughing, eating [a lot], dressing up, getting out of the house, keeping my phone off of Do Not Disturb for the week, and, for one weekend, forgetting all that was going on in my little world.

A lot of good came from Yes Week that otherwise would not have happened. And, although all of the communication and smiling from that week had me exhausted, I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and wouldn’t mind possibly doing it again. Just not any time soon.

One thing to remember for my next Yes Week is that I should not tell people that I am having a Yes Week otherwise, they will definitely ask any and everything of me and then before you know it I’ll be married to a stranger with a cat named Clevis (not speaking from experience).

I recommend that you all give Yes Week a try, and that you let me know how it goes.

LXVII: What I've Learned, Thus Far, From 2018?

Here we are! Another installment and another year of lessons!

I’ve changed things up this year and entered into it feeling a bit more liberated than I was in 2017. I had decided early on that I was going to do what I wanted, when I wanted and try things. But, with that, I also opened myself up to people which is something that I normally steer very clear of.

Whenever you open up your heart, mind, and ears to new people, you’ll definitely be learning new lessons, however. Trust me!

So, here are a couple of the lessons that I’ve learned, thus far, this year:

STEER CLEAR OF THOSE WHO WANT YOUR RHYTHM BUT NOT YOUR BLUES

Wanting my rhythm and not my blues simply means that someone wants to be around me when I am happy and having fun, but when stuff hits the fan of life, they want to hit the road.

I’ve had this type of person in my life plenty-a-time!

The bad thing about me, however, is that when it comes to people who I have allowed into my life, I genuinely try my best to keep them.

BUT, sometimes in life you go through things, not to learn to work through them, but to learn to walk away from bad situations

This year has been one big lesson on walking away for me. It gets so lonely sometimes, but walking away from people who want to be around when all is well but leave when things get difficult is a very necessary reality. 

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING

The way you view a situation says a lot about the way you view the world and the way you view yourself.

Now, I generally look at situations from a very realistic standpoint. I also use facts from the past that have created a pattern to assist with the way in which I view those situations. So, in short, when a situation presents itself, I’m an absolute realist through and through.

Now, this year has been filled with ups and downs, and I’ve worked at keeping my outlook on things upbeat enough to allow myself the ability to continue on in whatever direction I am attempting to go in life without letting things get me too down.

Changing my perspective on a lot of the things that have happened to me lately has seriously helped. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been so necessary. A lot of times, perspective comes through in the form of a glass being half empty or a glass being half full. 2018 has taught me to look at things with the glass half full which has allowed me the opportunity to fill it the rest of the way on my own.

WHEN SOMETHING IS FOR YOU, IT WILL ALWAYS BECOME YOURS

This is super important for me to remember! 

I oftentimes work overtime to keep friendships and relationships with people who have never even deserved my time in the first place. It’s in my nature, however, to nurture those relationships...

BUT, when a relationship is for you, it will be yours without all of the tug-of-war! I forget this so much and it results in me making people feel way more needed than they actually are by trying to keep them in my life.

This is a habit, in me, that needs to be left in 2018. Because, trust me, you won’t be forcing the friendships and relationships that are meant to happen!  

BE REAL WITH EVERYONE AT ALL TIMES 

Now, first and foremost, you have to be real with yourself! But after that, you have to be real with everyone else.

I met someone this year who was such a gem! A beautiful soul inside and out. But, if you asked me, now, whether or not I still know this person, then my answer would honestly have to be ‘no’.

This person was so good at pretending to be the great person that I grew to very fondly enjoy, but [as you’ll read below] people can only pretend for so long (and sometimes for too long) before their true colors show.

It turns out that this person was a complete stranger to me when they showed me who they really were. What a shock!

I can see from that situation that it is, a lot of times, hard for some people to just be themselves which, to me, seems like it would be more work to pretend to be someone or something else. But, I digress, …

People usually teach me the biggest lessons and from this person, I’ve learned that you have to be super mindful of who and what you are. Remain true to yourself no matter the situation.

Real will attract real, but you have to weed through a lot of fake to get to it.

PEOPLE ARE GOOD AT PRETENDING — WATCH FOR SIGNS

I have made the mistake of underestimating the amount of time that people can live while being fake and, trust me, they can go the distance. 

But, I’ve learned that, eventually the real will always come out. 

I’ve had two friends while in school that people have completely warned me about but I ignored it and instead defended them because I wanted to base my reactions to them solely on my experiences. In hindsight, I completely wish that I would’ve listened to those people, but I didn’t, so I had to eat that loss.

I didn’t believe these things because people are so good at pretending to be things that they are not. They immitate the things that they see being attracted by others. They become so good at the facade that it’s undetectable to eyes that want to believe what they see.

But, I’ve seen that faking it gets exhaustive and they will eventually show their true colors. Some people don’t last a week, others take months, and one took years!  

 My advice to myself and others would simply be to jump ship as soon as the first sign becomes apparent. We’re so inclined to ignore the little signs because we’re enjoying the bigger moments, but trust me, cutting these people off early on is always best. 


So, there you have it! 2018 has taught me A LOT about people and how I should approach the next batch that I meet in life.

But, most of all, 2018 has taught me to look at situations from multiple angles: yes, losing a job will hurt, but there are so many benefits to it; yes, losing a ‘friend’ will hurt, but I’ve gained so many more who actually seem good; and, yes, loving someone is difficult, especially when you’re on completely different wavelengths as far as life is concerned, but opening your heart to someone has the never-ending benefit of showing you so much about yourself!

So for that, 2018, I thank you! 🎊🎊🎊

LVI: November Goals

I finally have time to sit down and set out my goals for the month, so why not set out my November Goals?

These will be simple goals for my blog, for my life, for my family/relationships, and for my fitness! I’ll try and keep it short by making one goal per topic, that way it’s more realistic and actually doable, because, why make unobtainable goals, right?! Here we go:

FOR MY BLOG:

My November goal for my blog is to get out and take more photographs for my posts.

I’ve been blessed with a bit more free time, but haven’t used it much to enhance my peace of mind. Photography, eating and working out are the things that make me happiest (when I am not around other people), so, in my solitude, I want to get out and get some great shots. 

 I believe that photographs bring life to my posts and they make it much easier to notify my followers on Socials about my new blog posts.

FOR MY LIFE: 

This November, I’d just like to see myself happier. I want to find that I am studying more, cooking more, reading more, writing more, and, smiling a lot more.

I want more life, but, more than that, I want more happy life.  

But, I want to take it day-by-day. Some days just staying home and watching that same old movies over and over in sweats with wine makes me happy. And some days, all I want to do is go out and mingle a bit.

Basically, I put a lot of pressure on myself to be happy. I force happiness, I push for happiness in crappy situations, and I settle for happiness-lite when I simply don’t have to!

The trend this November is ME — I am working on my happiness, my fitness, my studies, my reading, my writing, my time.  

FOR MY RELATIONSHIPS

The biggest thing that I am going to work on, from this point forward, and in all relationships is communication.

The odd thing about me is that, before I will talk it out, I always prefer to just walk it out. Meaning, I’d rather just walk away completely than do the work to stay (usually out of fear).

I’d usually rather just try to fix my feelings myself when they are hurt, or try to deal with whatever caused the quarrel in the first place rather than attempt to talk to the person.

The problem is that I do not find it odd when I prefer not to communicate, but the reality is that there are actually people out there who are adult enough to come to you and talk to you about a misunderstanding. So, one should also be open to that.

FOR MY FITNESS: 

I usually don’t make fitness goals just because I hate putting pressure on something that I do for pleasure, but, for the purposes of this post:

My November goal for my fitness is to run more! Believe it or not, I am still working off all of the weight that I gained while being cuddled up this summer. BUT, the summer love is gone and so must go the summer love handles!

A little summer weight is no match, however, for a good old cardio regime, so let’s set a goal of 28 miles for the month of November. This will include cycling, running, walking, hiking, and anything physical except driving (😂, I would try it).

I’ll be honest, I’m only about 6 miles in so far, but will take a ‘before’ and ‘after’ picture to see if any progress happens on these beautiful 22 miles that will be completed by the end of November.

So, my November goals are set!

READY, SET, ACCOMPLISH!

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