Suffolk Law Professor Shailini George joins us to talk about her new book, The Law Student’s Guide to Doing Well and Being Well. Professor George talks about the need for law students to take better care of their mental and physical health in order for them to not only do well in law school but to be better lawyers once they enter the profession. Whether it is stopping task switching, setting boundaries on their time, or allowing themselves to be bored, she lays out a guide for students to do better, by being better to themselves.
She shares some of the techniques and projects she developed in her classroom, that help law students better understand how they need to focus on the task at hand. And, how to reduce the number of distractions that call out for their attention. This Fall, Professor George begins teaching a new course based on her book to help students create healthy habits and lifestyles and to develop coping mechanisms to better handle points of crisis that may come their way.
Products like Casetext’s Compose and Brieftext.com worry Northwestern Law Professor Michael A. Zuckerman that law students will use these tools to work around the practice of drafting documents, and learning the process through doing. We think that perhaps technology doesn’t have to be seen as replacing the learning process, but rather enhancing it.
We’ve heard a number of legal tech stories, mostly involving men, but in this Women Love Tech article, Laura Keily explains how she developed Immediation in 2019, while also raising two young children. When COVID hit in 2020, Immediation suddenly became a very big deal.
Greg discovered that the big push to come back to the office can open up unexpected opportunities, including artificially increasing those serendipitous interactions by hanging out near the ice cream machine.
US Attorney General Merrick Garland laid out some new standards for the FBI to use in order to confiscate journalist’s information. The balancing of the First Amendment and the need for FBI investigations seems to be shifting in the new administration.
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Marlene Gebauer 0:00
Welcome to The Geek in Review, the podcast focused on innovative and creative ideas in the legal industry. My Marlene Gebauer,
Greg Lambert 0:26
And I’m Greg Lambert.
Marlene Gebauer 0:28
Well, Greg, we keep hitting milestones on the podcast.
Greg Lambert 0:31
Yes, we do.
Marlene Gebauer 0:31
This is episode number 125. And we passed the three year mark back in late June. So thanks to all of you who have stayed with us and all of you who may be listening for the first time. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we enjoy putting these episodes together.
Greg Lambert 0:45
That’s for sure. So on this week’s episode, we have a wonderful discussion with Suffolk law school Professor Shailini George about her new book, The Law Student’s Guide to Doing Well and Being Well. So Marlene, we have a committee at my work, which focuses on wellness and leadership skills. And I actually sent them over a preview of this episode to think about what Professor George is talking about in the in this program for our own programming. So I really enjoyed this conversation. I think our listeners will as well.
Marlene Gebauer 1:17
Yeah, I think everybody in the profession really needs to stick around for this. But now let’s get to this week’s information inspirations.
Marlene Gebauer 1:30
So Greg, my first inspiration is an article by law professor Michael Zuckerman. And he is making a case as the title says, against automating legal writing, I’ll read your quote that I think pretty much lays it out there. He says “My concern is growing as legal technology is sprouting that not only identifies objective errors, but begins mimicking a lawyers hand in mind. Advanced Technology like this may well prevent a student from growing into their full potential as a lawyer replete with a possible lack of foundational professional judgment as a writer, we don’t want to spawn a generation of law students less skilled than their predecessors in our craft, that would be a shame.” He cites platforms brief catch and compose, which, you know, we’re both familiar with. Now, I think the issue here is that the professor wants students to do things the same way as their predecessors. And that would be a shame. Using tools that provide a base, whether it provides standard language or elements, doesn’t prevent students from crafting good legal arguments, I’d argue that they will actually have to use the theory that they’re learning and apply that – in words- to a base outline and document. Otherwise, they don’t stand out from the rest of the crowd. It’s really table stakes. So I would, I would argue with the good Professor on this one.
Greg Lambert 3:05
Yeah. Well, I can imagine that they aren’t allowed to take these tools and to take their Bar Exam either. So
Marlene Gebauer 3:12
hey, man, you’re not allowed to take anything in the bar exam. Even stuff you might need.
Greg Lambert 3:19
Marlene, you and I have heard over and over again, the “tech bro” stories of how a couple of men at big law firms, they found a way to launch their startup and fill a need in the legal industry. Well, I’m happy to report that I just ran across a story where the success story actually revolves around a woman. And this woman also has a couple of kids. And she played the lead role in this story. So Laura Keily was a practicing barrister for 20 years when she launched Immediation in 2019. So the growth of her company accelerated in 2020, due to the pandemic. Faced with shuttered courts and social distancing measures the legal industry turn to technology and to her product and Immediation as a way of keeping the matters moving. So she tells her story and why it’s important to support and find more women founders and tech companies in this Women Love Tech article that I found. So it’s a very inspiring tale.
Marlene Gebauer 4:21
Yeah, that sounds great. So Greg, on this past Monday, Attorney General Merrick Garland formally prohibited federal prosecutors from seizing the records of journalists in leak investigations with some limited exceptions. And this reverses years of of department policy and garland put a memo together and this memo aims to resolve politically thorny issues that have vexed to the Justice Department prosecutors trying to waive first amendment rights against the government’s desire to protect classified information. Now the memo does make clear that federal prosecutors can some instances obtain journalist records. So there’s, you know, there’s some exceptions. For example, if reporters are suspected of working for agents of a foreign power or terrorist organizations, if they’re under investigation for unrelated activities, or if they obtain their information through criminal methods like breaking and entering, And the reason Garland was moved to act, according to this article was based on revelations that the department during the Trump administration had obtained records belonging to journalists at several big news organizations, Washington Post, CNN, The New York Times as part of investigations into who had disclosed government secrets related to the Russia investigation and other national security matters. So I think that’s some interesting news, don’t you?
Greg Lambert 5:48
Yeah, the First Amendment can be kind of thorny and, and it almost doesn’t matter which party is in power, there’s, there’s always this friction between the press and the government. So well, Marley, my final inspiration is actually something that I did this week, rather than something I read. So there, there won’t be a link to this,
Marlene Gebauer 6:08
Are there pictures?
Greg Lambert 6:09
So there won’t, and there’s not pictures.
Marlene Gebauer 6:11
Then it didn’t happen,
Greg Lambert 6:12
It didn’t happen. So, but in my mind, here’s what happened. So we’ve been doing a number of little things that work to kind of, you know, make people feel welcomed as they come back into the office on a more regular basis. And mainly, it’s surrounding giving them food. This week…
Marlene Gebauer 6:28
Food is good,
Greg Lambert 6:29
Food is good. This week, we’ve set up an ice cream freezer in the break room. And I accidentally discovered that if I just kind of hang out in the room for an hour, I get to run into people who haven’t seen in probably 16 months, or especially those who are new to the firm. You know, we’ve had all this discussion about the serendipitous interactions that occur in the office. And I’m kind of artificially making these happen this week. The thing that I’ve enjoyed most is when there are a couple of people who walk in, and I actually get to introduce them. And I’ve already had people react by saying, oh, wow, I’ve seen you on the Zoom calls, but I didn’t recognize you in person.
Marlene Gebauer 7:11
You look different on TV
Greg Lambert 7:15
You do. It adds 10 pounds, So then it’s funny because then they dive into some project that they need to work on together. So you know, my inspiration is this is put yourself by that water cooler and start connecting with others and facilitate those connections between others at your firm. You know, at least in this anecdotal story, it really works. And that’s it for this week’s information inspiration.
Marlene Gebauer 7:43
Today’s guest talks about the need for law students to take better care of their mental and physical health in order for them not only to do well in law school, but to be better lawyers once they enter the profession. Whether it’s stopping task switching, setting boundaries on their time, or allowing themselves to be bored, she lays out the guide for students to do better by being better to themselves.
Greg Lambert 8:09
We’d like to welcome Shailini George, Professor of legal writing at Suffolk University Law School, and the author of the Law Students Guide to Doing Well, and Being Well Shailini. Welcome to The Geek in Review.
Shailini George 8:21
Well, thanks to you both for having me. I’m thrilled to be here.
Marlene Gebauer 8:25
So Shailini, you’ve written a previous book, which focused on the mental wellness of lawyers, but this particular book is focused on first year students entering law school. What is it that you’re seeing in these students and their mental wellness that compelled you to write a book specifically for them?
Shailini George 8:42
Well, thanks, Marlene, that’s a great question. I’ve actually been working on these topics for quite some time. So I’ve been teaching for 17 years. And over those 17 years, I have noticed some changing attributes of my students, a lot more technology in the classroom, a lot more, you know, they’ve got their phones, they’ve got their laptops, and you know, it’s coming into the it was coming into the classroom more and more. So I had started a number of years ago, doing some research just to try to understand if there actually was an impact on their ability to learn by their use of technology in the classroom. So some of my previous work sort of led me to this project, which I just decided to take even a bigger look at it, and to consider whether technology was having a negative impact. And then I started researching more about how the brain works. And then I sort of came to this aha moment, or realization that if we care about how the brain works, we should care about all parts of the brain. And how do we have a healthy brain? And having a healthy brain means having a healthy body and having a healthy lifestyle, and sort of it’s all so interconnected that it seemed to me something really important that law students and lawyers frankly, need to know, which is, you know, we offer our brains to our clients with the ability to think and argue and persuade and solve problems. And so putting your brain in the best position to do that seemed like an important thing for all of us to give some time to.
Greg Lambert 10:07
So were you finding that the students thought and I think the kind of common thought is that they’re multitasking that they’re able to actually do more, because they have the technology, and it allows them to do two things at once. And I and I think most of us know that you can’t really multitask, it’s not not a thing. Is that what you were finding as well?
Shailini George 10:29
Absolutely. And let’s be honest, it’s not just students, right? We all do this. And although students might say it’s quaint to think that they’re only doing two things at a time, they’re quite often trying to do many more things than that at a time. And so yeah, it’s important, I think, for us to understand, and I do try to communicate this with my students, that you’re never multitasking. Unless you’re chewing gum, and walking down the street. Like those two things you can do at the same time, because they don’t really require you to be thinking. But if you, if your brain is engaged in a task, and you switch, it’s task switching, it’s not multitasking, right. So when you try to do that second thing, there’s something called an attention residue. So your mind lingers on the thing that you were just doing, and then it takes time to get engaged in the thing that you’re trying to do. And some research even shows that it can take up to 23 minutes for you to get back to the place that you were before you switched tasks. So I’ve tried to kind of talk to my students about this concept that you’re never really doing more than one thing at a time, what you’re doing is switching between a lot of things. And what happens when you do all that switching. And what’s important for law students and lawyers is you can start making mistakes because your brain isn’t fully engaged in any one task. And making mistakes is not a good recipe for lawyering.
Marlene Gebauer 11:46
It’s funny, we actually hit upon that concept about how you when you switch back and forth in this case, it was an email, that it really, really impacts you from from actually focusing on your work. I mean, how do you find the students respond to this? Because it seems they’ve kind of grown up in an environment like this, where they’re, at least if they’re like, my kids, you know, they’re they’re doing, you know, several things at the same time. How do they respond to that? Can they actually focus the way you’re suggesting?
Greg Lambert 12:17
And do you take away their devices?
Shailini George 12:20
Yeah, two really good questions. So I’ll try to wrap them together. And my answer, I find students they even it’s it’s like knowing that you shouldn’t eat the doughnut that’s sitting next to you because you’re trying to lose weight. They might know that they shouldn’t do this, but they can’t help themselves because this is how they cruise through life. The their phones are literally in their hands all the time. And Marlene, I was out with my two boys for dinner last night and I said to them in the car, here’s what we’re going to do. None of us are going to take our phones out during dinner. And they resist it. You know and my students resistant at first and so I have I find I have to kind of take the choice away from them at some point. So I do not ban laptops or phones in my classroom at all. What I want to do is teach them to make good decisions about how to use technology. In the classroom, so what I do do a number of times during the year is I have them work on a project in the classroom, without any technology available to them, I have created this kind of step by step system that I like to use to encourage the development of focus. And so they, because I’m a legal writing professor, they’re working on writing projects, I have them bring something into the classroom, a hardcopy of something that they have to work on. And then I talk them through a step by step process for creating the conditions for your brain to really be fully engaged in the task. So what I do is I talk about having a goal or an intention. And so in my class that might be knowing what part of their memo they’re going to work on. But I talked to them about like, if you’re doing your contracts homework, you don’t just say, I’m going to do contracts, you think about what exactly do you need to do. So you set a goal or intention for your study session, Then I have them clear away everything that could compete for their attention from their desks. So they can really only have the project that they’re working on and a writing utensil, no laptops, no phones, nothing else that might grab their eye, they have to put that out away from their desk. And when I’m telling them to do this, I sometimes talk to them about some of the studies that I know all of us have read or seen recently about how just having a phone on a desk near you drains your brain’s capacity, because your brain is going to keep thinking about what’s there. So I literally make them put everything away. Then I do a few minutes of guided meditative breathing for them, where we all just kind of think about relaxing – you both sat up straighter when I said that. And I do that with students, I talk about how they can fill their brains and their bodies with oxygen and with what they really need to be able to focus through some quiet breathing for a few minutes, clear their minds out a little bit I have I say if something keeps coming to you during these few minutes, just jot it down so that you can remember that you need to attend to it later. And then they work. And so when I kind of forced them to do this for 20, or 25, or sometimes 30 minutes in the classroom, they then will reflect back to me their amazement at how much they’re able to accomplish in a session like that. How focused they were. How they saw things that they had not been able to see in their own work before or how they came up with a question they hadn’t realized they had. And it’s that moment where they’ve just created the focus for themselves, obviously, with some help for me, and then reflected on the process that I find then leads to they’re embracing a lot more of these techniques as the year goes on. So, you know, we all know sometimes that there’s something we should just tell yourself focus now when you’re not really used to focusing. So it’s it’s sort of taking charge of that and making them feel it but I think students have found have told me that they found helpful.
Greg Lambert 16:03
Yeah, yeah, I totally relate to the donut thing. I’m still thinking about eating the doughnut, even though I know, I know. I don’t need the donut.
Shailini George 16:11
I like to say it’s like putting doughnuts next to a dieter or cigarettes next to a smoker. Keep thinking about it. Because, we’re so used to entertaining ourselves at a moment’s notice with our phones all the time.
Greg Lambert 16:22
Yeah, that’s, that’s fascinating. Well, going back to the book, you know, it’s not a secret that the legal profession has a wellness crisis, and has probably had such a crisis for as long as there’s been lawyers. And currently, you see a lot of bar associations tackling the issues such as depression or substance abuse, family domestic abuse, suicide and other problems surrounding the mental health of its members. So how do entering law students compare to their their future professional counterparts? Is the industry attracting people with these pre existing conditions? Or are we creating the issues?
Shailini George 17:02
Well, the research that I did for my book really indicated to me that there’s nothing unique about law students that makes them predisposed to these conditions. Unfortunately, the way that we study at law and the way that we practice law, I think, leads to some of these conditions. And, you know, law is not certainly not the only stressful profession out there. But there is something uniquely stressful I think about the way that law school has typically gone and the way that the burdens of associates, you know, early in their careers, and as they’re progressing through what they thought was going to be, what they may have envisioned for themselves in their career and how it actually is turning out. And one of the things with the book is that, you know, we can read so many studies, and I certainly have talked about them in the book, showing the mental health issues, the addiction issues, etc. And those are you know, that’s people are already in a point of crisis right at that at that point. And what I’m really hoping to do with the book and through a new course that I’m going to be teaching at Suffolk this year, based off of the book is more forethought about creating healthy habits. And a healthy lifestyle and coping mechanisms, so that before we get to those points of crisis, we have developed some of the scaffolding that we need to be able to deal with it.
Marlene Gebauer 18:20
Yeah, I think that’s incredibly important in terms of thinking about it beforehand, developing those habits, because it’s just so easy to fall into bad ones, once you start practicing, just sort of based on the nature of the beast.
Shailini George 18:36
Marlene Gebauer 18:38
You zero in on the issue of focus in your book and how a lawyers brain is her primary tool? What is the biggest challenge these days when it comes to law students finding and maintaining their focus? How has the change in environment over the pandemic exacerbated this challenge?
Shailini George 18:56
Yeah, great questions again. So you know, we’ve already talked a little bit about how, you know, having a phone in your hand all the time is going to kind of prevent you from being able to focus on a task, you know, in in the moment. One of the interesting things that I read about as I was researching for the book is this thought that actually, none of us even allow ourselves to be bored anymore. If you see people like literally stopped at a stoplight.
Marlene Gebauer 19:23
That’s great. My kids are just like, oh, they can’t handle being bored. They can’t being bored.
Shailini George 19:29
Not even for a second. Walking down the aisle at the grocery store, or waiting for a coffee or sitting in waiting for a friend or, or what I talked to my students about, like sitting in the classroom before class starts. What we have to learn to do is to just be in that stillness for a moment, because that’s what allows our brain to know what stillness feels like or what focus feels like. But when we are constantly feeding that desire to never be bored, then when we do sit down to work, it’s almost impossible for our never, ever bored mind, you know, to resist those temptations. So what I like to talk about in the book and with students is, that’s one of the ways you care for your brain is by making sure that you do allow it to be bored, because some of the most creative thoughts we have, or they inspirational moments like we all joke about, like having a great thought in the shower or, you know, an inspirational thought when you’re out on a walk or a run. It’s because your mind is not engaged in a particular task at the time. It allows the unconscious brain to sort of come in and do some of the work that it needs to do for us to solve problems. So it’s twofold. Learning to focus, but then also learning to be unfocused, so that you can care for your brain and give it some of the other things that it needs in order to be fully capable.
Greg Lambert 20:52
That reminds me of a saying, and I’ve heard it both in mental health aspects. I’ve also heard it in in things like exercise, where you need to sit in your discomfort, that in order for you to grow, you’re going to have to be uncomfortable in that. And I like how you, you put it in the book in that, that you have to embrace the boredom. And I think that’s one of the things that, you know, because we’re constantly entertained, you know, whether it’s it’s binge watching television, or looking at your phone, or listening to the radio, as you’re getting bombarded constantly by entertainment. And so I can see that that would be really difficult if that’s how you’ve grown up, in and even for those of us that think we haven’t grown up like that we still like to be entertained and not bored.
Shailini George 21:45
I mean, I will I I am just as guilty as anyone else. And so I have to remind myself and actually working on the book was a good chance for me to practice some of what I preach, which is finding the time, you know, to really work on a writing project, I can, it can be challenging.
Greg Lambert 22:01
So I’ve been in multiple sessions with Dr. Larry Richard, who does the lawyer brain and I don’t know if you if you’ve been in any of his sessions, but one of the topics that he brings up again and again, is the fact that lawyers are some of the least resilient people in his study of personality traits. What are you seeing in students that you teach when it comes to bouncing back from tough experiences? And as you put it, in the book to “grow through what you go through”?
Shailini George 22:34
Yes. So what I have been seeing over time, I think and, and I have to think about my children, who are almost of law school age when I when I talk about this, or think about this, what I have been seeing i think is sort of over a period of time, an inability maybe to accept defeat, or difficulty with accepting criticism. So a number of years ago, and I want to be delicate how I say this, because
Greg Lambert 23:03
Especially if your kids listen to this.
Shailini George 23:06
They might and they’re, and they’re about to hear a story about themselves. So a number of years ago, I went to a legal writing conference. And one of the sessions I went to was about the generational differences, you know, and they talked that a speaker talked about the Baby Boomers and the Millennials and the Gen Xers. And I hadn’t really thought about this concretely until I was in the session, and the characteristics of millennials were sounding strikingly familiar to me. And I was thinking about my children at the time, but things like, you know, not liking to lose. Thinking that effort is everything. But like, I tried really hard, so I should get an A. Not, you know, I tried really hard and a B is probably pretty good. And I remember coming back from that conference, I sat my kids down. And I actually told them, you’re both very special to me, but I need you to understand that in the big wide world, you may not be that special. I think you’re gonna have to fall down and get hurt once in a while. And you’re going to have to not score a goal every time you kick the goal, you know, in a soccer game like so. I think there’s this, there’s this feeling that they’re always right, that they deserve an A, that they tried really, really hard. And so doesn’t that mean that they get the grade, and that may have been good enough, in high school or college. They may have been able to kind of persuade people to give them the grades that they wanted, they may not be used to receiving constructive criticism. And the thing is, it’s an adversarial system they’re going to be in there are going to be winners and losers. And so in law school, they need to understand that their focus should be on learning and not on the grade. Although I know it’s, you know, easy for us to say on this end of it. But in practice, they’re going to need to learn to accept that there are going to be winners and losers, or you know, there will be challenges, there will be difficult bosses, there will be judges that they have to be in front of that they can’t control. And so learning to accept criticism to work with it to be focused on what they’re learning and not the end result. I think those were all things that kind of played into some of the changes that I had been seeing.
Greg Lambert 25:12
Yeah, this sounds really tough to teach.
Shailini George 25:15
Yeah, well, you know, I teach legal writing. And so one of the the reasons I think that this became apparent to me is that quite often, I’m the first professor to give them a grade in law school. And so they’re not, that’s the first feedback that they’re getting. And it’s oftentimes the first grade that they’re getting. And they may have gotten A’s on everything they’ve done before. And then they hit law school and a curve. And all that goes along with that it can be difficult for them. And so I think I had to learn, as I was learning to teach that I needed to learn how to deliver that criticism in a way that they could accept it. And so having these conversations about the importance of the learning process, and how we learn and how we grow from that, and how this is actually part of what lawyering will be about taking criticism from your bosses, or from supervisors, or from judges, you know, taking the feedback and learning what you can do with it is actually a really critical skill for them to have.
Marlene Gebauer 26:11
You know, those choosing to be in the legal profession, you hope that they realize that there’s a lot of stress that comes along with the job, you know, most of your clients, you know, they’re putting their livelihoods and their reputation, their businesses, you know, family and even more in your hands and expecting positive results. That’s a lot of pressure to fall upon you. How do you work with students to help them understand the stress levels of the profession that they’re about to enter?
Shailini George 26:40
Well, that is one of the most important things I think, in the first year of law school is to help them understand that it’s not just people on paper that they’re, that we’re talking about, like there will be real people affected by what they do. And so in a writing class, it’s actually particularly important sometimes, when I see sloppiness, or if I see little errors, you know, I have to remind them that getting a date wrong can have a real impact. For example, if they’re filing something, or if they’re writing a letter, and if they make a mistake, the people who are reading this will, first of all have an opinion about the work. But second of all, it can have a real impact on people and on problems and how things go forward. So, I do mindfulness exercises in class, I tried to do some self reflection exercises. I think I mentioned earlier that I’m going to be teaching a pilot class at Suffolk this year called Preparing for Professional Success. And I’m going to be able to use my book and some of what I hope to bring into that classroom are ways to enable students to really develop the resiliency and the skills to be able to handle those stresses. So social connections, spiritual connections, resiliency, diet, sleep, exercise, all of those things are part of what make you a healthy person on the whole. And a healthy person on the whole can handle some of these stresses better than somebody who’s already stressed themselves.
Greg Lambert 28:11
Well, I remember when I went to law school and literally last century, but…
Shailini George 28:18
That may be exaggerating, but okay.
Greg Lambert 28:23
But I remember one of my advisors recommending that for every hour of class time that I should spend an additional three hours of reading, preparing, briefing, studying for the class. So, you know, if I took 15 hours a week in classes, there would be another 45 hours of additional work and my math skills, right that that comes to about 60 hours of work that a week that a student has to do on focusing on on their studies. So that advisor really never stressed to me that you know, what I should be doing with the remaining hours of the week to make sure that I kept that healthy mind and body that that you were talking about. So what do you suggest that law students do with their time outside of the classroom and studying to maintain their mental and physical well being?
Shailini George 29:15
So it’s, it’s something that I’m really passionate about. And it’s funny, even before I wrote this book, I used to have this conversation with my students around exam time, where I would talk about things like diet and exercise, and, and sleep. And then so I decided to write this book. And I did a lot of research and realized that I had kind of been on the right track with a lot of this anyway. So, you know, it’s interesting, yes, they should, they’re going to spend a lot of time studying, I wonder, Greg, in all those hours, if you really, were actually studying and focused, or if you might have been, you know, just kind of looking at your materials and thinking that you’re studying because…
Greg Lambert 29:52
I could show you my transcript, and you could come up with the answer on your own.
Shailini George 29:57
I don’t know if we know each other well enough for that. I haven’t looked at a transcript for a while. Um, so you know, this image that we have of law students, or lawyers burning the midnight oil, you know, this sort of warrior mentality of staying up all night studying, billing, you know, X number of hours working on a deal, that image is out there. But I think what I would like people to question is, what’s the quality of the work that’s being done, if you are working for 10 hours straight? Or as I tell my students, if you have a legal memo that’s due on Monday, it’s not the kind of thing that you say, Oh, I’m gonna bang that out the weekend before it’s due. Because it’s just not work that is done well, in that fashion. So what I would like students and lawyers to think about is setting boundaries. Setting a schedule where you say, I’m going to work for 15 minutes, and then I’m going to take a break where I walk around the block, or I’m going to take a break, where I will check my phone and knowing that I’m going to check my phone allows me to be away from it for a certain amount of time. And one of the things that I’ve I one tip, I think that is a little counterintuitive that I think is really important is that everybody should decide what is your end of work day on any particular day and stick to it. So you know, you’re going to stop working at seven o’clock, or maybe you have a big exam or a big deal that you’re working on. And you need to purposely extend your day, that’s fine. But you still need an end of day, a time where you actually shut your work down, you stop checking your email, you stop engaging with work, and you allow yourself time for rest or relaxation, or seeing your family, or seeing your friends, and the things that that replenish our bodies and our minds so that when we do go back to the work, we are really able to engage with it at a higher level and produce at a level that would be appreciated by us and our clients.
Greg Lambert 31:48
And I do have to note that I think the wellness part, I think you have at least three chapters that are focused in on the wellness part. So it’s, it’s not like a throwaway at the end of the book, this is a substantial piece of your writing.
Shailini George 32:04
Well, yes. Because when you look at what it takes to be to keep your brain healthy, and to engage in really good focused work, the taking a break and how much sleep you get, or what you eat all plays into it. I mean, you can’t really get it’s not a side thing. It’s actually part of the whole process. And stress. For example, when you are very stressed, it unleashes chemicals in your brain that start a response in your body that actually causes you to perform worse. Your memory is reduced, your concentration is reduced, like it causes all of these effects that caused you to be more stressed that caused you to lose sleep, make poor diet choices,
Marlene Gebauer 32:43
It’s a cycle.
Shailini George 32:43
It’s a cycle. And so if we can break, really break the cycle and think about each part of it, then maybe we can avoid getting in those positions, before they happen.
Marlene Gebauer 32:57
Be a really good thing. So well, Professor Shailini George, thank you very much for taking the time to talk with us. You have book the Law Students Guide to Doing Well and Being Well. Where can our listeners find the book?
Shailini George 33:13
It is on Amazon. And it is also on my publishers website, which is Carolina Academic Press.
Greg Lambert 33:21
Well, thank you again for joining us.
Shailini George 33:23
Thank you so much for having me.
Marlene Gebauer 33:25
Marlene Gebauer 33:29
That was a great interview, you know, I basically came away thinking, Okay, I got I got to work on a few things. myself. And, and, and, and I, as I told Shailini after we stopped recording, you know, I really liked that she highlighted that, hey, you know, mistakes have consequences. And that, you know, A for effort doesn’t work. And like that’s why it’s so incredibly important that, you know, you take care of yourself, so that you’re at the top of your game because you know, it is a very demanding profession. It’s you know, very rewarding profession, but a very demanding one. And you know, you got to be you got to be on your game.
Greg Lambert 34:12
Yeah. And I think she’s spot on, especially with the setting boundaries rule that she’d set up. And I was thinking almost immediately of what Ivy Grey had said last week, and that if you have a 10 o’clock deadline, you’re going to find a way to fill the time all the way up until 10 o’clock. And so by setting the boundaries and understanding, you know how to how to set your focus, and what’s important. I think that’s something you know, if you can teach those good habits in law school, then those are habits that last a lifetime.
Marlene Gebauer 34:50
Greg Lambert 34:51
So thanks again to Professor Shailini George from Suffolk Law School for joining us and we’ll put information on on how to find your book on the show notes.
Marlene Gebauer 35:02
Before we go, we want to remind listeners to take the time to subscribe on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts rate and review us as well. If you have comments about today’s show or suggestions for a future show, you can reach us on Twitter at @ Gebauerm or at @glambert. Or you can call The Geek in Review hotline at 713-487-7270 or email us at GeekinReviewPodcast@gmail.com And as always, the music here is from Jerry David DeCicca. Thank you, Jerry.
Greg Lambert 35:32
Thanks, Jerry. All right, Marlene, I will talk with you later.
Marlene Gebauer 35:36