Cal. Litig. 2014, Volume 27, Number 2

Fighting Procrastination in Legal Practice: Defining and Finding Your Role in the Cycle

By Meehan Rasch

Let’s face it. Many of us struggle with initiating, sustaining, and completing work projects. As Berkeley Law professor Paula Samuelson notes, "We have all had the experience of facing a blank pad of yellow paper with an equally blank mind." (Samuelson, Good Legal Writing: Of Orwell and Window Panes (1984) 46 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 149, 166.)

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To start with, legal work is rarely simple. Law is a mentally demanding, complex field that requires sustained effort and attention; its practice must adhere strictly to high standards of professional responsibility. Litigators must perform and prioritize dozens of tasks, often on multiple projects at once. Hundreds of strategic decisions and quick revisions of those decisions must be made, even with short projects. And seemingly simple tasks, such as communications with clients and opposing counsel, demand nuance and skill.

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