School’s Out – Feng Shui’s In

With school out, longer days and the adjustment to summer schedules, this season brings its own joys, and stresses. Keeping things balanced and harmonized in your home might be a challenge, especially those with children and company visiting, as the well oiled routines of the school year are tossed out the window.

The wisdom of a Feng Shui can be applied to all surroundings, in all seasons and any situation or occasion. Its application helps establish a flow of calm, positive energy in the environment. For indoors and the outdoor yard and patio, here are some considerations to keep organized and maintain equilibrium on the home front with this summer season.

• Pack into storage any winter clothes, coats, boots, shovels and other clutter that are lying around the house and yard. Clear out old school papers and supplies that are piling up on the countertops, fridge and corners. The key here is to simplify the space with less stuff lying around the rooms, causing congested and depleted energy flow.

• With more people coming in and out of the house from the yard, keep all the entrances clear of clutter to trip on. Shoe racks tucked neatly to the side and non-slip mats are ideal.

• Use un-breakable dishes for outdoor meals and snacks.

• Keep tripping hazards to a minimum by always folding up the hose, hanging up the dog leash, and clearing the yard of debris.

• Clean out and rearrange the fridge to allow easy access to snacks for hungry kids. Easier grab-and-go snacks and drinks will mean less spills and breaks from knocking over items from the fridge.

• Dispose of old and broken down garden equipment or toys, such as old swing sets, retired lawn mowers and outgrown bicycles.

• Inspect fences and outdoor furniture for nails or splinters which could cause injury, and check the lawn or patio daily for sharp objects on bare feet.

• Stock up on healthy snacks and drinks, such as home-made popsicles and fruit to cool you down from the heat.

• Establish clear rules and boundaries for children playing in the yard and house, such as not leaving the area unattended, no shoes in the house, or food and drink in the living room.

All of these changes will help ensure a better energy in the home and less chaos. If you are proactive, the days will flow much easier for adults and children, and bringing a Feng Shui balance to your surroundings will help you make the most of summer.

America – By the People, For the Lawyers!

In our founding documents it states that the United States of America is a nation built by the people and for the people. Unfortunately most of the laws in our society and civilization have been reshaped by lawyers and sometimes in a self-serving way. One cynical person in our online think tank stated; “America; By the People, For the Lawyers!”

Of course immediately one of the lawyers in the group labeled him a cynical person, which he immediately admitted freely. But he said; “just because I’m a cynic does not mean I am not correct.” So the question is what do you think? This is an article of pure opinion as you can tell.

Are we still a nation built by the people and for the people or are we a modified hybred; being built by the lawyers and for lawyers. If lawyers make our laws and we have to hire a lawyer to tell us what those laws are and then hire another lawyer if those laws are inadvertently or accidentally broken then who are we truly serving; ourselves “The People” or the lawyers to whom we have to pay money to for advice on how to live or run our businesses.

The cynic in the group suggested that in his business, which is a successful construction firm, he had to call his lawyer every time he wanted to use the company restroom to make sure it was okay? Indeed, it has not got that bad yet, but it surely could at the present rate in my humble opinion.

I certainly hope this article is of interest and that is has propelled thought. The goal is simple; to help you in your quest to be the best in 2007. I thank you for reading my many articles on diverse subjects, which interest you.

Why ITT Tech School of Criminal Justice is not the Best Choice for you?

As with all other things an educational institution has its own pros and cons. This is also the case with ITT Tech. One of the ost important cons of the ITT Tech school of criminal justice is that the school is not accredited by any of the eight RA accrediting bodies. This means degrees and credits earned at ITT Tech may not find wide acceptance.

The criminal justice program offered by ITT Tech is pretty expensive and it may not be for you if you are in need of a high paying job immediately after completing your criminal justice program. Also, since many regular colleges do not accept the credits from ITT Tech, it will be a waste of time, energy, and money if you have to begin a program from scratch in the event of a relocation or some other similar situation.

An online program from ITT Tech may not be for you if you are looking for the experience of a normal classroom with teachers and classmates physically present. Though there is interaction as in a regular class, it is virtual and may not be the right choice for all. There may be certain loopholes in the agreement which might turn out to be not so pleasant at a later stage. By then it might be too late to withdraw or switch schools.

The schedule may not be what you are looking for and you may have classes during times which are inconvenient for you. This often happens when there are not enough students to justify setting up another batch. Not being in a regular classroom or college can also cause logistical problems and often getting these issues resolved becomes stressful since the communication has to be done through mails or telephone rather than one-on-one communication. These are some of the reasons why it might not be such a good idea to pursue an online criminal justice program from ITT Tech.

Facts You Should Know Before Getting an Environmental Lawyer Job

Environmental law firms handle a variety of cases involving environmental related issues and are one of the best places to get an environmental lawyer job. It is important before searching for a job as an environmental lawyer that you do some research. You want to be sure that you understand what the job entails, the education that you need and what to expect during your job hunt and once you find a job.

Working in Environmental Law:
An environmental lawyer job will involve preparing cases, working with clients and going to trial. Environmental law focuses on cases involving individuals or companies that have violated environmental laws or otherwise threatened the welfare of the environment. A lot of the focus is on businesses that are harming the environment and not following the laws relating to environmental safety.

Education:
To get an environmental lawyer job it is necessary to go to college and law school, plus pass the bar exam in the state or states in which you will practice. Studying to be an environmental lawyer requires taking courses in various areas of law including administrative and alternative dispute resolution. You will also have to take courses specific to environmental law, such as air pollution, conservation, ecology, and Federal Natural Resource law.

Job Outlook and Salary:
A career in environmental law has an average growth estimate as predicted by government economists. As environmental issues continue to dominate the government and the minds of the public, it is possible for growth to be slightly more than predicted. Growth also depends on current environmental lawyers. If there is a surge in retirement, then job openings could be more than expected.

Environmental law salary, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2004, was about $73,000 for lawyers working within the government. Salary can vary depending on where you work. Jobs are available from a variety of different employers. These include private firms, various government agencies at different levels of government and businesses of varying sizes. Jobs are available to prosecute against environmental offenders and defend them. The salary can also vary depending on which side of a case you are working.

Getting a job as an environmental lawyer requires some serious commitment. Many lawyers who are involved in this area of law have some personal interest in the environment and are passionate about protecting it or they feel the need to protect those who are being prosecuted for violating environmental laws.

As a lawyer of any kind, it is very important that you are willing to work hard and make your way up the career ladder. Many lawyers start out at the bottom where they mainly handled administrative duties. It takes time to prove yourself as a lawyer and work up to the level where you actually get to go to trial and represent clients in front of a judge or jury. For those that are committed to being an environmental lawyer, it is well worth the years of education and the hard work that it takes to become a respected environmental lawyer.

Stress, Anxiety, and Substance Abuse as a Cause of Impairment in Lawyers

“One of every four lawyers suffers from stress, and out of 105 occupations, lawyers rank first in depression. In addition, a disproportionate number of lawyers commit suicide. These are some of the troubling conclusions that can be found in various studies of addiction and depression.” Reports Robert Stein, ABA Executive Director, in the June 2005 issue of the ABA Journal.

The costs of stress, alcoholism, and drug abuse is very high for the legal profession. The American Bar Association and all state bar associations have provided “lawyer assistance programs” that can help to treat “impaired” lawyers. Most of these programs also address the issues of clinical depression and disorders related to gambling, sex, and eating.

If you do not realize the significance of this troubling situation, consider being represented in your important legal matters by an impaired attorney. It could cost you thousands of dollars or even your freedom if you or your interests are not protected by competent legal professionals. In the state of California, there is a requirement for Continuing Legal Education (CLE’s) which includes a minimum of 1 hour every 3 years on stress management or substance abuse for all licensed, practicing lawyers to maintain their license to practice law.

The practice of law is inherently stressful. Much of the time lawyers find themselves battling with other legal professionals for their clients best interests. Trail lawyers must think quickly and communicate with precision and skill in the courtroom. Corporate lawyers must be concerned with legal details that require focused attention and great care. The competition to be successful as an attorney can lead to stress, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

People preparing to become attorneys often struggle with stress in law school and in the multi-day testing that is required to “pass the bar.” The stressful issues that can begin in law school can set up future practicing attorneys for bad habits in coping with the stress and anxiety of the profession. Some law schools offer coursework for life skill management to better prepare their students to be able to perform at the highest level for their clients and for their quality of life.

Because lawyers are trained to be precise and use their cerebral abilities for day to day work, they are often in denial regarding the needs for stress and anxiety management until bad habits are established or symptoms cause significant challenges. Even managing general partners in major law firms have great professional and personal concerns regarding “impairment” within their organizations. An accidental mistake or oversight can open a law firm to their own costly law suits for malpractice. Many concerned managing partners are requiring that their attorneys practice preventive measures to control stress, anxiety, and depression. This can be found in group trainings, EAP’s or individual coaching. Coaching can also offer enhancements to time management, improved communication skills, and long term career planning. An interesting and unexpected benefit to this training and coaching is that this preventive work can actually save lawyers time and energy by helping to minimize the impact of distractions due to stress. This improves performance and can help to increase profitability. Key personnel are important assests and professional coaching or mentoring programs have huge cost benefits.

Everyone, even lawyers, require professional assistance to get through the difficult periods. Lawyers just seem to require more attention as they work to survive, at the highest functioning levels, in the “meat grinder” of their professional life. Most people who know practicing attorneys know that their attorney family members or friends can benefit from a sense of humor and better stress management. In increasing frequency, law firms are using retreats to help de-compress and then get down to business planning.

More information can be found in the article by Robert Stein at
http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/colap/ABAJournal200506_Help.html