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Balance in your life

 I recently spoke to some students at Western State University. These students were invited to participate in moot court competitions. I imagine they will have many hours of study ahead of them, but how exciting is that!  

These students are facing the beginning of their careers while I am slowing down. I miss that enthusiasm and excitement. Not that a great appeal doesn't excite me, especially if the appeal presents interesting issues, but it doesn't happen that often. I love appeals where I feel I can really make a difference, whether it is in shaping a body of law or helping my clients.
Some of the students were interested in a career in appellate law, so I could share my experiences with them. Others were more interested in how to prepare and present oral argument. I felt I could be useful there as well.
When I talk to young people now, I find myself talking more about their lives in general and not just being a lawyer. I tell them how deadly stress can be for all of us. I worry about the burden of student debt and how it might affect their career choices. I knew some of these students will drop out of law school, abuse drugs or alcohol, or face other tragedies. The possibility of these fates were hard to imagine when I looked at such innocent young people.  
I told them how important it was to have a strong support system in their lives. My boyfriend Tony claims he would have died long ago from his cancer without such a system. I know that when I go to court, I might face tough questions and feel under significant pressure, but if I know there is someone out there who is waiting for me to come home and doesn't give a hoot about my "courtroom performance," I feel a little stronger in facing judges or attorneys who might be more judgmental. (Fortunately, the Court of Appeal in Santa Ana is filled with friendly faces, although I still get stressed before oral argument.) 
That thought is the last thing on my mind before my case is called. I imagine coming home to my dog and man, and there is nothing but love in my household.  In turn, that love gives me the strength to battle opponents in the legal world.