What Can Law Students And Young Lawyers Learn From The Great Elon Musk?

“All I have in life is my new appetite for failure / And I got a hunger pain that grows insane / Tell me do that sound familiar?” Kendrick Lamar

Elon Musk (by Heisenberg Media)
Elon Musk (by Heisenberg Media)

In 2007, Tesla was in a near-fatal situation. In 2008, Elon Musk, Tesla’s cofounder, filed for divorce from his wife Justine. By June 2010, the New York Times declared Musk broke.

In July 2010, Musk had paid nearly $4 million, or an average of roughly $170,000 per month for 24 months, in legal and accounting fees. Musk stated, “What caught me by surprise, and forced me to seek emergency loans from friends, were the enormous legal fees I had to pay my ex-wife’s divorce lawyers.” By his own account, Musk needed an extension by the court to pay his legal bills.

Musk may have been cash-poor, but he certainly wasn’t broke. Even back then, Musk had a million-dollar mentality and billion-dollar ideas. So what can we as law students and young lawyers learn from the great Elon Musk?

Continue Reading…

Balancing The Three-Legged Stool Of Success In Our Legal Careers

“We are the rose, this is the concrete, and these are my damaged petals. Don’t ask me why. Thank God and ask me how.” — Tupac

Last week, I attebalancing stoolnded a diversity and inclusion event that featured Caren K. Lock, Regional Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Government Relations & Public Policy for TIAA-CREF. Prior to joining TIAA-CREF, Lock was General Counsel with a consumer financial company in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Lock is currently the primary interface for her company on all legislative, executive, and regulatory matters in the southwest region. Lock is a frequent speaker on racial and gender diversity as well as community and political advocacy.

As the keynote speaker, Lock gave advice on how law school graduates can attain and maintain success in their lives and throughout their careers. As an Asian-American woman, Lock highlighted some of the critical experiences she has had and key decisions she has made throughout her career. She shared her life-balance philosophy, which she categorized into three major roles. Lock compared our ability to manage these roles to the balancing of a three-legged stool.

According to Lock, the three main roles we all play in life are… Continue Reading

Supreme Court To Decide On ADA and Fourth Amendment Issues In Police Shootings

“We been hurt, been down before / when our pride was low / looking at the world like, where do we go?” — Kendrick Lamar

According to the Portland Press Herald in Maine, “nationally about half of the estimated 375 to 500 people shot and killed by police each year are mentally ill. In many cases, the officers knew from the start that the subjects were unstable.” There remains no national standard for crisis intervention of the mentally ill.police

Across the country, U.S. Justice Department investigations have concluded that officers have systematically used unconstitutional force, or engaged in a pattern of using excessive force, against the mentally ill. Unnecessary force by officers has led to deaths in many instances. Last month, 111 people died during police encounters. Those who lost their lives were mostly people of color, mentally ill, or both.

Last year, the ACLU of Michigan posted a video of the fatal shooting of 49-year-old Milton Hall. As noted in Newsweek:

In the video, Hall, 49, is seen standing in a Saginaw, Michigan, parking lot surrounded by eight police officers with their guns drawn and pointed at him. During the short stand-off, a police dog began to growl and lunge toward Hall, who took out a small pocketknife in response. It was when he turned to the dog, the ACLU says, that police showered Hall with a stream of bullets.

The officers fired 46 shots in a matter of seconds, hitting Hall 14 times. Once on the ground, an officer turned him over, handcuffed him, and put his foot on Hall’s back—with “his blood running down the street like water,” Jewel Hall, Milton’s mother, told the ACLU.

Continue Reading…