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The SCWLA Midlands Region experienced a world tour at its recent luncheon on November 3 without ever leaving the Summit Club, courtesy of Kathleen (Kathy) Smith. Kathy presented, “Around the World One Segment at a Time: From New York to Cape Town on the Queen Mary 2,” a travelogue on a 24-day cruise she took with her husband, Emerson, earlier this year. Kathy is a busy attorney with Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., but she has graciously shared her experiences with SCWLA (upon our repeated requests) on such topics as traveling aboard the Orient Express through Eastern Europe (including Vienna, Slovakia, Warsaw, Krakow, and Prague); sailing on the Cunard Line’s Queen Victoria from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia (by way of Hawaii, Fiji, Samoa, and New Zealand); and taking one of the last flights on the Concorde (from New York to London and back). No one is better at taking others on a journey than Kathy, as she describes everything from her departure to her return while capturing all the points of interest in between.

On her latest excursion, Kathy and her husband took a cruise on the Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 from New York to Cape Town, South Africa. She stated Cunard ships have sailed for over 170 years, and there are currently three ships in the fleet, all of which are less six years old or newer: the Queen Mary 2, the Queen Victoria, and the Queen Elizabeth. Each year Cunard schedules a 4-month world cruise, but it also offers it in individual segments, if desired. Kathy’s segment on the Queen Mary 2 carried 2,500 passengers from over 40 countries, with the majority being British, as well as half again that number of crew. The cruise began in New York and included stops in Barbados, and thereafter Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Montevideo, Uruguay, before crossing the South Atlantic to Cape Town, South Africa, a total journey from New York of over 10,000 miles. During the one-week crossing to their final destination, they passed Tristan da Cunha, the most remote inhabited island in the world (with 220 residents). The island is located in the middle of the South Atlantic between Montevideo and Cape Town. Kathy noted Cape Town is dominated by Table Mountain, and its Nobel Square has statutes of the four South African Nobel Peace Prize winners–Nelson Mandela, FW De Klerk, Desmund Tutu, and Albert Luthuli. The nearby town of Stellenbosch has over 200 wineries. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful presentation by Kathy and her descriptions of going on this segment of the world tour, including visitors to our luncheon from the League of Women Voters. We hope Kathy will take us along (vicariously) on her next adventure! As always, her presentation was a real highlight for our Midlands members.

-Karen Huelson, S.C. Supreme Court

As a benefit to all mentors and protégés, the Mentoring Committee hosted an event with these accomplished SCWLA women on Monday, November 7th. These conversations involved a candid discussion over lunch about the practice of law and included tips that every female attorney needs to know. The panel discussed time management, learning to say “no”, working with clients, the importance of a career path, and how to separate the professional from the personal.

The Mentoring Committee will hold a series of these “conversations” throughout the year as a benefit to its members. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or protégé, please check the SCWLA website. http://www.scwla.org

I am extremely grateful to be one of the first recipients of the SCWLA’s scholarship to attend the Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics training workshop. I left the training feeling empowered and inspired. The training provided the nuts and bolts of running for office and winning! The presenters were very knowledgeable in their respective areas, which included academics, campaign consultants, and a former woman House member.

The day began with a very informative session on statistics relating to women running for office and the very encouraging find that women are more likely to win if they run. While women are more likely to win if they run, they often time feel less qualified to run than their male counterparts and are less likely to make the decision to run.

During the training we learned how to manage a campaign and how to develop our platforms. We also learned how to organize and gather campaign support and fundraising strategies. A highlight of the day was learning how to use social media and the internet in campaigning. We learned how programs such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other communities can be instrumental in finding and connecting with supporters and potential supporters.

The training attendees included women from various backgrounds, some of whom had run for office and held positions on their local county councils and school boards. It was great to be surrounded by women who had already ran for office and were looking to take their leadership a step further and who could share nuggets of wisdom with the group. The training has made me more confident in reaching my future professional goals of one day empowering, through training, women in the developing world in their bids for political office.

I am a pro bono lobbyist and the State Chair for CARE USA, an international humanitarian organization whose mission is to eradicate global poverty through focusing on the educational and health needs of women and girls. I have volunteered on several political campaigns and served as a community organizer in North Carolina for the last general election. I have observed elections in Azerbaijan and Kosovo. I currently serve as diversity fellow at the Charleston School of Law and will begin work as a legal advisor in Turkey for refugees from Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan beginning in November 2011.

The SCWLA Midlands Region held its monthly luncheon at the Summit Club on Thursday, October 6, 2011 in Columbia. Our guests were Courtney Kennaday, Director of the South Carolina Bar Practice Management Assistance Program (PMAP), and Joey Heape, the Bar’s Director of Media and Technology. Courtney founded PMAP in 2002, and she assists lawyers in large and small firms with law office technology and management issues. She has appeared at numerous state and local legal events. Joey worked with local news organizations, such as WOLO-TV, before coming to the SC Bar, where he specializes in technology issues and oversees the media initiatives of the CLE Division as well as technology initiatives for various Bar projects. (We found out Joey is also an accomplished musician, and has played professionally with artists such as Bad Company, Richard Marx, and Delbert McClinton.)

Courtney and Joey provided our group with much-needed computer tips that we can all use (everyone has I.T. departments at work, but what happens when you’re working on something at home?) Judging from the reaction of those in attendance, it was clear everyone has experienced some strange computer snafus at one time or another (sometimes repeatedly), so their advice on avoiding these pitfalls was greatly appreciated! For the benefit of those who missed this great opportunity to consult the experts, their tips are summarized below.

Courtney’s & Joey’s Ten Commandments for Technology

(1) Don’t Cheap Out

It’s better to replace technology more often, as older computers often run slowly, suffer hard drive failures, or do not have the capacity to run the latest programs. Note the approximate lifecycles of these items: laptops 2-3 years; desktops 3-4 years; servers 3 years; laser printers & scanners – indefinite. For toner, they recommend OEM, as secondary or replacement brands may leak.

(2) Always Reboot

Often rebooting solves the problem, as the computer may still be working on an error that you cannot see running on the system. (We’ve always heard this, but now we know why.)

(3) Google It

Almost all technology questions can be answered with a very specific Google search.

(4) Read the FAQs

The Frequently Asked Questions encountered by the manufacturer are usually found on the manufacturer’s website.

(5) Know What You Have

Know your operating system (OS). Windows 7, Windows XP, or Windows Vista? Windows 7 is now the standard. Updates are no longer being issued for XP, but if you have XP, you should make sure you have Service Pack 3 installed. WPA is the secure option for WiFi.

Consider Belarc Advisor. This is a free software advisor that inventories your computer to list what software items you have, including the license numbers. It’s good to run this when you purchase a new computer and again when you make any changes on your computer.

(6) Write It Down

Write down error messages or copy and paste them and use Google to search for the meaning of the error. In Windows 7, you can also use the Snip It! tool. This tool can be found by going to the Start menu, then typing “Snip” in the search box, and it will automatically come up.

(7) Remember Your Passwords

Don’t use the same password for everything. You can use some software programs, such as Robo Form or the web-based Last Pass, which let you remember one password and it then encrypts all of your other passwords to a designated source. You can also save all of your passwords on a flash drive.

SC Bar’s Casemaker Service: Note, there is a new sign-in system for the Casemaker service. Go to the Bar’s homepage at scbar.org, go to Member Log In, then enter your 7-digit Bar number (use zeros at the beginning if your number is less than 7 digits), and then have your password e-mailed to you.

(8) Back Up Regularly

You can use programs such as Core Vault, Carbonite, or Mozy. Another alternative is an external hard drive. IO Safe makes an external hard drive that is advertised as being virtually indestructible, like an airplane’s black box, for about $250. The average external drive is about $125.

(9) Read The Reviews

Before purchasing any technology product, consider product reviews on the websites of Best Buy and other stores, as well as C/Net, ZD net, PCmag.com, and LTN (Law Technology News).

(10) Don’t Stand Naked In An Open Window: The Danger of Free WiFi

Warning: using an unprotected WiFi connection is as described above. Always know what the source is of your connection. Never click an icon that shows two computers connected, that is usually an indication that you are being connected with another computer, not a true WiFi site. It’s best to have an icon showing a cell tower or something similar. Final points to consider:

*Firewall – need this turned on, except at work
*Turn off file sharing
*Use antivirus and antispyware
*Get your own MiFi hot spot

Many thanks to Courtney and Joey for their advice. For further information, please contact them at the SC Bar or view the SC Bar’s website at http://www.scbar.org.

–Karen Huelson, S.C. Supreme Court

The Midlands Region of SCWLA held its most recent luncheon at the Summit Club on Thursday, September 1, 2011. The luncheon included a one-half hour CLE that was complimentary for SCWLA members. Susan Palmer, Associate Dean for the USC School of Law’s Student Affairs Office, introduced our guest speaker, Professor Jaclyn Cherry. Professor Cherry, of the Department of Clinical Legal Studies at the USC School of Law, established the Nonprofit Organizations Clinic there in January 2009. The clinic is offered each fall to third-year students, who are able to practice law under Professor Cherry’s law license via a court rule. The clinic provides free legal services to approximately 20 nonprofit organizations throughout South Carolina each year. Professor Cherry stated the organizations are selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

The students file articles of incorporation, draft bylaws, prepare contracts, assist with real estate transactions and copyright matters, and perform a variety of tasks that are necessary for the nonprofit organizations’ operations, even attending board meetings. In addition to receiving three hours of course credit, the clinic allows the students to gain real-world experience prior to graduation. It also benefits the participating organizations, which are often on tight budgets. Professor Cherry stated that, even if a student decides not to pursue similar work upon graduation, it has given the student business skills and has saved the student time in selecting a career path, so it is a win-win situation for all who participate.

Professor Cherry stated the clinic is also a founding partner of the South Carolina Volunteer Lawyers Association for the Arts, which provides pro bono legal services to the arts community, including nonprofit arts organizations and individual artists who have “arts-related legal needs” as defined by the program. The other founding partners are the USC School of Law Pro Bono Program with Pam Robinson, the South Carolina Arts Commission, and the South Carolina Bar’s Pro Bono Program. The association has established a website at http://scvolunteerlawyersforthearts.org.

Many in the audience asked questions about Professor Cherry’s Nonprofit Organizations Clinic, and they were very interested to hear of its formation, as well as the work that Professor Cherry has done with the South Carolina Volunteer Lawyers Association for the Arts to establish viable, innovative legal resources in this state. SCWLA president Liz Zeck, for one, promised to be among those contacting the clinic for future assistance. For more information on the clinic or any of the arts programs, please contact Professor Cherry by phone at (803) 777-3394 or via e-mail at Cherryja@law.sc.edu.

–Karen Huelson

The Midlands Region of SCWLA held its most recent monthly luncheon on Thursday, July 28, 2011 at the Summit Club in Columbia. Judge J. Michelle Childs of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina was our guest speaker on “The Road to Judging,” in which she provided an inside look at the path to becoming a judge. Judge Carolyn Matthews noted in her introduction that “Judge Michelle,” as she called her, had attracted a very large audience, with over 70 in attendance. She stated Judge Childs is a long-time SCWLA member and recited an impressive list of just a sample of her awards: I’m Every Woman TrailBlazers Award (2008); University of South Carolina Moore School of Business Outstanding Young Alumni Award (2005); Columbia Urban League SHEROES Award (2002); and the University of South Carolina Compleat Lawyer Award, Silver Medallion (1997).

Judge Childs gave those present a fascinating mix of real-life experiences and humorous anecdotes describing what she encountered during her tenures as an attorney at a law firm, the Deputy Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s Division of Labor, a workers’ compensation commissioner, a circuit court judge (including stints as the Chief Administrative Judge for General Sessions and a judge of the Business Court pilot program in the Fifth Judicial Circuit), and, currently, a federal district court judge based in Greenville, South Carolina. Judge Childs, who obtained full scholarships for both college and law school, observed that candidates for judgeships must be not only academically gifted, but must also consider participating in a wide variety of professional organizations and other community groups to reach out to others.

Judge Childs stated she applied the same philosophy in taking the bar exam as she did in running for the circuit court and beyond: “It takes just as much effort to fail as to win, so darn it, I’m going to win!” She laughed as she recited this, noting the important thing to take away is to always approach a challenge with not only hard work, but also a positive attitude. There is no doubt she has this ability. As Judge Matthews noted, Judge Childs always has such a positive energy that she is easy to spot in a crowd. She stated that if she’s at an event and looks around and sees that Judge Childs is there, then she knows she’s in the right place. Judging from the record attendance at the luncheon, everyone agreed. We greatly appreciated Judge Childs’ revealing and candid portrait of all the challenges she has met in her legal career, all of which has made her an outstanding role model for South Carolina’s women lawyers.

–Karen Huelson

Over the past two decades research has shown increasing emotional and mental distress among lawyers. Findings from the Work and Well-Being Study (Siebert and Carroll) show:

-42% of lawyers surveyed agree or strongly agree they worked “when too distressed to be effective.”

-39% indicated they met the criteria for burnout.

-34.7% men and 29.2% women had binge-drinking episode in past month.

-incidence of substance abuse is as much as double the national average.

-approximately 25% report depression (10% of general population report depression).

-28.5% report “drinking is part of being a lawyer.”

-67% are somewhat or extremely worried about the future.

-42% take work home daily or frequently.

-20% entered profession with difficult history (childhood abuse/substance abuse by parent).

Other research shows:
-25% of lawyers report elevated psychological distress including feelings of inadequacy, inferiority, anxiety, social alienation and isolation. (Benjamin Sells, “Facing the Facts About Depression in the Profession,” Florida Bar News, March 1995).

-Lawyers report high rates of pessimism and perfectionism. (Lynn Johnson, Stress Management, Utah State Bar Journal, Jan/Feb 2003).

-Lawyers are more likely to suffer from depression than those in other professions and nearly 4 times more likely than the average. (Johns Hopkins, 1990).

-Male lawyers are two times more likely to commit suicide than men in the general population. (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Healthy, 1992).

SC Lawyer Assistance Program: Lawyers Helping Lawyers
About thirty years ago a group of SC lawyers began meeting and called their organization Lawyers Caring about Lawyers. They had the purpose of supporting each other and other attorneys who were experiencing troubles with addiction. About ten years ago they reorganized and renamed the program Lawyers Helping Lawyers (“LHL”).

LHL has four purposes:

1. to protect the interests of the general public and clients from harm caused by lawyers and judges impaired by substance abuse or depression;

2. to protect the integrity of the legal profession from harm caused by lawyers and judges impaired by substance abuse or depression;

3. to educate the bench and bar about the causes and remedies for substance abuse or depression within the profession; and

4. to provide help to lawyers and judges who suffer from substance abuse and or depression.

About 150 lawyers per year have some degree of contact with LHL.

Current services offered by LHL include assessment, referral to counseling/treatment, mentoring, monitoring and assisting with Bar application process for 1st time admissions.

Current goals of LHL include the reestablishing of support groups for impaired lawyers, creating a presence in both law schools and increasing the number of referrals.

Lawyers are usually hitting or approaching a “bottom” when they call LHL. A significant number of attorneys develop a high sense of well-being by way of addiction recovery. 7.9% of lawyers surveyed in the Work and Well-Being Study reported being recovered or in recovery.

Resources for Support:
Robert Turnbull, Director of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, can be reached on the toll-free helpline at 866-545-9590 or at 803-603-3807.

Beth Padgett, Assistant Director of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, can be reached at 803-240-6526.

LifeFocus Counseling Services can be reached at 866-726-5252. They provide referral to a counselor in the area.

All calls and all information are confidential.

A Simple Strategy for Increased Well-being – Mindfulness

Mindfulness is defined as:

-“an awareness that is non-judging, friendly, and does not seek to add or subtract anything from the experience before it. Mindfulness arises as one pays attention, on purpose, in an allowing, accepting way to inner and outer experience unfolding in the present moment. Mindfulness is not limited to rigid or formulaic methods of meditation, but is available to be experienced in each moment and with every breath.”

-“commitment to reside as best one can from moment to moment in awareness with an open heart, a spacious, non-judging, non-reactive mind, and without trying to get anywhere.” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994, 2003)

Much research has been conducted over the past 4 years on mindfulness practice and its effects on the brain, mind and body. Key components of recent research have shown:

-improvement in executive attention.

-improvement in ability to recognize, name and control emotions.

-improvement in self-awareness.

-improvement of sleep quality. (Winbush, Gross, and Kreitzer, 2007).

People with higher levels of mindfulness report feeling less stressed, anxious and depressed. They also report feeling more joyful, inspired, grateful, hopeful, content, vital and satisfied with life. (Baer, Smith, Hopkins, Krietemeyer and Toney, 2006).

Therapeutic effect has been shown on many stress-related illnesses including type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

People trained in mindfulness show a better ability to quit smoking, decrease binge eating and reduce alcohol and illicit substance use. (Greeson, 2008)

A Moment of Practice
From “Mindfulness Neuroscience and the Lawyer’s Brain” (Scott Rogers, Negotiation Insight Wisdom, April 2009)

• Sit in a comfortable position.

• Keep your back straight but not rigid.

• Rest your hands on your knees, thighs or in your lap.

• Close or lower your eyes and bring awareness to your breathing.

• Follow your breath for a few moments, observing it with curious interest.

• Move awareness from the breath to your mind, watching the coming and going of thoughts.

• You may notice a busy mind, a restless mind, or a quiet mind.

• Watch your thoughts arise, letting them come and go.

• If you find yourself distracted, or you mind wandering, that’s okay. That is what the mind does. What’s amazing is that you notice it and that you have a choice what to do next.

• After you notice your mind’s wandering, bring awareness back to your breathing.

• After a few breaths, move awareness to your thoughts and observe your mind.

• At the end of the practice, whether 2 minutes or 20, smile and savor the moment.

Support for Everyday Mindfulness:
Slow down.

Talk less.

When you can (or when you will) do just one thing at a time. Reduce multitasking.

Focus on your breath while doing daily activities.

Relax into a calm feeling of presence with other people.

Use routine events, such as the phone ringing, having a drink of water, cranking the car engine, as reminders to return yourself to a sense of centeredness. Take a couple deep breaths before you pick up the phone.

At meals, take a moment to reflect on where the food came from. Imagine where the vegetables grew, where the grains grew and the people who were involved.

–Beth Padgett