From your colleague Zara Watkins, Esq.
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Writing to win.
I was out networking late last year when I struck up a conversation with a civil rights attorney. "Nice!"–I thought to myself because a couple of months earlier I wrote the brief for a Circuit Court appeal in a civil rights action. I tried to tell her about the case, searching through my store of memories, but I couldn't remember enough details to highlight it well.

I was appalled. How could I forget the facts and law I immersed myself in for several weeks? I realized my mind was literally flooded with information–the result of an abnormally heavy schedule full of back-to-back deadlines for months (which is also why you haven't seen this newsletter in your inbox lately). Not even my daily meditation practice was able to save me.

Luckily I've had some time to rest and reset...and this year my resolution is to Take. It. Slow. That means giving myself more space between deadlines so I can retain more of what I'm learning from each case–and so I can enjoy more of my day-to-day life.

With that in mind, this newsletter includes a new "deadline tracker" to help you help me help you with your appeals and motions. Check it out. Then keep reading for my usual suggested practitioner's tool and a parting point about trying to do too many things at once. 


Practitioner's Toolbox

I'm constantly evaluating tools for making my research, writing, and oral arguments more organized, productive, and creative. Here I share my favorites in the hope of adding some value to your practice, too.

One of the side effects of working too fast is the bane of every perfectionist: typos. I've written before about how typos kill the clarity of your argument–and the same goes for your emails (and newsletters). But hiring a personal proofreader to review every piece of writing is not realistic.

Enter Grammarly: an extension on your browser/app on your computer that catches typos in your emails, website drafts, and any document you upload for review. It even catches those extra spaces (that I almost never notice in a proofread) and the misuse of words (like typing "they" instead of "the").

This app has saved me so much time–and embarassment–over the last few months that it would be shameful for me not to share it with you.
Keep in touch by email or on social media–I always love to hear from you.
§ brief writing & appeal deadlines May 8 or later
§ oral arguments April 15 or later (contact me for specific dates)

Parting Point

Thank you for reading.

If you know someone who might benefit from my services (or my tips), please do them a favor and forward this newsletter by clicking here or one of the share buttons below.

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