Always Time for a Cup of Coffee

To continue a theme I began in my first post, 3L for me is far from the relaxing, restful year that it is rumored to be. I’d like to give a brief overview of the activities I have involved myself in to serve as a starting point for future posts.

The most important thing I am doing this semester is Vanderbilt’s Intellectual Property & the Arts Clinic. It rivals other activities in terms of the time commitment, but with the Clinic, I am representing real clients with real issues. These issues range from trademark disputes to corporate and business matters.

In addition to the Clinic, I am the Executive Editor of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law. Our Editor and Chief–The Law Launch’s own Jeff Sheehan–and I have the important responsibility of making sure that the Articles and Notes that we publish are of the utmost quality and relevance.

These two activities seem to consume all of my time, and that is before we even begin taking into consideration classes, the job hunt, networking, and a family and social life.  When it starts to seem overwhelming, I think back to a metaphor one Vanderbilt professor told his class during the last day of class before finals last year:

The professor put a jar down on the front table and filled it full of golf balls. The jar seemed full. Then, he poured in pebbles that filled the spaces not filled by the golf balls. Now, it really seemed full. Finally, the professor poured sand into the jar, and you guessed it, it filled in the spaces not filled by the golf balls and pebbles.

Why did he do these things? He told us the golf balls represented the important things in our lives, like friends, health, and family. The pebbles are other important things like your job and school. The sand? everything else that distracts you from the important things. When all this was done, he picked up his cup of coffee and poured it over the sand, pebbles, and golf balls. He said: No matter how much else you have going on, there is always time to get a cup of coffee with a friend.

This oft-presented demonstration applies as equally to law school as it will to practice, and it motivates me to stay balanced as I wade through the sand that distracts me from what is important.

Till’ next time…


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