FILLING THE MILES
WHAT I LEARNED DRIVING TO LAW SCHOOL
I didn’t know it at the time, but the way I got to law school ended up foretelling the type of attorney I’d become. Now, when I say “the way I got to law school,” I don’t mean it in some abstract, cause-and-effect, life-story kind of way. I’m talking about how I literally traveled there. Like many law school students, I lived off campus. Unlike most, I lived way, way off campus. It was a six-hour drive from my home in Louisville to class in Michigan, a drive I made every weekend for years. On Friday afternoons, I would pick my kids up from the school carpool, drive them to their dad’s house, and immediately head out. I factored in one stop for food/gas/ bathroom, but aside from that, it was a straight shot. Once there, I’d have class all weekend, then drive back Sunday night and get ready for carpool on Monday morning. As you can probably guess, I really learned the ins and outs of that stretch of highway. Very quickly, I developed strategies to fill my commute productively. In those days, there was a book-on-tape series called “Sum and Substance” that covered aspects of the law and legal system. They weren’t part of my coursework, but they gave me an added boost and were the type of thing that made me sound smart in class. I remember buying them used on eBay throughout my law school career, though by the end of it, I think I had graduated to CDs. The trips back were usually filled with calls to my mom, my family, my friends, and whomever else — even back then, I’m happy to report, I always used a hands-free headset. On exam weeks, I’d allow myself a special treat. After completing exams, I’d stop at Cracker Barrel and “rent” an enjoyable book on tape. (Technically, it wasn’t renting because you’d buy the item and then sell it back to the store. But the difference amounted to a rental fee. You get the idea.) Between these and the “Sum and Substance” series, I realized that listening to something with
a narrative thrust kept me engaged. That’s a tool I’ve used on countless family road trips since. Once, we listened to a copy of “The Last Lecture,” and upon arriving home, my daughters asked permission to draw murals on their walls, as the author did during his childhood. I tell the story of my commute to law school to illustrate that cars are so much more than a mode of transportation. They are a way to see the world, a place where you can enrich yourself, and a vessel for powerful memories. I think we all have traveled on roads that mean a lot to us, from those we rely on every day to those we may only see once in our lives. Cars, the open road, the sound of an engine — they all bring up potent images of America and the human experience. It’s not hard to see why. The miles I logged driving to and from law school all those years helped me arrive at a better place in life. That’s a pretty powerful thing. We all know there are inherent dangers in driving, but we accept them because the rewards are so much greater. Cars, mostly for the better and sometimes for the worse, are a part of the fabric of our society. When things do go wrong, in an automobile or anywhere else, you hope that society has a system in place to provide justice to those in need. It turns out that my career in law has involved playing a role in helping get justice for victims of car accidents. Given how I got to law school, I’d say that’s pretty fitting.
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ENCOURAGING YOUR LITTLE GIRL
TIPS FOR RAISING STRONG, CONFIDENT WOMEN
Trust your daughter while teaching grit.
In a time when it’s so easy to let technology and school run your child’s life, what’s your role as a parent or guardian? We often hear motivational quotes talking about the importance of risk-taking and resilience, but it can be tough for little girls to learn from just YouTube videos and school alone. Here’s how you can encourage your daughter to spark her own confidence during her toughest moments.
Psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth studies successful people in a wide variety of fields, from business to the military, and has found that the quality most successful people share is grit. The ability to stay engaged with tough tasks for a long period of time is a skill that takes a long time to build, but it’s not impossible for your girl to begin developing grit right now. Duckworth believes the growth mindset can start young girls on a path to embracing failure and moving forward from it. However, a lack of trust in your daughter can suffocate her growth. Despite all the adult-directed activities we give our kids, we need to step back and let them make some of their own decisions. We can give them encouragement and help along the way, but for the most part, we need to trust they can solve problems on their own.
Encourage bravery and a growth mindset.
Even children can feel pressured to perform to high standards yet stay within their comfort zone. They might think, “I’m not strong enough to climb this tree.” But whether it’s climbing trees or building things with others, small feelings of bravery can grow larger as they grow older. Self-empowerment will be a crucial skill in their lives, so encourage a mindset focused on growth through the process of learning. Teach them how the brain grows and adapts rapidly whenever we encounter failure and that failure and mistakes are a part of life. Once they understand that failure isn’t permanent, they’ll be inspired to take risks and solve their problems.
When you put faith and trust in your little girl to handle her most difficult problems, she’ll learn to do the same for herself.
WAYS TO IMPROVE TIME SPENT IN THE CAR DON’T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ‘EM
According to AAA, the average American spends about 50 minutes driving per day. That amounts to 18,250 minutes per year or more than 12 full days spent behind the wheel. For many of us, that time is spent idly, but it doesn’t have to be. Since you’re spending so much time in the car, you might as well make the most of it. Here are a few ways to do just that. AUDIBLE I may have had books on tape (and later CD) when I was going to law school, but today, we have Audible. Essentially a streaming service for audiobooks, Audible has a huge library of titles in every genre you can think of. Recently, Audible has begun adding exclusive content to the platform,
providing more value to their members. While Audible is a paid service, you can sign up for a free trial to test it out for yourself.
PODCASTS Odds are you probably already have a favorite podcast, given that Edison Research reports 1 in 3 Americans listen to a podcast at least once a month. The medium, which hasn’t been around for long, has grown to tremendous heights on the backs of massively popular series like “Serial” and “Radiolab.” You can find a podcast for every interest, from business development to true-crime murder mysteries. And because most podcasts produce regular episodes, you’ll have a never-ending stream of excellent content no matter how often you drive. HANDS-FREE CALLING If your car is akin to a rolling office, you probably have to take plenty of phone calls in it. To make these calls safely, you need a way to call without having to put on headphones or take your hands off the wheel. I cannot stress enough how essential a system for hands- free calling is. Many recent car models come with software that automatically allows you to make calls through the car’s audio system, but if you have an older vehicle, you’ll need to buy something on your own.
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THE EMERY LAW TEAM GARAGE
A LOOK AT OUR LIVES ON 4 WHEELS
Driving isn’t just a part of our work here at Emery Law Office; it’s part of our lives. We, like you, have spent plenty of time in cars and have our own personal preferences when it comes to what cars we like and what we like to do when we’re in them. Check out our picks below, and be sure to submit your own to our Facebook page (@EmeryLawOffice). MELISSA EMERY OWNER/ATTORNEY First car: I got “use” of the 13-year-old Honda Civic hatchback that was going to rust apart before the engine would give up. MY first car was also a Honda Civic hatchback (this time a new 1994), and I got to pick the color (teal). Dream car: To be completely honest, I’m not really a car person. But I’m working on winning a Tesla, and I really like my Lincoln MKT. What I listen to while driving: Books on Audible.com (some fiction but mostly business or personal development), sometimes podcasts (I like Criminal and TED Talks), and sometimes (but rarely) Ed Sheeran on Pandora. What my hypothetical vanity plate would say: TNACTY (tenacity) STEVE DAMRON ATTORNEY First car: 1979 Mercury Cougar Dream car: Bentley GTC (dream big!) What I listen to while driving: I listen to a variety of music, like country, Top 40, and instrumental. Depends on my mood. What my hypothetical vanity plate would say: LAWSOME AUDRA SENG PARALEGAL First car: Toyota truck Dream car: Lamborghini What I listen to while driving: The station/CD I listen to depends on my mood. I switch between heavy metal and country; I’m complicated that way. What my hypothetical vanity plate would say: MMBACON LIBBY THORNGATE ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
EASY DEVILED EGGS Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
While the kids hunt for Easter eggs in the yard, whip up this easy deviled egg recipe for a hearty snack that’s sure to satisfy any craving. INGREDIENTS
• 1/2 tsp ground mustard • Salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper, to taste • 12 large eggs, hard-boiled • Fresh parsley, minced, and paprika for garnish
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise • 2 tbsp milk • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes • 1/2 tsp dill weed • 1/2 tsp fresh chives, minced
WE WANT YOU TO THINK OF US AS YOUR LAW FIRM. If you have a legal matter that needs attention, let us know. If we can’t handle the matter, we will refer you to a firm that can. Please feel free to refer us to your friends and family for their legal needs. We welcome the opportunity to help. 1. In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, milk, parsley flakes, dill, chives, mustard, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 2. Cut eggs lengthwise and remove yolks carefully to preserve egg whites. 3. In a small bowl, mash yolks. 4. Mix mashed yolks with mayonnaise mixture. 5. Spoon or pipe the mixture back into the egg whites. 6. Garnish with fresh parsley and paprika. Refrigerate before serving.
First car: 1987 Dodge Aries K Dream car: 1965 Mustang, red What I listen to while driving: NPR or podcasts What my hypothetical vanity plate would say: LIBS
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THE LONG DRIVE TO LAW SCHOOL 1 TIPS FOR RAISING STRONG, CONFIDENT WOMEN LONG CAR RIDE ESSENTIALS 2 TEAM MEMBER SURVEY EASY DEVILED EGGS 3 THE HISTORY OF LIBRARIES IN AMERICA 4 INSIDE
THE OLDEST LIBRARIES IN AMERICA
A STORY OF MANY FIRSTS
What’s the oldest library in America? It’s an easy question to ask, but it has an unexpectedly complicated answer. Before the Industrial Revolution generated greater interest in public services, a library’s function and purpose varied widely. Several libraries in the United States claim to be the country’s “first,” but for different reasons. Colleges and the Clergy Some believe Harvard University hosted the first library in the United States. Harvard was the first university in the United States, founded in 1636, and clergyman John Harvard seeded the library with a 400-book collection. Soon after, however, Thomas Bray, another clergyman, began establishing the first free lending libraries throughout the colonies to encourage the spread of the Anglican Church. Not surprisingly, most of the libraries’ holdings were theological. A Few More Firsts During the 1700s, a few more “first” libraries were established. In 1731, Ben Franklin and a few others started the first subscription library in the United States. Members of subscription libraries could pay to buy books or borrow them for free. In 1757, 60 men founded the Library Company of Burlington in New Jersey, and Thomas Rodman received a charter from King George II to operate the business in 1758. The library still operates under that charter today. The Library of Burlington was the first library to operate out of its own building after a prominent resident donated the land in 1789.
By the People, for the People In 1833, just as the Industrial Revolution was picking up steam, the Peterborough Town Library was founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire, at a town meeting. It was the first tax-supported free public library in the United States and in the world. Not long after that, the Boston Public Library, known as the “palace for the people,” became the first municipal public library in the country. The Boston Public Library was also the first library to have a space specifically for children.
Out of all the “first” libraries in the country, these are the most probable progenitors of most libraries today — even if they weren’t exactly “first.”
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