Obiorah Fields - June 2018

WWW.OBIORAHFIELDS.COM | 404.994.6218 | JUNE 2018

WHERE I AM AND WHERE WE’RE GOING

I t may sound trite, but I got into this field to help people. When I inventoried my skills and talents, it was clear that the best way to make a difference in the lives of others was to get into law. But when I started working as an attorney, I wasn’t dedicating my time to the cases and people I was most passionate about. Rather than standing up for individuals who had been wronged, I was arguing cases for well-off people and their first-world problems. I wanted to help clients avoid strife and stress. So that’s exactly what I did. I struck out in 2009 and opened my law firm. I latched my career onto my drive to succeed and let it take me where I am now. I believe I have an obligation to a higher power. Society needs what I can

law partner. It’s like a marriage. We own property jointly, we spend countless hours together, and we work out issues with each other. Unlike many marriages though, we work. I can’t even tell you why. The experience is just amazing and nothing like I thought it’d be. Watching Danielle work, she’s a role model I know I can trust. I’d want her to be my lawyer if anything happened to me.

I’d let her hold my purse. That’s how close we are.

These intangibles have me excited about the future of our firm. I see us having multiple employees across all our practice fields. I want to be a leader in our community by getting involved in our local bar and teaching. I’m writing a

listening to podcasts. Usually, when I’m stimulated by something I came across, that will turn into a whole rabbit hole of its own. I liked “Hamilton,” then I saw the play, and that spiraled into learning a whole lot about the founding fathers. The same goes for being a better business owner. I read a lot on being an entrepreneur. “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff ... And It’s All Small Stuff” has been a great read recently, and I strongly recommend it. Law is the one area where I will sweat the small stuff. Our firm prides itself on the standard of our representation. It’s not just what we stand for; it’s who we are. Come on by our office and let us show you that today.

provide, and my family deserves to have their name associated with something great. If I’m not doing everything in my power to make a difference, I feel I’m slapping everyone who came before me in the face. It’s my duty, not my job, to do the best I can. It’s these moral values and principles that drove me to join Danielle.

textbook right now, and I’ve found a real calling with education. It’s a great benefit to me but also to you. All of this can allow our firm to deliver a first-class experience and be a leading resource for clients.

IT’S MY DUTY, NOT MY JOB, TO DO THE BEST I CAN.

When I’m not working, you can find me tackling some old hobbies as well as trying new ones. I went on a run the other day and am looking forward to getting on a consistent workout schedule. I love reading and

–Teri Fields

Now, let me tell you one thing: Never in a million years did I think I’d have a

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Some of the most meaningful changes in history have come about because of the courage of those who were willing to stand up in the face of injustice. These three whistleblowers could not sit by while the public was being lied to. HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT? Corruption ran rampant in the NYPD back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Frank Serpico found himself in the unfortunate position of being one of the few honest officers on the force at the time. After gathering evidence of his fellow officers’ deep-seated perversion of the law, Serpico went to his superiors with his findings. As red tape began to slow the internal investigation, Serpico started to become anxious that his life was in jeopardy. He leaked the story to The New York Times, and it led to a much-needed overhaul of the department. It didn’t come without a cost, however. Serpico was shot in the face on the job, and his fellow officers refused to help on the scene. He survived and went on to retire in the Swiss mountains shortly after. When you think of scandals, Watergate probably comes to mind. But Watergate would’ve never come to light had W. Mark Felt — aka “Deep Throat” — not pulled back the curtain on the Nixon administration. In his role as the associate director of the FBI at the time, Felt had inside information about illegal activity that permeated the White House. When he leaked that information, it forever changed how the American public viewed the presidency. W. MARK FELT With technology changing the world at such a rapid pace, the law is sometimes your only moral compass. Snowden was a CIA officer who did a lot of contract work for the NSA. After working on multiple jobs that involved surveillance, it was clear to Snowden that American agencies had turned a blind eye to the fundamental human right of privacy. He copied information that detailed how surveillance programs had been manipulated to spy on the American public without their consent. Snowden was exiled to Russia, where he lives currently as an enemy of the state. One of the biggest reasons potential whistleblowers don’t come forward is the fear of repercussions. Reach out to us today and we’ll explain how we go about protecting individuals who have something to say. MOST FAMOUS WHISTLEBLOWERS IN HISTORY FRANK SERPICO EDWARD SNOWDEN

Meditation has often been touted by New Age gurus as a way to find inner peace and stillness. But what if meditating could reduce the effects of aging on your brain? According to research, taking a few minutes out of your day to meditate may improve cognitive function. As meditation’s popularity has spread, so have studies of the practice. The results of 100 studies examining the cognitive effects of meditation all show evidence of improvements in psychological and cognitive functions. Some of the results are intuitive, such as how meditation helps us deal with stress. But other results are incontrovertible, such as scans showing that meditation causes structural changes in the brain. For people facing age-related changes like memory loss, the results of these tests are especially relevant. The studies point to evidence that meditation can strengthen certain areas of the brain — the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, and the amygdala — that weaken as we age. THE PREFRONTAL CORTEX Your prefrontal cortex thins with age, which is associated with decreased cognitive function in your later years. However, meditation may reduce this age-related thinning. Dr. Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist specializing in the effects of yoga and meditation on cognitive and behavioral function, reports that long-time meditators don’t show a decline in the thickness of the prefrontal cortex. THE HIPPOCAMPUS Your hippocampus helps you process and form new memories, and it’s very sensitive to stress. In fact, research shows that your hippocampus will shrink in response to stressful situations and chronic stress. The remedy? Meditation. Dr. Lazar’s study showed a positive correlation between meditation and a higher concentration of gray matter in the left hippocampus. THE AMYGDALA Often called the fear center of the brain, the amygdala is triggered by stressful situations. But unlike the hippocampus, which shrinks in response to stress, the amygdala has been shown to become denser. In one study, people who attended mindfulness meditation classes showed a smaller stress response in brain scans compared to those who did not attend the classes. Meditation may help to decrease the density of the amygdala and therefore increase your ability to handle stress. Of course, in addition to these benefits, there’s a good chance that five minutes of meditation each day will simply make you feel better. People who meditate report an increase in overall well-being. Why not give it a try? IMPROVE COGNITIVE FUNCTION IN MINUTES HOW MEDITATION HELPS YOU MAINTAIN BRAIN HEALTH

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BEST LAST-DAY-OF-SCHOOL PRANKS YOU’LL WISH YOU’D HEARD OF THESE BEFORE YOU GRADUATED

MARIACHI BAND Maybe you loved your principle, and perhaps you didn’t. This prank works either way. For as little as $200, you can rent a mariachi band to follow your school’s leader around wherever they go. They’ll be serenaded with the sounds of culture and have an enormous sombrero to go with it. While pranks are always fun, they can easily cross the line. It’s important to take into account emotions and discrimination when planning the ultimate joke. We deal with situations on a daily basis where actions that may have had innocent intent caused distress or damage. Whether it’s a prank you’re concerned about or something more serious, reach out to us today. Our specialty is protecting individuals from discrimination.

As June comes around the corner and the kids get ready to leave school for the summer, it’s hard not to reminisce about our own last days of school. Yearbook signings, school dances, and, of course, the good ol’ fashioned last-day-of-school prank. But even though we’ve been out of school for a while, kids are still pulling stunts. Here are three of the best last-day-of- school pranks we’ve come across in recent years.

FOR SALE Cruel? Maybe. Humorous? Definitely. Regardless, this is one prank we’re happy the internet can facilitate. Craigslist gives you the opportunity to sell just about everything. In some cases, it might be your

calls all day about the screaming deal they didn’t know they were offering up.

CHOP SHOP In one legendary prank, high school seniors got the keys to the school’s auto shop with mischief on their mind. Late at night, they disassembled a VW Beetle,

furniture. In other cases, it might be your 12th-grade history teacher’s van. In this prank, students snap a photo of a teacher’s car and create a listing aimed at selling it before the end of the day. The ad comes complete with the teacher’s cellphone number, so they have no other option but to field

took its parts and pieces up three flights of stairs, and rebuilt it on the roof of the school. When the administration showed up the next day to find their new addition, the story broke to local media outlets and the prank of the year went viral.

PUZZLE YOUR BRAIN

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE

My Passion for the Law

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How Meditation Can Help the Aging Brain 3 Whistleblowers Who Stood Up for Their Beliefs Last-Day-of-School Pranks Puzzle Your Brain Too Much Shade? Plant These Vegetables!

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LAY SOME SHADE ON ME THE BEST VEGETABLES TO PLANT IN SHADY SPOTS

There’s nothing quite like growing your own vegetables, but if your home doesn’t get the best sunlight, what can you do? It’s a problem many gardeners face. Even if you live in a sunny area, you may have a shady corner of the garden or side of the house going to waste. Fortunately, there are plenty of plants that do well in partial and full shade. As a general rule, leafy greens do better in shade and milder temperatures than other vegetables. Flowering plants and vines, such as cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes, need more hours of sunlight per day in order to thrive — about six hours or more. HERBS. While many herbs, such as basil, are better suited for sunnier conditions, there are a few that will do great in shade.

These include chives, cilantro, golden marjoram, mint, oregano, and parsley. (Hours of sun per day: 3) KALE. Typically, kale does well in partial shade. When kale is grown in full shade, the leaves tend to be slightly smaller, but this can be offset by growing additional plants. (Hours of sun per day: 3–4) PEAS. Like kale, when grown in shade, peas and beans won’t grow quite as full, and plants may take longer to mature, but with proper planning, you’ll still reap a plentiful harvest. Bush and dwarf varieties are recommended over their pole counterparts. (Hours of sun per day: 4–5) POTATOES. Root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and beets, will grow in partial shade, but they may take a few

more weeks to mature, and they may produce fewer vegetables. However, as most gardeners agree, the results are still worth the effort. (Hours of sun per day: 4–5) SPINACH. Like most leafy greens, spinach does very well in shade, particularly baby spinach. The plant will continue to produce leaves for an extended period of time if you regularly harvest the outer leaves. (Hours of sun per day: 3–4)

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