When in need of a quick recharge I…take a 20 minute nap. Close the door, put my feet up and set an alarm on my phone. Works every time.
My preferred method of exercise is…CrossFit. Yep, I’m one of those, but being physically fit is about being free to live my life however I want to live it. It’s really tough to squeeze the most out of your day if you can’t get off the couch without being short of breath.
The first thing I do when I wake up is…work out. Life is far too unpredictable to leave exercise until later in the day when it has to compete with everything else for my time. 4:30am is an early start, but it’s my time to get some training in before everyone else wakes up.
The best advice I’ve received about balancing work and life is…that no one is going to balance it for me. Your firm is not going to make you take a vacation or get home for dinner with your family at a decent hour. You have to do those things for yourself.
The one thing I would tell a stressed out and overwhelmed young lawyer is…figure out what matters in your life and make those things a priority. Your career is important, but it is not everything. There is plenty of time in the day to tend to the things you really care about and also keep your professional life on track.
Every day I make sure to…find something interesting. It may or may not be work-related (usually not), but it’s important not to live life on auto-pilot. There are really cool things happening all around you, but it’s really easy not to recognize or appreciate them. If you look for the good stuff, you’ll see that it’s everywhere.
The best way to deal with a difficult colleague or opposing counsel is…to always remain professional. Just because they are being difficult does not mean that you need to respond in kind. You can be firm in your position without being nasty. Their conduct will catch up to them eventually and so will yours. Stay on the good side of this equation.
The quickest way to ruin your career is…by not showing up. There is something you can learn every single day, but you have to be present (both physically and mentally) to figure out what it is. If you’re just doing a task and not trying to figure out how it fits into the bigger picture or how to do it better next time, then you’ve got a job, not a career. Having a career requires you to actually engage and be responsible for your life.
The one thing that concerns me most about the future of the legal profession is…our failure to keep up with the pace of changes in the marketplace. Lawyers have this strange belief that what we do is so unique that it is somehow immune to the forces that have disrupted every other industry. We’re not special and what we do can be (and is being) done better, faster and cheaper by “alternative practitioners” – AI, offshoring, paraprofessionals, etc. By the time I retire, I fully expect that I’ll be in competition with some combination of these options on everything I do – I just hope it takes that long to get here (but it probably won’t).
The most relaxing vacation I ever took was… a trip to Paris for the French Open.
Bill Adams is a co-founder and managing shareholder of Gunster’s Jacksonville office. As a trial lawyer, Bill is dedicated to resolving complex commercial disputes across the country. Bill’s experience covers a wide range of disputes affecting businesses.
Bill also leads Gunster’s eDiscovery practice and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Civil Circuit Mediator. Bill received his undergraduate and J.D. from Southern Methodist University, where he graduated magna cum laude. In his spare time, Bill owns and operates First Coast CrossFit.