Paul Clement on Legal Project Management
(Okay, so the headline is a bit of a reach, but newspapers and TV do it all the time. I agree that’s no excuse. How about, because it’s Monday morning?)
Actually, Paul Clement really commented on one critical technique of Legal Project Management, time management. Michelle Olson of the Appellate Daily reports:
…About time management… [his technique is] setting aside large chunks of time to prepare for cases and guarding that time “jealously,” he said. Fifteen minutes here or there will not do it.
I stress this principle in my courses. In fact, I found it resonated enough with attendees that I wrote an entire book about time management, The Off Switch. There are techniques in The Off Switch that will give you half an hour a day back of productive time, time to spend focused on work or on family or even on a golf ball. I’m not kidding about the half hour a day; over the years most of the people who worked for me adopted these techniques, and that’s the level of difference it made.
So maybe few of us will do what former US Solicitor General (for Bush 43) Paul Clement has done and is doing — arguing before the Supreme Court on healthcare and immigration this year, along with major circuit court arguments on DOMA and other cases. And of course he’s a polarizing figure in today’s politically charged environment. But his focus and ability to get things done is of the highest order. Whatever your role or beliefs, you can have his focus and ability to get things done.
It’s a question of time.
Own your time, and guard it. Know when to flip the off switch.