As someone who considers themselves to be creative, whether that’s painting nail art or finding the right outfit, it all boils down to having the right color, fit, and the perfect pair of shoes to get the job done.

The same can be said about being a law clerk at Casey & Moss. Over the last 6 years, I have learned the following formula for a happy working environment:

Passion/Interest: Enjoying the work you do and being motivated to do it goes a long way. It allows you to not only do the work but also find joy in doing it. It also impacts the quality of your work you provide to clients when you have a genuine interest in the task at hand.

Organization and Planning Ahead: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”—at least that’s what they always say. Keeping track of court dates, deadlines, and limitation periods along with your everyday tasks can pile up and overwhelm you if they are not carefully organized. Set priorities for your tasks, make a to-do list, and find a work plan that helps you get through your files. One thing I aim to do is skim through my emails at the start of the day, delete any junk or promotional emails, and move emails that do not have a task attached. For emails that do have a task, I determine if it will take one minute (saving a document or a simple reply) or if it might take 30 minutes (drafting an affidavit and supporting documents).

A Little Creativity: Sometimes the task at hand requires a little creativity or a new approach. Start by discovering new ways to operate the software and programs that your firm currently uses to improve your productivity and quality of work. When I first started, I had no idea how to use a MacBook, but not only did I learn the basic functions to get the work done, but I also found shortcuts, quick keys and steps that made what I needed and wanted to do much easier.

Expect the unexpected and adapt to change: Life is unpredictable, and so is work. A last-minute court date, a new file with a fast-approaching limitation period or a settlement can change the plan for the file. Sometimes things happen that change the course of the work that we have already started and learning to adapt to that change and work to accommodate the new plan helps to alleviate potential stress. My motto when I have a heavy workload for the week or even the month is “take one step at a time” and “thank you, Jesus.” It reminds me that I’m human and gives me peace.

Take a Break: In everything, there should be balance and burnout is real, so take a break. Use your vacation days and relax. When you leave work, remember to enjoy your life, go to the gym, go to the movies, take a nap, go swimming, go to church, and clock out and have fun. Life is all about balance; remember to find it.

These are just a few things that have worked for me in the past and still work now. Happy clerking.


Olesya Johnson

Nothing contained in this post constitutes legal advice or establishes a solicitor-client relationship. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights or legal obligations, you should consult a lawyer.