Immigration Practice News

June 2013 (Vol. 4, No. 4)

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IPN Immigration Practice News Vol. 4 Issue 4 American Immigration Lawyers Association www.aila.org AILA INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH u For June's Interview of the Month, AILA welcomes Richard Blanco, the Inaugural Poet for President Obama's second term, to discuss his immigrant experience and the American identity. YOUR PRACTICE & PROFESSIONALISM RESOURCES: aila.org/ppc ? ! Mentor Directory Message Center Newsletter Archive Practice Success Tips Best of PPC Resources! Avocation: 'A Calling Away from One's Occupation' by Michael Carlin A s advocates, we plead cases for others. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "advocate" derives from the Old French and Latin words avocat and advocatus, meaning "one called to aid; a pleader, advocate." Ad- + vocare means "to call." By advocating on behalf of our clients, many times we are in an adversarial position with respect to others, whether they are adjudicating officers, prosecutors, or judges. We plead. We argue. We nag. Sometimes, we aggravate others. And, let's face it: sometimes, we get aggravated, stressed out, and exhausted by the battles we fight. Advocates are "called to aid." But our ability to advocate effectively depends on our ability to bring energy, intellect, optimism, and determination to our calling. If we spend all of our waking hours in the role of advocate—and therefore, in the role of adversary —we become susceptible to getting worn down, discouraged, and cynical. As a result, we become less effective as advocates. our electronic devices from time to time are two ways to relieve stress and help us to rejuvenate. I try to do both regularly. In order to stay in the game, we need to give ourselves a break from the workday grind. By engaging in an activity completely separated from our role as advocates, we can regroup, recharge, and recommit ourselves to our advocacy. To be sure, engaging in frequent physical exercise and pulling the plugs on Another way to refresh ourselves is to answer a different call. An avocation is "a calling away from one's occupation." The word derives from the Latin: Ab- + vocare means "to call away." An avocation can be a means to focus on something completely different from our daily stresses, allowing us to access reservoirs of creativity, and develop a part of ourselves that does not need to be competitive and adversarial, but can be, rather, artistic and innovative. By listening to our inner muse, we can allow ourselves to temporarily forget about our professional cares, and to tap into a wellspring of potential personal growth. "WHEN I SIT DOWN AT THE PIANO ... I CONSIDER IT A CHERISHED OPPORTUNITY TO ALLOW THE ANALYTICAL PART OF MY BRAIN TO REST FROM THE CARES OF THE DAY, AND TO ALLOW THE CREATIVE SIDE OF MY BRAIN TO GET SOME EXERCISE." My own avocation is playing the piano. Although I did have some musical instruction as a child, I never had a strong foundation in CONTINUED on pg.6 >> www.aila.org 1

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