See below for details about the upcoming Lawyer Retreat from the American Bar Association.

Improving and empowering the whole lawyer.

October 5, 2018 | 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Four Seasons Resort | Vail, CO

The purpose of this retreat is to provide a different way of learning how to better your practice of law and yourself. Our goal is to provide each participant with experiential learning so that you walk away with new tools you can implement right away in order to make your practice and personal life, as a lawyer, even better.

Quite simply, this is not the typical lawyer or law firm retreat. We will use the backdrop of Vail and the Four Seasons Resort to provide you with world class facilitators using the outdoor and indoor elements to your learning advantage. Attendees will not only learn about having difficult conversations, the importance of emotional intelligence/self-awareness and design thinking, but they will also have the opportunity to learn through collaborative interaction how to put what they are learning into practice back in their own law firms or legal organizations.

​We encourage you to bring your team with you-treat this like the retreat it is meant to be! It can be hard to find the quality time to spend with your team at work. Whether you are a small firm or a large firm lawyer with a particular team or practice group, this retreat provides you with the opportunity to connect with your practice group and team, and to take advantage of having some of the best lawyer retreat facilitators in the world help you productively interact. You will have the added benefit of learning from other attorneys from around the country through many networking opportunities. 

What to Expect

  • To be educated and learn practical tools and techniques
  • Apply them to your legal practice and personal life
  • Connect with your team
  • Meet other lawyers, network and grow your referral base
  • Learn what the ABA offers to make your legal practice easier through practice management resources
  • Have fun, relax, rejuvenate, and refocus

This Event Is For: 

  • Large firm lawyers, their leaders and their practice group members
  • Medium firm lawyers looking for new ways to grow their practice
  • Small and solo lawyers wanting to get an edge and get ahead
  • Any lawyer or their administrative team wanting to grow, have fun, and relax!



NEW Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being’s 2017 report shined a spotlight on evidence that too many lawyers face mental health and substance use disorders or otherwise aren’t thriving. Wanting to support the effort to catalyze positive change, American Bar Association President Hilarie Bass formed a Presidential Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession in September 2017. Its focus is on helping legal employers support healthy work environments, which are critical for lawyer wellness. Research shows that if workplace cultures support well-being, lawyers will be better able to make good choices that allow them to thrive and be their best for clients, colleagues, and work organizations.

Many legal employers are ready to become positive change agents but have been unsure where to start. The new Well-Being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers is designed to help. It offers tools and practical guidance for legal employers who want to join the lawyer well-being movement by launching organizational initiatives. The Toolkit, created by Presidential Working Group member Anne Brafford (a lawyer and organizational science researcher) can be viewed as a design prototype. It is meant to be a living document that will continue to develop and improve—an effort in which you are encouraged to participate. You can do so by trying out the Toolkit and offering feedback on what’s helpful, what can be improved, and what other resources are available. The Toolkit is offered as another step on the path to lawyer well-being—to help lawyers be their best as they carry out their critical roles contributing to the vitality of our government, business sector, community safety, and individual lives.

Also available is the Well-Being Toolkit Nutshell: 80 Tips For Lawyer Thriving, summarizing 80 of the Toolkit’s key items to help get you started on a lawyer well-being initiative.

Note for Use: The Toolkit is filled with electronic hyperlinks to websites and online resources that appear in blue underlined type. As a result, it is intended primarily for online viewing. If you decide to print the document in hard copy, select “fit to page” in your print dialogue box to ensure proper printing.

Well-Being Toolkit - Cover Image             Well-Being Toolkit Nutshell - Cover Image


Noteworthy ABA Annual Meeting Events

The 2018 ABA Annual Meeting will be taking place in Chicago on August 2-7. Here are a few events worth checking out while there:

Our Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Initiatives to Promote Healthy Practices and Lives

This program is taking place during the 2018 ABA Annual Meeting as part of its “CLE in the City Series.” Series programs are hosted by law firms, law schools and other organizations throughout the city, and fall into 8 substantive tracks. “Our Path to Lawyer Well-Being” will be held at the American Bar Association on August 3, 2018 from 10:30am to 12pm as part of the Ethics Track.

Mindfulness and the Path to Lawyer Well-Being Conference

The Mindfulness in Law Society will be holding its national mindfulness conference for lawyers, judges and others in the legal profession in conjunction with the ABA Annual Meeting. The conference will be taking place at Loyola Law School on August 3, 2018 from 8am to 6pm. Co-sponsors include the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, ABA Law Practice Management Section and National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.

The Bar Examiner Features Lawyer Well-Being Report and Initiatives

An article in the Summer 2018 issue of The Bar Examiner from the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) features the report from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, “The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change.” Published in August 2017, the report recommends ways in which all legal stakeholder can improve the well-being of the legal profession. Author James Coyle, Co-Chair of the Task Force from its inception until his retirement in June 2018, sets out the Task Force recommendations with a focus on those targeted at the bar admissions community, and offers further guidance for bar admission representatives to expand their role in the lawyer well-being movement. Coyle discusses the circumstances that led to the formation of the Task Force, including studies revealing that lawyer well-being is at risk, and provides a comprehensive list of developments – both nationally and at the state level – that have occurred in response to the report. Endeavors at the American Bar Association, Conference of Chief Justices and NCBE are featured, and the endnotes contain a detailed inventory of initiatives occurring at the state level, such as the establishment of lawyer well-being task forces and the development of state action plans.

Read, “The Report of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being and the Role of the Bar Admissions Community in the Lawyer Well-Being Movement,” by James C. Coyle in The Bar Examiner here.

Register Now! The Solo/Small Firm Challenge: Conquering Adversity and the Imposter Syndrome

ABA Free CLE Series Webinar | July 16, 2018 | 1PM ET

Learn techniques to overcome negative thought patterns that can create an “imposter syndrome” that limits your ability to serve your clients with due diligence.

  • Do you ever feel like all your accomplishments have been due to luck, chance, appearance, connections, or anything else that isn’t your own smarts, drive, and talent?
  • Do you ever worry that you’re going to be exposed as a fraud, even when you’re well into your career or area of expertise?
  • Do you feel like everyone around you is smarter, works harder, and does a better job than you do?
  • Do you find yourself terrified of making mistakes and constantly believing you are likely to make one no matter how expert you get at your career?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you’ve got a case of “imposter syndrome.”

The term “imposter syndrome” was coined in the late 1970s and is described as a feeling of “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.” It’s generally accompanied to (and exacerbated by) perfectionism, black-and-white thinking, and intense fear of rejection and failure. These thought patterns create a perfect storm of insecurity, anxiety, and stress. Lawyers, especially those in solo practices or small firms, can become paralyzed by these thoughts. Women and minorities can be even more affected by these negative thought patterns.

In this program, we will discuss what imposter syndrome is, how it can affect your competence and judgment as a lawyer, and strategies for beginning to overcome it. Learn more and register here.

Download the program flyer by clicking on the image below.Imposter Syndrome Flyer

New Podcast: Depression and Addiction in the Mind of a Lawyer

The State Bar of Texas Podcast just released a new episode, titled “Depression and Addiction in the Mind of a Lawyer.”

In this episode, co-host Bree Buchanan and guest Brian Cuban candidly share their own experiences with addiction and depression and discuss how to recognize warning signs in others and encourage them to seek assistance. They further address how stigma associated with a refusal to acknowledge addiction as a medically-recognized disease prevents those who need it from seeking life-saving treatment.

They say that the goal is for lawyers, judges and law students to, at the first sign of trouble, feel okay reaching out for help – that they shouldn’t have to hit rock bottom first.

Bree Buchanan is the Director of the Texas Lawyers’ Assistance Program of the State Bar of Texas, Chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and Co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. Brian Cuban is a Dallas-based attorney, addiction recovery advocate and author of The Addicted Lawyer.


Lawyer Assistance Programs provide confidential services and support to judges, lawyers and law students who are facing substance use disorders or mental health issues. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, contact your state or local LAP.

Voices of Recovery Podcast Series – Episode 8

The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) has produced a podcast series about overcoming substance use disorders, mental health issues and addiction. The lawyers featured in this series have all agreed to tell their story in the hope that it will reduce the stigma surrounding these issues and encourage others to get the help they need.

Episode 8 features Jeff Zapor, Case Monitor for the Michigan Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program and a former attorney in private practice.

Click here to access all available episodes in the series.