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Lawyers Weekly has released a follow-up to their recent article in which Justice Marshall called upon young lawyers to join him and share their experiences with mental illness. In response to concerning comments about how admitting to mental illness is akin to “career suicide,” “Disclosing mental ill health should not cost your career” discusses the general unwillingness of lawyers to come forward for fear their competency will be questioned and their careers affected. Lawyers Weekly spoke with Michael McGarvie, from Victorian Legal Services, who elaborates on his belief that “suppressing conversations about employee mental illness only exacerbates a problem…”

Read the full article here.

Justice Shane Marshall, a Federal Court judge and mental health advocate in Australia, will be speaking publicly about his struggles with mental illness at the upcoming Australian Law Students’ Association annual conference in Sydney. Justice Marshall first spoke about his battle with depression in 2013, shortly after relapsing. He has also called upon other young lawyers to share their stories. By getting “everyday people” to speak up, he hopes to spread the message that it’s important to look after your mental health.

Justice Marshall shares more of his thoughts in the Lawyers Weekly article, “Break silence on depression: Justice Marshall.”

Breaking Good – Preserving Professionalism
Lawyers Helping Lawyers in Albuquerque

The 2015 Conference is being held at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town in Albuquerque, New Mexico starting Tuesday, October 20th and concluding Thursday evening, October 22nd. The conference will have sessions of interest to judges, disciplinary staff, bar leaders, lawyer assistance program directors and staff, law school administrators and law firm managers as well as abundant opportunities to network with LAP personnel and volunteers involved in lawyer assistance programs from across the U.S. and Canada. The conference schedule for 2015 is slightly modified from past years, but rest assured we haven’t held back on the amount of programming…

The Conference will include sessions such as: “The Current Rates of Substance Use, Depression and Anxiety within the Legal Profession: A Review of the Results of the ABA/Hazelden-Betty Ford Foundation Collaborative Research Project,” “Positive Psychology for Lawyers – An Effective Intervention for Superior Professionalism and Substance Abuse and Relapse Prevention,” “Past Your ‘Best By’ Date? Helping Lawyers Face Up To Their Mortality,” “From “At-Risk” to “Intervened” Upon: Effective Ways to Help Identify and Educate At-Risk Law Students,” and much, much more!

In addition, the Conference features an Exhibit Hall of facilities from around the US and Canada that focus on treating drug abuse, addictions, mood disorders, eating disorders, etc. This is a wonderful opportunity to discover new facilities and interact face to face with the facilities you use currently.

For more information including registration, exhibitor registration, schedule, speakers, hotel accommodations and travel information, click here.

Register today to guarantee the early-bird rate.

Hotel Albuquerque

 

“This may sound radical, but I’ll say it. Every lawyer should be practicing mindfulness.” This is a quote from Jeena Cho’s recent two-part article in Above the Law. The article discusses how compared to companies in corporate America, which have been actively implementing mindfulness programs, lawyers and law firms have been slow to adapt.

Cho and Karen Gifford are co-authors of the upcoming ABA book, The Anxious Lawyer, which introduces lawyers to meditation and mindfulness through a guided eight-week program. Together they also offer a number of CLE courses on mindfulness – find out more at http://theanxiouslawyer.com/.

Read part I and part II of “Why Every Lawyer Should Be Practicing Mindfulness.”

Don’t tell the boss, but it seems that lawyers who earn less are happier! At least those working in public interest settings report being happier than those in the pressure-cooker of BigLaw. “Lawyers With Lowest Pay Report More Happiness” discusses how the factors lawyers most frequently associate with success do not actually correlate with happiness and well-being. A survey of 6,200 lawyers found that lawyers in public-service positions were more likely to report being happy than those with high incomes and prestigious law-firm jobs. Lawyers doing public-service work also reported drinking less alcohol.

You can read the full New York Times article here. For some added and insightful discussion on this topic, take a look at the comments section.

The ABA Journal coverage includes a link to the study, published in the George Washington Law Review.

For those who missed it, last month’s ABA webinar, “Colleagues Under the Influence: Licensure and the Impaired Lawyer,” is now available for purchase. In it, panelists examine addiction within the legal profession through a discussion on the science of addiction, how impairment relates to disciplinary action and ethical considerations and how lawyer assistance programs are there to offer confidential assistance. Your ABA e-news recently featured the program in their article, “Colleagues under the influence: Signs, available help, obligations.”

The program is sponsored by ABA Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division and co-sponsored by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP). Panelists include CoLAP Commission Member Linda Albert and CoLAP Advisory Committee Member Tracy L. Kepler.

A recent health care edition of GPSOLO features an article titled, “Out of the Darkness: Overcoming Depression among Lawyers,” bringing more awareness to the high rates of suicide, depression and mental health issues within the legal profession and offering paths to recovery. The authors point out how the problem is rooted in the nature of the profession and how required disclosures to the bar may contribute to an already all-too-common reluctance to seek help. The article ends by providing warning signs for depression and suicide as well as a number of ways lawyers can obtain confidential assistance.

Access the full article in the March/April 2015 issue of GPSOLO here.

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