YOUR ABA E-News Covers Depression, Work-Life Balance

The June 2016 edition of YOUR ABA e-news for members has in it two articles worth checking out:

“Battling depression? Confidential help is available” discusses the material covered in the recent ABA webinar, “Mental Health Awareness 101: Battling Burnout and Depression,” and includes a helpful sidebar directing readers to the resources provided by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs.

“Yes, you’re super busy, but you can balance your life and work” discusses the ABA/First Chair book, The Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Success and Happiness, which offers advice on how to build a satisfying and successful career while also leading a healthy and rewarding life. The article includes an interview with the authors and ends with “8 strategies for dealing with stress.”

A Special Report on the Mental Health of Law Students – The National Law Journal

The National Law Journal has just issued a “Special Report” dedicated to law student mental health. It includes the following feature articles:

Schools Tackle Mental Health
Legal educators are starting to recognize they must do more to help students navigate those often stressful three years and better assist those struggling with mental health and substance-abuse issues — of which law students suffer at uncommonly high rates.

Yale Law Students Lobby for Better Services
The Mental Health Alliance campus group has shed light on problems, resulting in more therapists.

Law School Helps Students Stay Emotionally Fit
Texas Tech’s mental health program includes mandatory meetings for all first years.

Professors’ Candor About Problems Aids Students
Being up-front about mental health struggles helps undercut secrecy and shame sufferers may feel.

Stereotypes and Stigmas Threaten Bar Admission
Law graduates with mental health diagnoses must undergo “character and fitness” evaluations.

(Descriptions of articles are those from The National Law Journal)

Kirkland & Ellis to Offer Wellness Training in All US Offices

The corporate law firm Kirkland and Ellis is expanding a wellness program to all of its US offices. Following a trial run on 60 lawyers in its Chicago office, the firm plans to make it available to its 1,400 attorneys nationwide. Called “Life XT,” or Life Cross Training, the program provides one-on-one coaching sessions, workshops on reducing stress and improving emotional coping skills and online materials and seminars on yoga and meditation.

Read more in the ABA Journal here.

Bar Leader Magazine Features Age-Related Cognitive Impairment

Bar Leader Magazine, from the ABA Division for Bar Services, has dedicated its May-June cover story to age-related cognitive impairment. In the feature article, lawyer assistance program (LAP) directors and bar leaders discuss the efforts being made to prepare for problems associated with the reality that attorneys are retiring later in life. The issue also features a “wish list” for how LAPs and bar associations should confront the issue, by Terry Harrell, Executive Director of the Indiana Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program and Chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP).

Access “A gentle landing: LAPs, bar associations help lawyers with age-related cognitive impairment” and “A LAP director’s wish list for addressing cognitive impairment” here.

Law Students Learn Mindfulness

The University of Maine School of Law and the Maine Assistance Program for Lawyers and Judges (MAP) are taking measures to help law students develop healthy, balanced lifestyles. In honor of the ABA Law Student Division’s National Mental Health Day, the law school hosted a panel on mindfulness meditation as a method for reducing stress, anxiety and depression. Students learned mindfulness exercises, and were educated on the Maine Assistance Program for Lawyers and Judges (MAP) which provides free and confidential assistance to students. It was also announced that there will be a four session MAP- sponsored course on Mindfulness which will be available to all students, faculty and staff.

Learn more in the USM Free Press article, “Trainer advocates mindfulness for law students,” here.

Upcoming ABA Webinar on Mindful Lawyering

Mindful Lawyering: Managing Stress, Well-being, and Evolving Professional Roles

When: April 26, 2016      1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ET

Description: There are few professional environments that are shifting more rapidly than those of attorneys. Lawyers are challenged to develop fresh leadership skills, and to become more adept at managing stress and well-being, so their professional roles can evolve as organizations face new kinds of ethical, legal and management challenges.

Staying steady and moving forward in your career despite the constant change requires you to be agile and resilient, willing to adjust your professional expectations, and able to respond quickly to opportunities and threats.

Co-sponsored in part by CoLAP