In case you missed it, the May/June 2015 GPSOLO Publication was dedicated to “Bumps in the Road for Young Lawyers,” and included a series of articles on addiction and wellness. Some features and columns you’ll find are:

How to Avoid a (Less than) Spectacular Burnout in Your Law Practice, By Shawn Healy

Ten Ways Successful Lawyers Respond to Career Setbacks, By Jeena Cho

Reviving Your Legal Career in the Wake of Addiction, By Ann M. Israel

Substance Abuse and Mental Health: Going Solo Isn’t an Option, By Patrick R. Krill

I Got Your Back: Recognizing and Helping Addicted Colleagues, By Robin Belleau, Tony Pacione

Anonymity or Disclosure? The Choice I Made about My Alcoholism, By Sarah L. Krauss

Signs and Symptoms: Knowing How They’re Different Can Make a Difference, By Patricia Spataro

GP MENTOR: Helping a Colleague over the Bumps, By Rodney S. Dowell

TECHNO ETHICS: Smoothing the Bumps in the Road for Young Lawyers, By James Ellis Arden

READY RESOURCES: Ready Resources for Bumps in the Road: ABA books and web resources for advice on handling your own bumps in the road.

Check out the entire publication here.

The recent ABA Journal article, “How lawyers can avoid burnout and debilitating anxiety,” proposes mindfulness, meditation, sleep, exercise and healthy eating as just some of the ways that lawyers can combat stress. While no one size fits all, lawyers can start by not accepting misery as the norm, knowing when to turn off the lawyer in them and letting go “of the belief, endemic to the profession, that expressing vulnerability is weakness.” The article also quotes CoLAP Chair Terry Harrell, who explains how it goes beyond the lawyer’s personal health; that practicing mindfulness also “translates into better lawyering.”

Read the full article here.

A recent Wall Street Journal article discusses how mindfulness – a practice that has already caught on in corporate America – is being embraced by attorneys, as well. About two law dozen schools nation-wide have introduced mindfulness into their curricula, some for course credit, with homework such as “deliberately losing an argument.” In addition, lawyers who have felt the pressure are shifting gears to become mindfulness coaches for other lawyers.

Learn more in the full article, “Lawyers Go Zen, With Few Objections.”

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.”


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