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


Seeking Nominations for Meritorious Service Award

The ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs is seeking nominations for its 2016 CoLAP Meritorious Service Award on behalf of its Law School Assistance Committee. This award will be presented to a law student, law school, staff or faculty member who has made a significant contribution to law student assistance. The award encourages individuals within the LAPs, local bar associations and law schools to initiate creative approaches to help students in becoming healthy and successful lawyers.

Access the Memo from Terry Harrell, CoLAP Chair, here.

Download the Nomination Form here. The nomination form and supporting materials are due by Friday, May 27, 2016.

Florida Bar Journal Focuses on Mindfulness

The April 2016 issue of The Florida Bar Journal is dedicated to Mindfulness. Following a President’s Page titled, “Pressure!” this special issue is filled with articles and resources on mindfulness, including:

  • Mindfulness in Law and the Importance of Practice, by Scott Rogers
  • Mindfulness Resources
  • The Art of Being Mindful in the Legal World: A Challenge for Our Times, by Judge Alan S. Gold
  • Mindfulness on the Bench
  • The Return on Investment from My Study and Practice of Mindfulness, by Paul Steven Singerman
  • Mindfulness: Attorney Perspective and Tips
  • Mindfulness: Staying in the Now, by Michael Cohen
  • “If You Plant Corn, You Get Corn”: On Mindfulness and Racial Justice in Florida and Beyond, by Rhonda V. Magee

Access the entire issue here.

ABA Young Lawyers Division on Lawyer Burnout

Burnout is just an inevitable drawback of being a lawyer, right? No, says Megan Grandinetti, attorney, wellness coach, yoga teacher and author of the recent ABA Young Lawyers Division article, “How to Avoid Burnout: Ideas for Improving Your Current Condition.” She explains that burnout can lead to serious mental and physical health problems and should be addressed. But too often, lawyers fear being perceived as “inferior or less capable” and legal employers treat the subject as “taboo.” Check out the full article to learn more about what burnout is (and why it is so taboo), how to recognize the signs of burnout and how to avoid it.

Two More Noteworthy Events This Month

March 28th is Mental Health Day 2016

From the ABA Law Student Division

So many law students and lawyers have mental health issues. No one talks about it. Help us break the stigma. The ABA Law Student Division has selected March 28, 2016 as the official National Mental Health Day at law schools across the country. Law schools across the US can sponsor educational programs and events that teach and foster an understanding of severe depression and anxiety among law students and lawyers.

Mindfulness Meditation: Managing Stress and Shifting from Surviving to Thriving as a Law Student or Lawyer

Webinar, 3/30/2016, 2:30 p.m. CDT – 3:30 p.m. CDT
Sponsored by the ABA Law Student Division and ABA Young Lawyers Division

Lawyers rank among the most anxious, depressed, and suicidal professional. It is essential that they cultivate the skills and inner resources that enable them to not only manage their high stress environment, but thrive in their work. In this webinar, Cory Muscara will share the evidence-based practice of mindfulness meditation. With over a thousand scientific studies supporting its efficacy, mindfulness is proving to be one of the most effective methods for reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and burnout in working professionals. After this session, you will walk away with practical tools to begin a mindfulness meditation practice, manage stress in critical moments, and make the shift from surviving to thriving as a lawyer.