The November 2015 issue of Arizona Attorney is dedicated to “Bending Towards Justice: Yoga, Mindfulness, Wellness,” and features the article, “Bend, Stretch, Walk, Expand: Law Practice Takes a Deep Breath.”  The article discusses the relationship between one’s physical and mental health, and ultimately one’s “fitness” to practice law. In it, you’ll read about an attorney whose key to wellness is walking, and how the State Bar of Arizona is helping lawyers, judges and law students stay in shape, gain focus and reduce stress through yoga.

Access the November 2015 issue of Arizona Attorney from the State Bar of Arizona here.

Tomorrow is International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, a program of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  From the Foundation:

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day can change your life. It’s the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.

Survivor Day 2015 takes place on Saturday, November 21. All gatherings will include a screening of the new Survivor Day documentary produced by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, entitled Family Journeys: Healing and Hope after a Suicide.

Additional programming is specific to each event. The programming may include presentations by loss survivors and mental health professionals, as well as small group discussions that bring together people who have experienced similar losses.

For many loss survivors, attending a Survivor Day event is the first time they realize they are not alone. Just hearing the stories—from people at all stages of healing—can be helpful. The gathering also provides participants with a chance to share their own stories with those who understand firsthand the challenges of living in the aftermath of a suicide loss.

Learn more and find an event near you at http://www.survivorday.org/.

Federal judges are appointed for life. Sometimes, age-related mental decline can go unnoticed or unaddressed, and loved ones or colleagues find themselves in the difficult position to act upon a perceived impairment. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is taking proactive steps to address age-related mental decline on the bench. In order to increase awareness and proper planning, the Circuit Court has set up a hotline that judges and staff can call for advice on recognizing and dealing with cognitive decline. It holds seminars to teach the chief judges about the signs of impairment, and encourages judges to undergo assessments and designate someone who can intervene in the event there is concern.

Read more in the Associated Press article, “9th Circuit Addresses Senility Among Federal Judges Head On.”

Rethinking Time

Looking for a way to lead a happier, more purposeful life? Attorney Ruth Carter suggests that you rethink time. Specifically, in her recent article in Attorney At Work, she recommends giving up the notion of “weekdays” and “weekends” and “business hours” and “personal time” and instead focusing on what matters most in the moment. It’s not about providing lower quality work or goofing off all day, rather, it’s about recognizing that time is precious and figuring out “what’s the most important thing for me to be doing right now?”

Read the full article, “A More Purposeful Life: Rethinking Time,” here.

Colleagues Under the Influence: Licensure and the Impaired Lawyer
Thursday, November 19, 2015, 1:00-2:30 pm Eastern

Substance abuse and addictions affect attorneys and their licenses. Learn how to recognize a  legal professional with an impairment and the resources available to them and their colleagues. Examine the effects of marijuana despite the recent trend towards decriminalization. This program will examine:

• Signs and symptoms of substance use problems among legal professionals,
• Understanding addiction as an illness,
• Treatment options,
• The interface between disciplinary action and impairment,
• Obligations to report an attorney with an impairment, and
• Lawyer Assistance Programs and how they assist attorneys and their colleagues.

• Wendy Muchman, Esq. (Moderator), Chief of Litigation and Professional Education at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, Chicago, IL
• Judith Gres DeBerry, Trial Attorney,  State Bar of Texas, Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, Austin, TX
• Doris C. Gundersen, MD PC, Medical Director, Colorado Physician Health Program; President, Federation of State Physician Health Programs; Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado, Denver, CO
• Tracy L. Kepler, Esq., Immediate Past President, National Association of Bar Counsel; Commission member, ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs; Alexandria, VA

Sponsored by:
Government and Public Sector Lawyers Division
Co-sponsored by: Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and Center for Professional Responsibility


Starling Marshall, president of the board of the Dave Nee Foundation, recently appeared on The Docket on MSNBC to discuss mental illness in the legal profession and the need to break down barriers to treatment. The Foundation’s mission is to eliminate the stigma associated with depression and suicide. Above the Law joins the conversation in an article focusing on the issues surrounding character and fitness questions that inquire into a bar applicant’s mental health history.

Watch the MSNBC The Docket segment, “The ‘constant fight’ of lawyers’ depression,” and read the Above the Law article, “Lawyers and Depression: An Interesting Issue,” here.

National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) is “dedicated to raising awareness and screening people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders.” Each year, thousands of organizations participate by offering information and both in-person and online screenings to their communities. You can locate a mental health screening site or take an online screening at www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org.

An article in The American Lawyer discusses the importance of self-screening for lawyers and law students. It features David Jaffe, Dean of Students and CoLAP Advisory Committee member, in a discussion about depression in law schools and the need to “…soften or alleviate the perception that students won’t be admitted to the bar should they seek help.”


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