All over the country, bar associations have been featuring well-being in their publications. Below are just some of the articles shining a light on this important topic.
The Oklahoma Bar Journal (December 2017): Ethics and Lawyer Well-Being, by Joseph Balkenbush
Maine Bar Journal (Fall 2017/Winter 2018)
- From the Executive Director – Lawyer Well-Being: Taking Charge of Your Wellness, by Angela P. Weston (pg. 6)
- When Your Work-Life Balance Isn’t (pg. 7)
Washington Lawyer (January 2018)
- When Counsel Needs Counseling, by William Roberts (pg. 16)
- Finding Fulfillment in Life & the Law, by Sarah Kellogg (pg. 22)
Michigan Bar Journal (January 2018): To Be a Good Lawyer, One Has to Be a Healthy Lawyer, by Tish Vincent
Florida Bar Journal (January 2018): Focus on Mental Health and Wellness for Florida Lawyers
- Mental Health and Wellness — Destigmatizing the Discussion and Promoting Solutions, by Dori Foster-Morales, Guest Editor (pg. 8)
- What Do the Statistics About Lawyer Alcohol Use and Mental Health Problems Really Mean? By Patrick Krill (pg. 10)
- The Reality of High-Functioning Substance Abuse Among Lawyers, by Lisa Smith (pg. 14)
- Vulnerability Is a Good Thing, by Brian Cuban (pg. 15)
- The Surprising Master Key to Happiness and Satisfaction According to the Lawyer Research, by Lawrence Krieger (pg. 16)
- Florida Lawyers Assistance: Saving Lives and Legal Careers, by Scott M. Weinstein (pg. 20)
- Mindfulness, Mental Health, and the Life of the Lawyer, by Scott Rogers (pg. 24)
- The Lawyer Well-Being Starter Kit: 10 Tools and Strategies for Legal Employers, by Anne Brafford (pg. 26)
Journal of the Missouri Bar (January/February 2018): Shades of Gray: The Opportunities and Challenges of an Aging Bar, by Gary Toohey
Rhode Island Bar Journal (January/February 2018): Secure Your Own Mask First, by Linda Rekas Sloan
Arizona Attorney (February 2018)
- A Profession Under Stress (pg. 20)
- Stress Related to Firm Culture, Lawyer Choices, by Tim Eigo (pg. 22)
- The Law: A Profession in Trouble? By Mark W. Gifford (pg. 24)
Wisconsin Lawyer (February 2018): 5 Things Resilient Lawyers Do Differently, by Paula M. Davis-Laack
Illinois Bar Journal (March 2018): Lawyer Well-Being: The Mindful Lawyer, by Ed Finkel
Hispanic National Bar Association Noticias (Spring 2018): Attorney Well-Being: HNBA as a Catalyst for Change, by Raul Ayala
The Vermont Bar Journal (Spring 2018)
- President’s Column – The Good Life, by Daniel H. Maguire (pg. 5)
- The Vermont Commission on the Well-Being of the Legal Profession, by Teri Corsones (pg. 23)
Rhode Island Bar Journal (May/June 2018)
- Book Reviews: The Faces of Addiction, by Genevieve M. Martin (pg. 23)
- Never Enough, by Michael J. Burke
- The Addicted Lawyer: Tales of the Bar, Booze, Blow, and Redemption, by Brian Cuban
Visit the ABA CoLAP website for more articles.
You can help make a difference! CoLAP is raising money to help de-stigmatize mental health and substance use disorders in the legal profession. Donations will go towards high-quality videos that highlight personal recovery stories of lawyers, judges, and law students who have overcome these issues, serving to raise awareness about the nature of addiction and mental health distress in our profession, and challenging the biases and stigma that surround those problems. Make your gift today.
The ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) has produced a podcast series about overcoming substance use disorders, mental health issues and addiction. The lawyers featured in this series have all agreed to tell their story in the hope that it will reduce the stigma surrounding these issues and encourage others to get the help they need.
Episode 7 features Stephanie Mitchell Hughes, attorney, writer and speaker working to change the world by sharing her experience with depression and resilience.
Click here to access all available episodes in the series.
ABA Webinar | May 9, 2018 | 1-2:30pm ET
The effects of aging can cause changes in mental processes and physical functioning. Our panel will explore these changes and provide practical advice on what lawyers should do when they see impairment such as dementia or other similar issues in colleagues, opposing counsel, judges, or even themselves.
Brought to you by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, discussion topics will include:
- Understanding the effects of aging on the human brain
- How to recognize some of the signs of diminished capacity
- The practical and ethical considerations for intervention
- Advice on how to facilitate discussion with the impaired person (or others who can help)
- Resources and ways to locate assistance in your area
- The importance of succession planning, and resources to help you develop or review your own succession plans
ABA Webinar | May 24, 2018 | 1-2:30pm ET
Our panelists will discuss diversity in the profession, the ethical rules that are implicated by diversity and inclusion policies, and how implicit biases and stereotypes affect how we perceive people who are different. The panel will also share strategies on how to interrupt bias and address diversity challenges in the workplace. This topic will help increase a lawyer’s professional competence as an attorney, understanding of ethical obligations, and is related directly to the practice of law.
Brought to you by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility.
Many find it difficult to engage in discussions about racial and ethnic differences. At the same time, the demographics of our country and our workplaces have shifted dramatically. Lawyers, who have long served the public, need to better understand diversity and inclusion, cultural competency, and implicit bias in order to ethically and professionally serve their increasingly diverse clients.
The expert speakers will identify and discuss the Model Rules of Professional Conduct that impact diversity and inclusion issues in the practice of law, including Model Rules 1.1, 1.4, and 8.4(g).
On National Mental Health Day for Law Schools (March 28th), the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) and Law Student Division hosted a live Twitter Chat aimed at encouraging students to seek help when they need it by addressing questions around stigma, bar application character and fitness, and anything else on the minds of students and those who care about them. They also encouraged law schools and students to share what they were doing for Mental Health Day by using the hashtag #LawStudentWellness.
An ABA CLE Webinar | April 12, 2018 | 1 PM Eastern
Program Description: Everyone has heard of succession planning but many attorneys struggle to define exactly what it means, how to get started and where they should end up. In this webinar, we will break succession down into five easy to understand steps. We will discuss which questions to ask and how to get honest answers, why you should plan for contingency as well as succession, how to plan for attorney succession, how to plan for client succession and what steps to take to implement your new plan.
Law Practice Division
Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs
Stigma, shame and fear. These obstacles frequently play a major role in an individual’s decision not to seek help when suffering from mental health and substance use disorders. Too often, lawyers, judges, and law students find themselves wrestling privately with frustration and despair as an addiction or mental health problem dominates their life and threatens their career.
A groundbreaking study in 2016 revealed that at least one in five practicing lawyers are currently experiencing a substance use disorder, and even more lawyers are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety. Our profession is facing a significant problem, and you may have observed these struggles in a friend, colleague, or perhaps have experienced them yourself. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to mental health and substance use disorders continues to keep many from ever asking for help. They suffer in silence, sometimes dying as a result.
How You Can Help De-Stigmatize Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders
With growing evidence of distress and dysfunction, the well-being of our profession has come into sharper focus, and there is a heightened willingness to act. Now, we need your help to destigmatize mental health and addiction in the legal profession, and to make those who need it more comfortable seeking help.
The ABA’s Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs (CoLAP) is planning a profession-wide video campaign and seeks to raise $25,000 by June 30th.
Your donation will create high-quality videos that highlight the personal recovery stories of lawyers, judges, and law students who have overcome these issues, serving to raise awareness about the nature of addiction and mental health distress in our profession, and challenging the biases and stigma that surround those problems.
These videos will send the message that recovery from addiction and mental health problems is entirely possible for legal professionals. Your gift will help ensure that fewer of our colleagues face these challenges alone. Please make your gift today by clicking on the donate button to the right.
Thank you for your support!
Founder, Krill Strategies
Member, National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being
Member, ABA CoLAP Advisory Committee
Director, Texas Lawyer Assistance Program
Co-chair, National Task Force on Lawyer Well-being
Chair, ABA CoLAP
To learn more about this issue and read The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, visit lawyerwellbeing.net.
“The Path to Law Student Well-Being” is a new podcast series sponsored by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. The series is a response to the call for action in the 2017 Report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, from the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, which sets out action items for the legal community, including specific steps law schools can take, to shift the culture of the legal profession towards one that is focused on well-being.
The inaugural 2-part episode features two short conversations with Dean and Professor of Law Michael Hunter Schwartz of the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and Professor Larry Krieger of the Florida State University College of Law and is moderated by Professor Susan Wawrose of the University of Dayton School of Law.
Episode 1, Part 1: Ways individual faculty members can notice, engage with, and support students they suspect are in distress.
Episode 1, Part 2: Steps faculty can take to promote student well-being through their teaching in the classroom and includes concrete actions for law school administrators.
Dean Schwartz is a recognized expert and the author of numerous books and articles on the subject of law student teaching and learning, including his book, What the Best Law Teachers Do. He has also been ranked for the past three years in a row by National Jurist magazine as one of the most influential legal educators.
Professor Krieger is well-known for his groundbreaking work on law student well-being, including how values and motivation affect law student and lawyer satisfaction and the role law schools play in shaping law student values and in humanizing the profession. He has also has done significant research measuring the psychological changes of law students during law school.
Don’t forget, today is National Mental Health Day for Law Schools! Share what you are doing to improve the well-being of law students over Twitter with #LawStudentWellness!