ABA Journal

Lawyer Wellness

1041 ABA Journal Lawyer Wellness articles.

Lawyer and military vet now fights his biggest battle: ALS

When I interviewed for a summer associate position, I aimed for a firm with the people and culture I thought would help me understand what it meant to be an attorney for the biggest companies in the world. Five years later, those same people would help me face the biggest challenge of my life and a new set of terrifying letters: ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

How federal appeals judges’ opinions change as they get older

Older federal appeals judges are more likely to rely on “cognitive shortcuts” in their opinions than their younger counterparts, according to a study presented at a political science conference earlier this month.

Lawyer’s ‘dogged efforts’ led to scientific discovery that could help with chronic fatigue

A lawyer who had to reduce her workload because of fatigue, neuropathy and muscular weakness embarked on a quest to discover what was wrong with her.

Ex-lawyer Tom Girardi lashes out at prosecutor in competency hearing; brain shrinkage reported

A prosecutor in Los Angeles claimed that an outburst by ex-lawyer Tom Girardi during a competency hearing Wednesday shows that the disbarred lawyer understands the criminal proceedings against him.

After experiencing ‘the pit,’ Walmart litigation chief quits law practice at age 47

Lawyer Kerri Ruttenberg has said she feels like she’s “getting a second shot at life” after deciding to retire from law practice at age 47.

General counsel respond to BigLaw attorneys’ concern over extreme client demands

BigLaw attorneys cite unreasonable or excessive demands from clients as a primary reason for their stress and anxiety, according to a survey by the American Lawyer on mental health in the legal profession.

Changing the culture at law firms to promote wellness and mental well-being

Whether it was the idea that stress was just part of the job or that taking time out for your wellness was a sign of weakness, the legal industry has not always made mental well-being a priority. Some law firms are trying to change that.

Impact of trauma on judges, their families and court staff should be studied, ABA House says

At the ABA Annual Meeting in Denver on Tuesday, the House of Delegates supported a resolution encouraging judicial leaders to study the impact of trauma on judges, their families and staff and recommend steps to improve their safety and mental wellness.

My career approach could have killed me

In 1982, as a healthy 29-year-old with a brand-new JD, I joined a Washington, D.C., law firm handling class action tort litigation. Workdays there were fast and furious. Sixty-hour work weeks were the norm, but I was young and hungry, the work was stimulating and I leaned in.

Most class of 2019 law grads are satisfied with their jobs, but debt still affects life choices, new study says

Forty-seven percent of class of 2019 law graduates are “extremely satisfied” with their current job, up from 42% of class of 2018 graduates who were surveyed a year ago, according to a new report by the National Association for Law Placement and the NALP Foundation.

Creating Space at the Table: Succeeding as a female in the still-male-dominated field of law

Growing up far from the big city in Delmar, New York, I did not know many lawyers, and I certainly knew of no lawyers to emulate. Back then I would have never dreamt of becoming a managing partner in a successful law firm. But here I am, thanks to the sound advice from mentors who saw my potential and helped me forge my way.

Identifying and eliminating implicit bias toward psychiatric disabilities in the legal profession

“Don’t let it happen again.” When I heard the statement, my body melted into my chair as I sat staring toward the screen in our Zoom meeting. Shock spread through my body for several moments—no words came. I was petrified and let waves of shame and disbelief flow through my body.

Mental health initiatives aren’t curbing lawyer stress and anxiety, new study shows

Despite increasing focus on mental health and well-being in the legal profession, lawyers are reportedly dealing with more stress, anxiety and depression, according to the 2023 ALM and Law.com Compass Mental Health Survey of the Legal Profession.

Law schools should take on students’ mental health and substance use from day one

We must remind our students constantly that seeking help is a sign of strength that will not be held against them in school, when applying for admission to the bar or when applying for employment.

How lawyers can embrace their inner ‘chicken’

"Chicken?" Why not? I would like to talk about a subject many of us in the legal profession are afraid to discuss: fear. As lawyers, our work can be stressful, leaving us gripped with fear. This must be a relevant issue, as with my glance at a thesaurus, I note that there are at least three synonyms for fear beginning with the just letter “a” alone—namely “anxiety,” “alarm” and “angst.”

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