31 ABA Journal On Well-Being articles.
Depression can look as you might imagine: the inability to function or fulfill one’s daily responsibilities and to be in a constant state of gloom. But this isn’t true for everyone. As you’ll see from the stories below, there are many faces to depression and many paths for getting better.
Apr 1, 2019 1:20 AM CDT
Women, especially mothers, carry a disproportionate share of the cognitive load when it comes to child rearing and running the household. This is an additional burden for lawyers, who are already under tremendous pressure. Often, self-care practices lead to compounding positive effects. When you exercise, you have more energy, your mind feels clearer, you’re better able to focus and you’re more productive.
Mar 1, 2019 1:20 AM CST
Lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression than nonlawyers, according to the American Psychological Association. Substance abuse rates within the legal profession are also much higher than for the general population. Clinical depression and substance abuse are highly correlated with suicide rates. The legal industry has the 11th-highest incidence of suicide among professions.
Jan 1, 2019 2:05 AM CST
As we head into the new year, it’s a wonderful opportunity to pause, take inventory and become more intentional about identifying your values and aligning your life with what is truly important. Mindfulness and meditation, as well as working with a life coach, were incredibly helpful as I figured out how to travel that unexplored path.
Dec 1, 2018 1:50 AM CST
Motherhood is more demanding than ever. Parents spend more time and money on child care. They feel more pressure to breastfeed, to do enriching activities with their children, and to…
Nov 1, 2018 1:25 AM CDT
Lawyers often are warned about the dangers of excessive alcohol use, even as they celebrate wins and mourn losses. Legal practitioners must understand the issues of control, compulsion and consequences in managing their consumption. If you have a gut feeling about troubles facing another lawyer, you don’t have to diagnose the problem, says lawyer and consultant Jeena Cho. But you may need to prepare for a difficult conversation.
Oct 1, 2018 1:20 AM CDT
Lawyers live in a constant cycle of exhaustion and tension, trying to do more in less time. Jeena Cho writes that it seems normal to fantasize about catastrophic events intervening to postpone a court hearing, client meeting or other anxiety-provoking event.
Sep 1, 2018 1:55 AM CDT
When I teach mindfulness and meditation, I’ll often start by asking the people in the room for a show of hands: Do they frequently experience stress and anxiety? Almost all the hands in the room go up. Then I ask, “How many of you take deliberate steps to prevent or let go of stress and anxiety?” Often, it’s only a small percentage of the room that responds.
Aug 1, 2018 2:10 AM CDT
It can be lonely being a lawyer. We often spend long hours working in isolation. Even in law school, with almost 200 other students around me, I felt the sense of loneliness keenly. I saw my fellow classmates as competition.
Jul 1, 2018 1:20 AM CDT
Many lawyers practice in the suffering business. Perhaps they should’ve taught us this in law school. What they also should’ve taught us in law school is that being in the presence of someone suffering affects you. Often, attorneys mistake this effect as weakness, ineffective lawyering, or as a sign that they are somehow flawed as an attorney.
Jun 1, 2018 1:20 AM CDT
Creating a long-term mindfulness program that encourages participants to practice on a regular basis isn’t easy. It takes a good launch protocol, selecting the right technology and delivery mechanism, and curating the content to be highly relevant.
May 1, 2018 1:15 AM CDT
What I have learned is that anxiety actually serves an important function. It’s the body’s way of letting me know there is a reason for concern. It’s like a smoke detector. The trouble is that my smoke detector was hyperactive.
Apr 1, 2018 2:00 AM CDT
Who do you think you are? Stop talking. You’re making a fool of yourself. You’re not really going to wear that to court, are you? You’re screwing this up! You’re not good enough. They should just take away your bar license.
Do these thoughts sound familiar?
Mar 1, 2018 2:00 AM CST
When my husband and I got married, the honeymoon was the only vacation we’d had in over three years. I recall sitting on the porch of a beautiful house in Kauai with nothing to do and full of anxiety. I had no idea how to rest.
Feb 1, 2018 1:40 AM CST
The National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being recommends mindfulness meditation. Research indicates that mindfulness can reduce rumination, stress, depression and anxiety.
Jan 1, 2018 2:55 AM CST