As a first-generation lawyer, I really didn’t know what to expect from the practice of law. I wasn’t prepared for the pressure and the stress, and I didn’t know how to overcome the need for perfection and validation that I’d inadvertently nurtured through a lifetime focused on academic performance.
August 2018, on a late Thursday afternoon, I received a call asking me if I was available to come up and meet with a chief assistant state attorney. I was an assistant state attorney in Miami-Dade County, Florida, handling mental health cases, so these requests were common. I
“Dear Ms. Leader, Thank you for your application. Unfortunately, at this time, we are not able to offer…" Sound familiar? Some version of this email has started to grace my inbox as frequently as the latest J. Crew discount code or law school lunch talk
If you have ever picked up a free banana smoothie or granola bar from your law school’s wellness week booths, you are not alone. Free food is great, and law schools do seem to care more about wellness than they used to, but I still find myself asking: how
October is Mental Health Awareness Month, and World Mental Health Day is October 10. We observe this month and day to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to increase support for wellness. This day is meant to provide an opportunity for all those affected to talk about
I had a conversation earlier this month with a former director of a state bar Lawyers Assistance Program. This person shared that during regular meetings with the LAP, administrators at law schools in the state often complained, “Students today are just so fragile.” But
In a recent article for The American Lawyer, Joanna Litt recounted the suicide of her husband. She attributed his death to the stresses of his law practice and of being a partner in big law. I saw this article posted at first by a single former law school
What may be most important to know is that you’re not alone. So many people want to help you succeed if you’ll just open yourself up to them.
The ABA Law Student Division has officially moved Law School Mental Health Day to October 10. This change affords all of us an earlier opportunity to bring our services and resources to our students.
Law students face severe stress, frequently leading to a need for treatment for mental illness. For those who have sought treatment, the moral character fitness application raises great anxiety.
Law students and lawyers experience much higher rates of depression, anxiety, stress, and alcoholism than the general public. These problems usually start, or escalate, in law school. Drs. Jeff Fortgang and Shawn Healy, two psychologists with Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Massachusetts, examined the various contributing factors, ways of recognizing distress, and suggestions for getting help and staying healthy in "The Full Weight of the Law: How Legal Professionals Can Recognize and Rebound from Depression."
As deans of students with a long history of working on wellness initiatives, we’re here to share some advice on the resources and strategies available to you in this current era—and urge you to speak up and reach out. Here are 10 questions we hear often from worried students and the answers we provide.
Do you ever have the thought that if you had known what law school was like prior to starting - truly knew what it was like - you might have chosen to become a professional bee keeper instead? There are many experiences in life that you cannot fully understand prior to living them. Law school is one of those.
Deciding to go to law school is a major life decision for most students, and it is one that (we hope) is carefully weighed and considered. The financial, intellectual, and time commitment involved is a substantial undertaking. Many students dismiss these challenges, assuming that acceptance into law school equates inherent
If you're looking for more information and help with mental health issues, visit these links from the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs: Webinars “Fierce & Gritty: Resilience Training for Lawyers” “I’ve Got Your Back; You’ve Got My Ear: Suicide Prevention in the Legal Profession” “Keeping Legal Minds Intact: Mitigating Compassion
According to a 2014 Survey of Law Student Well-Being, almost 90 percent of law students had a drink of alcohol in the last 30 days and more than 20 percent admitted to binge drinking in the past two weeks. While lawyers and future lawyers alike focus on obtaining
It’s increasingly important we’re pro-active and focus on our own self-care and mental wellness.The most important factor in doing so is knowing when to get help.
Finding perspective on a day to day basis can be challenging. It can become very hard when we are pulled in so many directions, just getting through the pile of assignments, responsibilities and to-dos can leave one wondering on any given work day how its already punching out time. To top
Fabiani Duarte speaks with Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Legal Professionals Program Director Patrick Krill about the prevalence of substance misuse and other mental health concerns within the occupation.
Fact: 20% of lawyers suffer from depression, more than double that of the general population. Beyond that, 60,000 law students suffer from depression by the end of their second year. What resources are available for lawyers who find themselves battling the rigors of the profession and the struggles of depression? In
The pressure of law school can make many law students feel so exhausted and uncertain that, regardless of how well they do academically, they still feel like failures or impostors. One way that science has found to enhance resilience is through the “growth mindset” framework. Research has linked the growth mindset
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., penned the phrase “Stop Look and Listen” as a life saving instruction for the driver and passengers of a car approaching a railroad track. Holmes’ memorable phrase is sage advice across a range of circumstances and matters of consequence. It is an important mindfulness reminder
After practicing for eight years, I have come to realize in a very profound manner than the practice of law is so much more than just the procedure and substantive law I learned in law school. At its core, it is an interwoven system made up of human beings.
There is a widespread level of alcohol use, substance abuse, and mental health issues in the legal profession that needs to be addressed at the beginning of every lawyer’s legal career while still in law school. The Pursuit of Happiness Club strives to do just this by reducing the stigma of mental health conversations while providing resources to students.
Getting through law school is tough. You’ve got late nights, high-stress classes, competition among your peers, the looming law school curve, and that nagging fear that maybe you won’t find a job when this is all over. And let’s face it, the stress doesn’t end after graduation. I’m still dealing with it to this day! That’s why now is pretty much the perfect time to figure out what stress relievers work best for you.