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Category: Mental Health Essentials



Success

Defining success in terms of satisfaction starts in law school

October 11, 2019

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. 

Intervention

Intervention: The benefits of stepping in with compassion

October 10, 2019

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

Failure

The future is failure (so start getting good at it)

October 08, 2019

“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

Wellness

Why a week of wellness isn’t well enough

October 07, 2019

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

Mental Health Day shirt

Common threads: Enter the Mental Health T-Shirt Contest

October 07, 2019

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

Mirror

Fragility or courage? The state of law students today

June 04, 2019

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

Test Stress

Test stress: This law school exam season, take care of yourself

December 10, 2018

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

Full Weight of the Law

Learn how to deal with the Full Weight of the Law, starting in law school

March 27, 2018

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."

Two deans answer the law school wellness questions they hear the most

March 01, 2018

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.

Depresssion

Law school stress: It's not about you, and it's all about you

February 27, 2018

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.

Mindsets

A growth mindset for law school success

September 12, 2017

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

Mental Health Day 2016

More resources for Mental Health Day

March 28, 2017

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

Mental Health Day

5 ways to make your campus more mental health friendly

March 28, 2017

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

Catch Your Breath

How to catch your breath and find perspective

September 26, 2016

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

Law Student Podcast

Podcast: Law School and Depression

April 20, 2016

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

Growth Mindset Webinar

Webinar recap: Making The Grade With Growth Mindsets

April 15, 2016

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

Stop Look Listen

Making a case for mindfulness and law student wellness

April 13, 2016

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

The Human Race

Be mindful of the human side of law

March 30, 2016

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.

The Pursuit of Happiness

How to pursue happiness at your school

March 28, 2016

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.