Articles

JLAP: Lawyers benefit from holistic wellness programs

Before the pandemic, large law firms and legal departments in Indiana were among 187 signatories around the country who pledged to encourage attorneys to focus on wellness and wellbeing as part of an American Bar Association initiative. Since March, some of the programs have added or adapted programming to virtual programs, including yoga and meditation.

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JLAP: Of course I heard you. What did you say?

I’m a lawyer, so I’m a good communicator, right? Or at least I have been conditioned to believe that. In my own practice, I listen and respond to arguments all the time. Reflecting on my personal interactions, I would like to think that I take the time to look and listen to the person I am speaking with. So what more could I do? Doesn’t this mean I’m a good listener? If attorneys are supposedly so good at communicating, do I know what am I actually communicating when I interact with colleagues, coworkers and clients?

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JLAP: Indiana’s chief justice champions lawyer well-being

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush staunchly supports and promotes well-being in the legal profession. When she talks to Indiana judges, lawyers and law students, Rush frequently mentions the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program. During her State of the Judiciary speech in January, the first topic Rush mentioned was Indiana’s problem-solving courts, which focus on issues including drugs and mental health.

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JLAP: Lawyer well-being movement is no laughing matter

When my colleagues first expressed a vision for healthier lawyers — not merely helping those already struggling with addiction and mental health diagnoses, but helping all lawyers to thrive — some laughed. Someone even suggested to me that the title for a presentation I was giving should be “Is Lawyer Well-Being an Oxymoron?”

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JLAP: Bar associations tackle lawyer wellness issues

Lawyers are fixers. We fix things other people have messed up. So, obviously, we like to project a persona that is not in need of fixing. We hold ourselves to a high standard to get new clients, bill more hours, finish an opinion, bring that next charge, defend the next client … always perfectly. And that’s the crux. Because, of course, we are not perfect. But that desire to be so affects our wellness and can lead to substance use disorder, anxiety, depression and grief.

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Anthem attorney gets JLAP probation after OWI crash

An attorney for Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. received a stayed suspension from the Indiana Supreme Court and will undergo a year of substance abuse monitoring after a drunken-driving conviction arising from a property damage car crash nearly two years ago. Jonathan T. Tempel was suspended for 90 days with automatic reinstatement, stayed subject to completion of one year of monitoring by the Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program.

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Wood: Papers chased — law students’ plight and how JLAP can help

During my initial campus visits to Indiana law schools, I encountered several students who manifested the stressors of their academic environment in a number of ways. Some had turned to alcohol and other drugs, sometimes resulting in serious consequences such as DUI arrests and academic probation. Others demonstrated noticeable signs and symptoms of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

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