Articles

JLAP: Bar application changes promote mental health

When speaking to students at law schools, we repeatedly emphasize that they should never avoid counseling or treatment because they fear it would prevent their admission to the bar. To the contrary, the willingness to seek mental treatment demonstrates that an applicant has the maturity to do the right thing when confronting life’s daily challenges.

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JLAP: The promise of self-compassion

Lawyer Jill Carnell invites you to try the practice of self-compassion because it can make you a better lawyer by helping you to more easily “reset” when you find yourself in an emotionally or physically painful situation.

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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: 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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Living Fit: Stress management involves learning to control reactions

As a young lawyer, I had a recurring dream in which I had moved to a remote mountain cabin, deep in a wooded forest, with majestic mountains in my backyard and a waterfall that fed into a crystal clear lake in my front yard. I awoke each day to the sunrise, fresh mountain air and the energy of the calm environment. There were no phones, computers, demanding clients, irritated family members, traffic or boring social commitments. No stress. I felt relaxed, at peace and calm, thinking about this wonderful life.

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McGoff: It is a new year, start creating a new ‘you’

Each year, as Jan. 1 approaches and we gaze in the mirror at the after effects of the holidays … dark circles under our eyes, too many cookies and an over-abundance of cocktail parties, we set our sights on resolutions. We vow that “this time” we are going to do it! However, the statistics show that over 80 percent of us who set New Year’s resolutions will fail.

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