GPSolo Magazine - October/November 2004

From the Editor
Speed Bumps and Potholes

It’s been three years since GPSolo published its groundbreaking Bumps in the Road issue ( www.abanet.org/genpractice/magazine/julyaug2001/julyaug01.html), and we’re back by popular demand with More Bumps in the Road .

Lawyers are at high risk for addiction and other mental illnesses, faced as we are with too much work, not enough time or money or recognition, and stresses coming from opposing counsel, clients, and judges. Even the healthiest of us frequently get old and addled. And even the certifiably sane are apt to run into opposing counsel, judges, clients, and even others in their own office and family who’ve fallen into the morass. It happens more often to the Best and the Brightest than to the worst of the lot. And it can happen to any lawyer who’s also a sentient being.

How many of us have felt a touch of Schadenfreude when someone else, especially a competitor, stumbles into one of the potholes of life? It’s sick, and it’s probably just as much a part of human nature as staring at a gory car accident or the endless fascination we have with disaster footage on the evening news, but when the problem hits one of us personally, we sing a different tune.

It’s our business to tend to others’ travails, but like the cobbler’s proverbial children, lawyers famously neglect their own lives and those close to them. Even casting aside the issue of quality of life, there’s a practical dollars-and-cents aspect to tending to our own houses: The majority of bar disciplinary problems stem from chemical dependency and emotional stress.

Our issue editor, Wisconsin lawyer and Section Vice Chair John Macy, spearheaded this issue with his usual finesse and élan. With support from the ABA copyrights department, we have figured out a way to publish a copyright notice with each article that will make it easier for institutions of higher learning or nonprofit organizations to reprint the articles for informational, non-commercial purposes. The support from the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs has been simply incredible.

As you read this issue, I’m sure you’ll come upon bumps in the road that we haven’t covered. Write us and tell us what you think. We’re going to reprise this issue every few years, and your input counts.

This issue of GPSolo is about you and those you care about. You may recognize yourself in this issue. Even if you don’t, you’ll recognize some of your colleagues, associates, partners, clients, friends, and family members. Don’t be selfish. Share this issue with them.

jennifer j. rose, editor-in-chief of GPSolo , is a lawyer and writer living in Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. She can be reached at jenniferrose@abanet.org.

 

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