Paula Davis-Laack, Larry Richard and David Shearon are the founding partners of Lawyer Strong, a firm that provides resilience training to lawyers and other professionals within the legal profession.
© 2016. Published in Law Practice Today, June 2016, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.
Only 30% of American workers are “engaged” at work. This is damaging to businesses, but for law firms, it can be devastating. The market for legal services, and clients’ expectations of
andapproach to law firms, are also changing. Law has always been and always will be a demanding profession based largely on an adversarial model to resolve (or try to avoid) the toughest disputes our society creates, often with really high stakes for all parties.
In recent years, changes in how legal services are delivered are making the practice even tougher. Virtual law firms are increasing, more projects are being given to contract attorneys or shipped overseas, companies are pressuring their law departments to manage many issues internally instead of sending them to outside counsel, and clients are demanding alternative billing methods. Law firms need lawyers and professional administrative staff who are engaged and functioning at their best to meet these challenges.
Resilience skills provide the tools lawyers and law firm personnel need to successfully cope with the stressors outlined above. Resilience is built through a set of core competencies that enable mental toughness and mental strength, optimal performance, strong leadership
andtenacity, meaning that resilient people are less prone to giving up when they experience setbacks.
Read the rest of the article on Law Practice Today to learn about case studies that show the effectiveness of resilience training (even in the U.S.