LAWYER WELL-BEING

As pandemic grows, ABA puts spotlight on lawyers’ health

May 11. 2020

With a significant number of members of the legal profession facing mental health and alcohol use disorders as well as physical health issues, the American Bar Association put the focus on how attorneys can take better care of themselves during the first Lawyer Well-Being Week, May 4-8.

As part of the first Lawyer Well-Being Week, the ABA offered five webinars to address challenges that lawyers face.

As part of the first Lawyer Well-Being Week, the ABA offered five webinars to address challenges that lawyers face.

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The initiative, which aligns with Mental Health Awareness Month in May, was a joint effort of the ABA Law Practice Division, the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being. The aim was to raise awareness and encourage action across the legal profession to improve well-being for lawyers and their support teams.

The ABA offered five webinars, a different one each day, featuring speakers who addressed the challenges that lawyers face and offered tips, tools and advice on how they can live their best lives physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

“Our modern, always-on world is stressful for everyone, but for attorneys, who are balancing the constant demands of home, family and career, it is the ultimate juggling act,” said Tal Fagin, an attorney, certified life coach and co-presenter for one of the webinars, “The Softer Side of Success.” “Add to that the specific pressures of law firm life — from demanding clients to onerous hours to internal firm politics — and the tension only rises.”

A 2016 study by the ABA and the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation found that lawyers struggle with a host of issues that can adversely affect their well-being:

  • 36% qualify as problem drinkers
  • 28% report mild or higher depression symptoms
  • 23% report mild or higher stress symptoms
  • 19% report mild or higher anxiety symptoms

The webinars aligned with a different theme each day:

The 60-minute webinars are available on-demand for free to ABA members.

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