For many of us, the holidays are a time of rest and renewal. For others, a time of professional or personal stress. All of us should take the time to remind ourselves that serving our well-being should remain of highest priority.
Earlier this year, the ABA’s National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being released a number of health and wellness recommendations for the profession after reports frequently indicated lawyers were not adequately serving themselves. For example, the report found that between 21 and 36 percent of attorneys qualify as problem drinkers. In addition to substance abuse, 19 to 28 percent of lawyers deal with some degree of depression, anxiety, and stress. We need to do better as a profession.
Through our weekly blog posts, news items, monthly e-newsletter, and our educational programming, the Commission pledges to provide the legal community with more insight into health and wellness tips for organizations and individuals, showcase how legal professionals can incorporate mindfulness exercises into their daily routines, promote upcoming service opportunities for lawyers, and remind practicing attorneys of the core values that make the law more than just a career, but a profession.
With the health and wellness of our profession at stake, we all must take a moment to breathe. As you take the time to pause, look at some of the wellness and service-minded resources we provided last month, and a few pieces that challenged our team to think differently:
Health and Wellness Require Serving Yourself
- By making these four commitments to yourself, you can improve more than just your own mental health – you’ll improve the well-being of the entire profession. The Four Agreements for Healthier Legal Profession
- The benefits of pro bono service are two-fold. When you serve those in need, you are serving yourself. Reflecting on the Importance of Pro Bono Service
- This upcoming CLE in Chicago teaches attorneys how to address their colleagues struggling with mental health and addiction problems. You won’t want to miss it: Commission on Professionalism and LAP Team Up for Wellness CLE
- This month’s Lawyer Spotlight reflects on her work improving the well-being of her clients in foster care: Sarah Hawkins: Office of the Public Guardian
- The Illinois Bar Foundation annually honors Illinois leaders who put service at the forefront: Illinois Bar Foundation Honors Jayne Reardon
Content That Inspires Change
- Incivility is at a crisis level in our country. The good news is that lawyers can inspire the culture to change, strengthening the future of our democracy: Civility in America – It Matters
- Ever wonder why lawyers resist new technology? The answer lies in status quo bias: Cling to the Status Quo and Technology Will Leave You Behind
- Regulation in the legal profession will never be the same: The State Bar of California Finalizes Plan for Split
- To friend or not to friend? That is the question. Can you remain friends with a colleague who is appointed to the bench? Lawyers, Judges, Social Media: Can We Just Be (Online) Friends?
- We each have our own implicit biases, but they do not have to dictate our decision making. That’s why Illinois judiciary will undergo more diversity and inclusion training in 2018: Committee on Equality Uncovers Implicit Bias in Illinois Courts