The well-being of attorneys is critical to the effective practice of law, the public trust, and the culture of our profession – all of which make it of paramount importance to the New York State Bar Association. Being a lawyer is personally and professionally rewarding, but it also is stressful, exhausting, and taxing. Every lawyer “knows” that taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually is important to our well-being, but  manifesting that self-care in the midst of a fast-paced, relentless profession feel out of reach for many of us.

The purpose of the NYSBA Attorney Well-Being initiative is to examine the life of a lawyer from law school through retirement and beyond in order to identify resources and practices individually, socially and culturally which can assist lawyers in making self-care accessible, effective, and meaningful.

Articles, programming, and other practical resources are available to guide and inform you in achieving the Attorney Well-Being initiative. Be sure to check out past programs and make plans to attend upcoming programs. If you’re missing the Roundtable, click on the Resources tab to the left to find recommendations and resources developed during the Roundtable sessions. In person programming will resume as soon as it is safe to do so, in the meantime, additional online programming is being created, so be sure to check back often.

If you have a well-being question, submit it to [email protected]. Emails are reviewed and answered regularly.

If you need more immediate assistance with a well-being concern, reach out to Stacey Whiteley, Lawyer Assistance Program Director at 518.360.2352 or by email [email protected]. All communications are confidential.

Additional resources regarding attorney well-being can be found on the Practice Resources page.

Emotional Well-Being


How to Prepare for the Short Days and Long Winter Ahead
Stacey Whiteley

Why Burnout Is So Pertinent in Lawyers…and How To Recognize It
Brandon Vogel

Lawyers Who Accept War-like Personas Carry Heavy Burden
Robert Goldman

The Science of Stress and the Road to Attorney Well-Being
Libby Coreno and Kelly Murray O’Hara

What Makes Lawyers Happy
Libby Coreno

Dealing with Panic as Coronavirus Becomes the New Normal 
Brandon Vogel

One Lawyer Living and Working with Depression
Daniel Lukasik

Anxiety a Slippery Slope
Diane E. O’Connell

Hank Greenberg: Lawyers and Depression

How Lawyers Can Avoid Burnout and Debilitating Anxiety

Vicarious Trauma is Real
Brandon Vogel

How a Lunch Between Dear Friends Led to a Movement to Change the Legal Culture
Dr. Kerry O’Hara

Physical Well-Being


Living Well in the Time of the Coronavirus
Robert Herbst

The Case for Attorney Wellness
Robert Herbst

Season’s Wellness
Robert Herbst

Attorney Wellness in a Nutshell
Robert Herbst

How the Profession I Love Took a Toll On My Health
Scott Karson

Professional Well-Being


Top 7 Tips to Better Manage a Legal Practice
Clio

What Makes A Virtual Lawyer Happy?
Debbie Epstein Henry

Finding a Healthy Way to Transform Our Lives as We Retire
Stephen P. Gallagher

Legal Culture Must Change for Attorneys to Thrive
Kathleen Fyfe

Easing Stress While Working from Home
Brandon Vogel

How to Work Remotely with Kids and Not Lose Your Mind
Brandon Vogel

Easing Stress While Working from Home 
Brandon Vogel

Finding a Health Way to Transform Our Lives as We Retire
Stephen P. Gallagher

Recovery Well-Being


Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues: This is Us
Hon. Karen Peters

Becoming an Alcoholic in Private-Living in Recovery in Public
Hon. Sarah Krauss

Never Alone: Addiction, Recovery and Community
Libby Coreno

How to Help Judges in Need of Help
Paul Curtin

 

Lawyer to Lawyer Well-Being Roundtable

Confidential. Free. Peer to Peer Support.

NOTE: The Roundtable is on hiatus with plans to return later in spring 2021. In the meantime, new programming will be posted here. Thank you for your continued support!

Finding the Compassion Balance Mindful Lawyering & Vicarious Trauma
This program will help lawyers find the “middle” – thereby remaining present in their bodies with self-compassion, while learning the boundaries and skills necessary to withstand vicarious trauma (compassion fatigue).

Women on the Move 2020
Practicing Law with Mindfulness- This panel explores the impact of uncertainty, stress, depression and anxiety on the mind and the body. You will learn how to maintain their physical and mental health using mindful practices

Vicarious Trauma is Real
Dr. Kerry O’Hara, Psy.D. explains vicarious trauma, or compassion fatigue, that is a trauma process that occurs over time when an individual is exposed indirectly to the suffering of others for whom they feel responsible. Dr. O’Hara will help participants develop the resiliency skills to manage this in a balanced way.

Mindfulness for Lawyers in a Time of Stress
Learn how to use mindfulness to improve your immune system and calm your fears, while also maintaining social connections via electronics to prevent loneliness. You will also learn how to control stress and in turn improve productivity, creativity and the ability to uphold your ethical responsibilities as an attorney.

“LPM Day”: 20/20 Vision 
This program focuses on important topics for solo/small firms including a segment called “Lawyer Well-Being: Ethical Considerations.”

Attorney Wellness/Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession 
Thomas C. Nicotera, Esq. | Lawyer Assistance Committee | Albany
Paul W. Van Ryn, Esq. | Maxwell & Van Ryn, LLP | Albany

“LPM Day” – Hot Topics in Law Practice Management 2019
This program focuses on important topics for solo/small firms. Panelists cover what you need to know about tax changes, working remotely and complying with the NY Rules of Professional Conduct, time management and attorney wellness.

“LPM Day” – Hot Topics in Law Practice Management 2018
This program focuses on hot topics in law practice management. Panelists cover what you need to know about key considerations for protecting your firm, how to recognize alcohol and substance abuse among colleagues, attorney wellness, ESI and forensics, ethics of email, ABA Formal Opinon 477, protecting client information, and  technology and billing while providing practical advice.

What Makes Lawyers Happy
Practicing law can be stressful. Unmanaged stress can lead to career dissatisfaction, mental health problems and substance abuse. Recent research based on a survey of New York Lawyers and lawyers from several other states identifies the key elements to keeping stress at bay and finding balance in lawyering. These protective elements of happy lawyering will be discussed by the panel as well as the signs and symptoms of mental health problems that sabotage health and happiness and jeopardize your ability to practice law competently.

Lawyer Assistance Program | Prevention, Intervention and the NY Rules of Professional Conduct

Lawyer Assistance Program | Prevention, Intervention and the NY Rules of Professional Conduct | What You Need to Know in New York

Roundtable Resources


Worksheets

Videos

The Power of Myth
Joseph Campbell Interview Series

 

Articles

What is Post-Traumatic Growth?
Madhuleena Roy Chowdury, BA

The Professional Identity Formation of Lawyers
Jon Bliss

How Some Attys Are Ditching BigLaw For Public Interest Work
Cara Bayles

The Orange (Poem)

You’re Not Lazy-Self-Isolation is Utterly Exhausting
Gillian Sisley

‘Allostatic Load’ Is the Psychological Reason for Our Pandemic Brain Fog
Emily Baron Cadloff

Recommended Readings from Roundtable Attendees

Disrupt Aging: A Bold New Path to Living Your Best Life at Every Age
Jo Ann Jenkins

Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
William Bridges

Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You
John Warrillow

The Affective Assistance Of Counsel: Practicing Law As A Healing Profession
Marjorie Ann Silver

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
Michael A. Singer

Six Steps to Overcoming Adversity: From the Financial Crisis to the Corona Pandemic
Jack Doueck

Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life
Steven Keeva

War of Art: Break Through Your Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Steven Pressfield

Atomic Habits: an Easy Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
James Clear

Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
Jaron Lanier

Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food
Catherine Shanahan and Luke Shanahan

First Things First
Stephen R. Covey

The Hero With a Thousand Faces
Joseph Campbell

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
Robin DiAngelo

My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Mending of Our Bodies and Hearts
Resmaa Menakem

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration
Isabel Wilkerson

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Richard Rothstein

Animus: A Short Introduction to Bias in the Law
William D. Araiza

The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary
Angeles Arrien

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Stephen Covey

Becoming a Lawyer: Discovering and Defining Your Professional Persona (Career Guides)
Toni Jaeger-Fine

Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours
Shirzad Chamine

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Charles Duhigg

Recommended Apps

Calm
ThinkUp
Rain Rain Sleep Sounds (Android)
Rain Rain Sleep Sounds (Apple)
Insight Timer
Noom
Success Wizard

Recommended Websites

What makes you full hearted?
Snyder’s Hope Theory
The Power and Science of Hope


New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Assistance Program
800.255.0569
Confidential assistance for law students, lawyers, and judges who are struggling with issues such as anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug use and other conditions that are creating difficulties for you or someone you care about.

COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline
844.863.9314

ABA’s Attorney Well-Being Committee
Resources, education and leadership on well-being topics.

ABA’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs
Hotlines, resources, publications and events related to substance use and emotional health issues.