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The Well-Being Spectrum: There's More Than 'In Crisis' or 'Perfectly Fine'

Tue, July 16, 2019 2:20 PM | Sarah Hayden (Administrator)

Written By: John Hollway

Attorney well-being is a topic of great focus today, and with good reason. Attorneys suffer from very high rates of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and suicide, and a recent Harvard Business Review article rated law the loneliest profession. This may not surprise you—perhaps you or a colleague is hurting.

But we owe it to ourselves and our profession to find answers so that we can, first, ensure those who are in crisis mode receive the immediate help and attention they need, and, second, adopt preventive measures to help change the statistics.

When we talk about “attorney well-being,” what do we mean? “Well-being” and “wellness” are thrown about a lot, and becoming more integrated into conversations around the practice of law, but not everyone means the same things. Well-being is more than ergonomic desks, step challenges and meditation programs (though I’m supportive of all three of those initiatives!). So here, I propose a framework for thinking about well-being in the context of work and the practice of law.

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