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President's Page by Jeff Rose

Who would go to a CLE on wellness? I’ll admit I’d be one of the last to go. Why put that out there? Sure, if any one of us is having a hard time, 99% of our bar membership would extend a hand in support. But, the fear is of that one person who’d just knife you in the back. Instead, my approach to wellness has been your typical, type-A, male response: lean in shoulder first, work twice as hard, and get through it. This kind of thinking is outdated and just plain wrong.

As lawyers, we’ve surrounded ourselves with other people’s problems; conflict and struggle are our bread and butter. At a minimum, our clients ask us to deal with their problems, but most simply expect us to fix what they can’t. This is a heavy burden under normal circumstances. It feels even heavier during COVID, without life-via-Zoom reality.

To use an old cycling cliché, we’re all on the rivet, at the practical limit of what we can really handle. For a year now we’ve been without most of our usual forms of stress relief. Dinner with friends? Travel? Gym? A weekend at the Broadmoor? Gone. Our interactions with everyone - clients, colleagues, counsel, the court, friends family - are strained to say the least. We’re all stressed, and we’re all struggling, whether we’re willing to admit it or not.

Worse, as we now work from home, it’s even more difficult to keep our conflict-filled professional lives separate from our personal lives. Sharply-contested depositions, hearings, and trials are now in our living rooms. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received in my career came from a friend who told me to always remember to leave the mental briefcase at the door. How do you do that now? A colleague far smarter and more experienced than I suggested a drive around the block before and after the work day.

The Bar is hosting a wellness CLE later this month with Michelle Rafik on ways to help manage our professional lives that can increase productivity and reduce stress (please click here to register). I hope you’ll join me there. And until we can see each other again, I hope we all can remember to see the humanity in our fellow lawyers and add just a little more compassion throughout or daily acts as professionals.

And, to whatever motion you’re about to file that will make your life a little easier without having any impact on my client’s substantive rights: unopposed. If you like what we’ve been doing at the Bar, if you hate what we’ve been doing, or if you have suggestions on how we can do better, please drop me a line at jrose@lyonsgaddis.com.

If you like what we’ve been doing at the Bar, if you hate what we’ve been doing, or if you have suggestions on how we can do better, please drop me a line at jrose@lyonsgaddis.com.


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