Law Firm News

Lawyers, Wellness and the Way Forward

Russell Shrauner, Associate

Starting a conversation about mental health and wellness often feels like stepping into a cold pool. You can either tiptoe in, shivering with each step and fighting the urge to retreat, or plunge right in. Embracing the latter approach, we’ll dive directly into discussing practical tips and resources for managing mental health in the legal profession.

To best serve our clients, it’s essential that we prioritize our own well-being. A healthy lawyer is a more effective advocate, able to bring clarity, energy, and a sharper mind to complex legal issues. Thus, instead of dwelling on the sobering statistics of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and self-harm among lawyers, we’ll focus on strategies to improve mental health in the workplace, manage stress and anxiety, and explore available support for attorneys.

1. Having The Discussion in The Workplace

There is no one-size-fits-all approach for discussing mental health in the workplace. However, one of the best places to start is to make yourself available for the conversation. This can be initiated through various means such as organizing mental health workshops, creating safe spaces for discussions, or even starting meetings with a brief check-in on everyone’s well-being. Leadership plays a critical role here; when managers and senior attorneys openly discuss their own experiences with mental health, it can significantly reduce stigma and encourage others to share and seek help. Furthermore, establishing clear protocols for confidentiality in these discussions ensures that employees feel secure when talking about such personal topics.

2. Managing Stress and Anxiety

Working in the legal field often means dealing with serious issues that can have huge implications on another person’s life. We often have to juggle this while balancing deadlines, running our practice and our personal lives, leading to stress. Managing stress is a matter of finding what works for you, but here are some tips.

First, set and enforce personal boundaries. It is acceptable to be unavailable. Recognize the times when work begins to encroach too much on personal life and assert limits to protect your time and mental well-being. This might mean setting specific work hours, choosing not to answer emails during evenings or weekends, or scheduling regular breaks during the workday to decompress.

Second, actively manage your workload to prevent burnout. This could involve better time management practices, delegating tasks when possible, and setting realistic expectations with colleagues and clients about delivery times and availability.

Third, cultivate a support network both inside and outside of work. This can include colleagues who understand the pressures of the job, as well as friends and family who can offer emotional support. Sharing your concerns and stresses with others can not only provide relief but also help generate solutions you might not have considered.

3. Resources for Lawyers

The Texas Lawyer’s Assistance Program, as mentioned, is a fantastic resource. Additionally, consider exploring national organizations such as the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) which provides support, resources, and advocacy to improve the health and well-being of lawyers, judges, and law students.

Local bar associations also often have committees or sections dedicated to lawyer well-being where you can find mentorship and peer support. Networking with others who may be facing similar challenges can be incredibly beneficial.

We’re in this together.

Ultimately, creating a supportive work environment involves both individual and collective efforts. Law firms and legal departments can contribute by fostering a culture that prioritizes mental health. This can be achieved through training leaders to recognize signs of distress, ensuring your staff has access to low-cost mental health care, providing mental health days, and promoting a balanced approach to work and life.

By ensuring our own health, we can be fully present and capable of providing the best service to those who depend on us.

The Carlson Law Firm

The Carlson Law Firm has been representing and protecting clients in Texas and across the nation since 1976. During this time, we have built a reputation for success and have received numerous awards. Our firm is committed to delivering exceptional service and representation but more importantly, we provide you with an experienced team that has your back, one-hundred percent.

Recent Posts

Steer Clear of Anger with These Tips for Managing Road Rage

Road rage is a prevalent issue affecting millions of drivers worldwide. It manifests as aggressive…

21 hours ago

Summertime Burn Risks for Children

It's finally summertime! Your kids are out of school, the weather is warm, and there…

3 days ago

The Illusion of Superiority and Its Affects of Drivers

As road rage incidents increasingly make headlines, it is crucial to examine the underlying psychological…

1 week ago

The Carlson Law Firm Invites Killeen to Keep It Cool With Free Kona Ice Every Friday

KILLEEN, Texas — Everyone driving by the Killeen area on Fridays all throughout June is…

1 week ago

2024 Carlson Cares Scholarships: The Carlson Law Firm Announces Winners

KILLEEN, Texas — The Carlson Law Firm is proud to announce the recipients of the…

1 week ago

Carlson Attorney Named Bell County Young Lawyer of the Year

KILLEEN, Texas – The Carlson Law Firm is proud to recognize and congratulate our family…

4 weeks ago