We Need Compassion More Than Ever

I am one of many lawyers who struggle with depression. I say “many” because according to the 2016  Hazelden Betty Ford/ABA study, 28 percent of attorneys report mild or higher levels of depression, which is a greater percentage than the general population. I am also in recovery from severe alcohol use disorder, commonly known as […]

It’s Ok To Have A Good Cry

I am the “crier” in the family. I wear it all on my sleeve. I shed tears at movie trailers. A few notes of music can turn me into a blubbering mess.  Anything that takes me back to a specific memory of growing up with my brothers or a moment with my late father, is […]

The Legal Profession’s 12-Step Problem

When I began my drug and alcohol recovery in 2007, my therapist provided two options, 12-step or residential treatment.  I chose the former and along with therapy have come to lead a self-directed life in recovery achieving what I could not envision on day one. There is no question that the connections in the 12-step […]

‘Legally Mocktail’ Your Holiday Event

It’s that time of the year again. Holiday Parties. Spiked eggnog and lampshades against the backdrop of a legal profession replete with problem drinkers. Along with that, the increased holiday risk of impaired driving, sexual misconduct, and the general, alcohol-fueled stupidity that escalates each holiday season. It makes sense now, more than ever, to re-evaluate […]

Lawyer Wellness: The Elephant In The Room

I recently got together for lunch with a long-time friend. He is a senior partner at a very respected, mid-size firm in Dallas-about sixty lawyers. In the course of catching up, we discussed my work/advocacy with regard to wellness in the legal profession.  I asked him if he or his firm had taken notice of the […]

When It Comes To Mental Health, Don’t Mind Your Own Business.

 Lawyers are 3.6 times as likely as non-lawyers to suffer from depression. We have the highest problem drinking rate. It seems like once a month I read about a lawyer dying by suicide(this month has been no exception). We are fourth in that category. It breaks my heart each time I learn that we have […]

The Sober Curious Lawyer

The sober curious movement is taking off. When I first heard the term, my baby-boomer, twelve-step mentality was to immediately associate it with “alcoholics” who wondered what it is like to be sober. I was way off target. It is a lifestyle movement being embraced by millennials at an ever-increasing rate.  “Sober curious” bars that […]

Using The Power Of Story To Break Stigma

I am often asked how law firms can empower employees to be more comfortable coming forward with mental health issues. How can they break through the fear and stigma that inhibits the healing process? The firms want to be a part of that process. Many have tools to help with it. There are wonderful, practical […]