Monday, June 3, 2019

New report on lawyers' wellness

In 2017, the ABA National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being published a report on attorney well-being which described the wellness deficiencies that exist within the legal profession and called for critical self-examination and evaluation by the members of the profession.  Since then, many bar associations have sought to identify the signs of mental health problems, to identify resources for lawyers who need treatment, and to strengthen judicial and lawyer assistance programs.  However, according to a new report of the Virginia Bar Association, little has been done to identify the reasons that explain why lawyers experience wellness problems at a disproportionate rate when compared to the public as a whole.

To explore that question, the Virginia State Bar created a task force that set out to identify specific aspects or characteristics of the practice of law that might serve as a risk to a lawyer’s well-being.

The task force's report is now available here.  The report is relatively long - 80 pages - but you should take a look at its summary, which appears in the form of a very interesting and useful chart on pages 2-11.

The chart lists a long list of "occupational risks" involved in lawyering, and for each offers a list of potential effects on the individuals, as well as practice pointers for individuals and organizations to help minimize those effects.

The list of occupational risks is listed in the table of contents which I have copied below.

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