Attention:

The Elephant in the Room: Addressing Mental Health and Wellness of Legal Professionals


Level: Advanced
Runtime: 92 minutes
Recorded Date: March 30, 2020
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Agenda

  • Identifying Depression & Anxiety
  • What you could/should do
  • Formula for the "difficult conversation"
  • Tips for creating a health workplace
  • Self-Care as a Core Competence
  • Barriers to Help-Seeking
  • Ending the stigma of seeking help
Runtime: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Recorded: March 30, 2020

Description

Prior studies have confirmed that 28% of licensed, employed attorneys suffer from depression. The pressure of meeting deadlines, job loss, and financial burdens are a few of the many issues legal professionals are faced with. Although the industry has witnessed an increase in resources, many still suffer in silence, particularly those in the first 10 years of practice.

This seminar will address the signs of depression and anxiety and provide outlets for improving well-being in the legal industry.

This program was recorded on March 30th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association

Panelists

Andrea L. Colby

Principal
Pro Se, LLC

Andrea Colby is a certified professional coach and an intellectual property attorney with over 30 years of experience in the legal profession in New York and New Jersey. Throughout her career, Andrea has worked for notable firms including: Johnson & Johnson, Morgan and Finnegan and Union Carbide and has provided a full range of substantive intellectual property legal support for clients including patent preparation and prosecution, patent litigation strategy, trademark and copyright litigation, patent interferences and client counseling.

In addition to her work as an attorney, Andrea provides deep expertise to her coaching clients helping them work through key areas of transition both personally and professionally and develop a strategic plan to maximize their development and achieve their goals. Andrea is particularly versed in the legal profession and understands firsthand what it takes to be successful in the legal field.

Andrea lectures extensively on topics related to professional practice (specializing in communication), patent and intellectual property law for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, the annual “Joint Patent Practice Seminar” sponsored by New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania IP Law Associations and at the Practicing Law Institute in New York. Andrea also serves on the Board of Trustees of Albany Law School of Union University, chairing the Board’s Career Services Committee.

Andrea is also very active in her community and plays a key leadership role in support of non-profit organizations including Young Audiences of New Jersey and Congregation Neve Shalom. She has also served on the Boards of the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra and TADA! Children’s Theatre in Manhattan.

Andrea obtained her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, her J.D. from Albany Law School of Union University and her M.A. in Organizational Management from the Fielding Graduate Institute. Andrea is also a graduate of the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching program where she obtained her coaching credentials. She is an International Coaching Federation accredited Associate Certified Coach and a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator certified practitioner.

Bree Buchanan

Senior Advisor
KRILL Strategies

Bree Buchanan draws upon her extensive professional knowledge and experience to help legal employers excel in creating a culture of well-being. She is the founding co-chair of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being and is a co-author of its groundbreaking 2017 report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change. Bree is chair of the ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs (2017-2020), which works to ensure assistance is readily available for those in the legal community experiencing issues related to substance use or mental health issues.

Prior to joining Krill Strategies, she was the Director of the Texas Lawyers Assistance Program, where she regularly worked with individual lawyers experiencing behavioral health issues, and with legal employers who were seeking resources and support for their staff. Her tenure with that program followed a two-decade legal career which included positions as a litigator, lobbyist and law professor. As Senior Advisor with Krill Strategies, Bree provides consultation on issues related to lawyer well-being and impairment for major legal employers.

Ms. Buchanan is a frequent speaker for international and national law-related organizations, as well as global law firms on strategies for lawyer well-being and impairment. In 2018, she was awarded the “Excellence in Legal Community Leadership Award” by Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. She has shared her own story of recovery as a featured guest on podcasts in the United States and Canada. Ms. Buchanan’s writing has appeared in Law Practice Today, Judicature, The American Lawyer, and Family Lawyer Magazine, as well as Lawyer Health and Wellbeing: How the Legal Profession is Tackling Stress and Creating Resiliency (Ark Group, 2020).

In 2018, she graduated from the Seminary of the Southwest with a Masters in Spiritual Formation, where she honed a deep interest in the intrinsic link between meaningful work and personal well-being, as well as in assisting individuals with vocational discernment. Ms. Buchanan tends to her own well-being by engaging in a regular meditation practice, cycling, rowing, and being willing to ask for help when she needs it.


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