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A Lawyer Wellbeing Syllogism

I recently saw a television ad that concluded with the assertion: Health is just another word for happy-- which immediately got the lawyer-mind gears in my head, turning.

If lawyer wellbeing is to a significant degree about health (both mental and physical), and health is just another word for happy, does that mean all well lawyers are happy? I don't know about you, but if that was a question on a bar exam, I'd have to skip it and double back later-- there is a certain logic to the proposition, but it can't possibly be true, can it?

Nobody ever mistook me for Aristotle, but I do know a hawk from a handsaw (to quote Hamlet) and I did pass the Illinois bar exam once upon a time-- maybe there's something to all that joojoo surrounding lawyer wellbeing (of which mindfulness and meditation are important components), after all.

"Health"' of course, involves different things for different people-- it can be physical, or emotional, or mental-- or any combination, including all of those aspects. And "happiness" is pretty much impossible to quantify, or define. But that doesn't mean the suggested syllogism isn't true much (if not all) of the time.

I believe it really is true. Logic was never a particularly useful tool when it came to describing, or understanding, my state of being. That kind of intelligence is usually grounded in one's EQ-- as opposed to our IQ. Don't get me wrong-- I love a good syllogism, but they're really just a mind-game, and they're not always useful. They're certainly not the end all, be all.

A lot has been written about EQ and IQ, and I certainly don't need to add my thoughts to that discussion. I do know, however, that based upon my 40 years in the legal profession, a good lawyer-- certainly, an effective lawyer-- is blessed with both forms of intelligence. How lawyers communicate is every bit as important as what they have to say.

Leaders in the legal profession should recognize the insight that emotional intelligence can provide, and encourage opportunities to both recognize and cultivate EQ-- even if it is difficult to measure it, or capture it in something like an iron-clad syllogism.

EQ can be the "x factor" that propels the legal profession into the future!


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