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Acta Non Verba

Talking about lawyer wellbeing, there has been a lot of "verba" the past year or so, but very little meaningful "acta". In response to which I would say, "Quo malus est"-- which might be roughly translated as, "that's too bad".

Latin phrases are pretty common in the legal profession, which should make the title of this piece all the more compelling, but lawyers are usually slow to recognize change-- that's slow, or "tardus", in Latin.

Hunter S. Thompson (who probably studied, but most certainly did not speak Latin), once said that "anything worth doing, is worth doing right". I admit, that wasn't the kind of quote that I expected to come across when I was researching him, but putting on my lawyer hat, I would have to agree; Lawyer wellbeing most definitely is something worth doing, and it certainly is something worth doing "right", or well.

The physical fitness industry has figured out the "body" part of wellbeing-- eat right, sleep right and exercise regularly. That said, the "mind" half of the mind/body model has been largely ignored-- particularly in the workplace, where meaningful inroads can and should be made available. Particularly in the area of mental health, which is multifaceted, and frankly, misunderstood.

Mental health manifests-- and can be addressed-- in three broadly different ways. First, there are physical (medically diagnosable) conditions. Second, there are psychological (therapeutically recognized) conditions. Third, there are conditions that may not rise to the level of professional intervention but nonetheless are addressable through self-care means.

I am not a mental health professional, but anecdotally, it seems to me that for every one man or woman who may suffer from a medical or psychological condition, there are dozens of us who are off our game and can greatly benefit from the availability of self-care tools, like mindfulness and meditation.

Thanks to organizations like the state-administered lawyer assistance programs ("LAP"), medically and psychologically challenged lawyers are largely being cared for-- I am advocating for well-designed workplace initiatives that are intended to benefit the self-care crowd (and, secondarily, medically treating and psychologically treating individuals). That space needs immediate budgeting and support.

The lawyer wellbeing cause requires: Acta non verba!


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