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Competence Grounded In Wellbeing? There, Be Monsters!

For centuries, mankind embraced the notion that Earth was flat. And for centuries, mankind believed that the Sun orbited Earth. You get the idea-- things once accepted as true, remained true. Until they weren't. Much like the requirement of professional competence, among lawyers.

For decades, professional competence was defined exclusively in terms of substantive knowledge. Then, fairly recently, the definition of competence evolved in the Comments to rules (in certain States), to include familiarity with technology pertaining to one's area(s) of claimed expertise.

Most recently, I've argued-- and made the case that-- professional competence also includes wellbeing. One can't be truly competent, if one is not well-- we don't need to be Galileo or Copernicus to figure that much out. And yet, there remain a lot of doubters (apparently, we believers do need a Galileo or Copernicus)!

Is wellbeing good for businesses? Yes. Is wellbeing good for individuals? Yes. Is wellbeing good for the legal profession? Yes. So, what's the problem? Why are there so many skeptics or doubters?

Maybe some people still subscribe to the outdated fraternity-like notion that men and women today should submit to the same kind of "hazing" that prior generations had to endure when they first began practicing. If that's the case, it needs to stop-- sooner or later, a generation of lawyers must step up and say, "no more".

Taking care of people and prioritizing initiatives aimed at improving workplace wellbeing, is long overdue. That "someday" needs to be today-- the only monsters are the people who prefer to put off wellbeing until tomorrow.

I'm not proposing that the legal profession attempt to reorder the cosmos, but who knows? Maybe the profession will even earn a footnote in future history books!


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