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I’m a Stakeholder in the Lawyer Well-Being Umbrella

Lawyer well-being is a hot topic these days and there are great efforts being made to address it at both national and local levels.  Here are some statistics that demonstrate the gravity of the problem and the need to concentrate on it:

There are other similarly stark numbers with respect to divorce rates among lawyers.  In addition, the profession generates significant impacts on relationships between lawyers and those who live and work with them that cannot be captures as data or statistics. 

It’s a known fact that divorce has typically been higher for lawyers than the population in general, with a regrettable competition between lawyers and doctors to see which profession generated a higher percentage of breakups (unfortunately, lawyers have recently started to edge out doctors in the past few years.)

The ABA put out a “Defining Lawyer Well-Being Model,” accompanied by the tagline: “A continuous process in which lawyers strive for thriving in each dimension of their lives.”  The model identifies six dimensions in which lawyer well-being can be evaluated:

  • Occupational
  • Intellectual
  • Spiritual
  • Emotional
  • Social, and
  • Physical 

As a spouse of a lawyer, I fit within the “social” dimension and I am a stakeholder in the lawyer’s well-being umbrella based on my role as a significant relationship and/or spouse.

The ABA defined “well-being” in this dimension as “Developing a sense of connection, belonging and a well-developed support network while also contributing to our groups and communities.”

Ester Perel, noted psychotherapist, author and TED speaker says, “The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives.”  As human beings we’re wired for connection.

Healthy relationships can help to enhance and alleviate some of the unique pressures of the legal profession that affect both lawyers and the “other partners” at home or in other interpersonal relationships.

Through “Living with Lawyers,” I am seeking to address this issue and offer resources for lawyers and those who live and work with them to succeed in the social dimension identified in the ABA’s Model, providing ideas and resources to create awareness and assist in this “continuous process.”

In its Well-being Model, the ABA stated: “We feel that better relationships contribute to better wellness and better work.”  I applaud the ABA and its efforts on all levels to shed light on these issues and provide important information for all involved.

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