In honor of Lawyer Well-Being Week 2020, we are asking our readers to share their go-to practices to staying grounded and healthy throughout their work day and their strategies to balance their life and their busy legal practices. Want to share your tricks? Enter your response at the bottom of this page.
When stressors come up during the workday, I use EFT tapping to rebalance and re-center myself. It works in a matter of minutes. When I think about work/life balance, the future of our law practices, and other deeper issues, I use EFT to acknowledge and release any underlying emotions that keep me trapped and prevent me from moving forward. EFT tapping works every time. Other techniques such as yoga, meditation, exercise and mindfulness are also in valuable tools for me.
— Sharon Ames, Ames Immigration Law PLLC, Syracuse, NY
Practicing law is, for the most part, difficult and stressful. I have found that always doing my best, and always being prepared, helps to curb a lot of the unnecessary stress. If I do my absolute best and still get an unfavorable result, I spend a lot less time stressing and beating myself up over it than I do if I underperformed or was underprepared.
— Tara J. Rose, Hahn Loeser & Parks, Cleveland
Staying motivated while working from home has been challenging. I find it most helpful to signal the start and end of the work day with a routine. Walks with the dog, cooking with the family and mental relaxation have been key to keeping me productive when I need to be.
— Ashton O’Halloran, Hahn Loeser & Parks, San Diego
Early morning me-time. Taking time to enjoy nature daily. Checking in with my (adult) kids! They always make me feel energized and loved.
— Elise Buie, Elise Buie Family Law, Seattle
Staring at an open Word document, hearing the sound of pings alerting me to new emails, all while I am trying to put out little fires left and right. I still have personal errands to run and my kid has his own obligations. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that can recenter my balance—just breathing. As I learned in therapy, I slowly breathe in through my nose, and slowly exhale out through my mouth.
— Tammy Allison, Attorney Tammy Allison, PLLC, Grand Prairie, TX
Our profession is filled with conflict. It’s hard not to absorb some of that when you are deep in litigation. When I feel down about a case, I reach out to my close colleagues and mentors. They help me shift my perspective—reminding me that clients’ problems are not our own, and often cannot be “solved” other than guiding them competently through the legal process. Being mindful of this, helps. Also, getting enough sleep and exercise!
— Adriane S. Grace, Law Office of Adriane S. Grace, Plano, TX
I think the most important way to deal with stress in a litigation environment is to not create an environment for it to fester. For example, act professionally and courteously, and people will be more likely to treat you that way in return. Additionally, deeply recognize the fact that the result of the case is not always within your control. Do your very best — this much you can control — but know in the end that the result is out of your hands.
— Wendi Sorensen, Burch & Cracchiolo, Phoenix
The stay at home order has been really hard. I have a personal trainer come into the office twice a week for scheduled movement/exercise. I also try to maintain routine and get enough sleep and good food and bring in as much fun and safe activities as possible to beat boredom.
— Billie Tarascio, Modern Law, Mesa, AZ
The way I stay centered is by having a morning and evening routine that includes something physical (exercise), something spiritual (meditation) and then something for the mind (reading). I definitely feel the difference in my day if I don’t cover all three.
— Joel Silverman, Silverman Law Office PLLC, Helena, MT
Since having my girls, I have learned so much about myself and my life’s priorities, specifically my roles as a mom, wife, lawyer, boss, friend, daughter and all the other hats working attorney moms wear. It is truly a balancing act. But, I never allow myself to forget that I am a mom first, a wife second and an attorney third. I am not afraid to say that.
— Lindsay Tygart, Coker Law, Jacksonville
Finding and maintaining work-life balance is what I find the most challenging about having a law practice. I make it a point to be intentional about making time for the things and people that matter most. I find that focusing on mindfulness keeps me centered and not so focused on the stresses of having a busy practice. I am grateful for the busy practice, nonetheless.
The next steps are to onboard multiple associates to help with the caseload as it increases.
— Christina A. McKinnon, McKinnon Legal, Miami
The one major flaw in the legal profession is that the profession is not necessarily conducive to a good family life, especially now when you are expected to be constantly connected to work. I have been blessed to have a wonderful wife, Kathy, and an amazing family. We have been able to have a good family life. A strong faith in God and a lot of prayers have certainly kept our family strong, especially when the demands of the profession have put pressure on the bonds of the family.
— David Stanush, Clark Hill Strasburger, San Antonio
It is hard to find the proverbial ‘work-life balance’ when your calendar is dependent upon the court’s calendar. My practice requires not only time spent on cases and responding to client needs, but also significant time marketing and maintaining client relationships. The firm supports these efforts through providing resources for marketing and being a leader in providing technology to work from home or other locations.
— Christine L. Tuft, Arthur Chapman, Minneapolis
I find it helpful to take spontaneous trips to silent, isolated places, like New Mexico or Death Valley to recharge.
— Tanaz Salehi, Salehi Boyer Lavigne Lombana, P.A., Miami
Join the Conversation
Share your tricks to staying sane throughout your work day or your strategies to balancing life and a busy law practice.