By Greg Dorst
When great ideas spring forth from a demonstrated need, it is important to support the idea, to nurture it and bring it into being. There is such an idea currently taking shape and crying out for support. Imagine a virtual experience where any issue affecting attorney wellness can be researched, strategized, understood and perhaps even solved. Imagine a virtual Lawyer Wellness Library where every cutting-edge article, video, podcast, book, interview, scientific study and solution -based resource can be accessed; a “place” where attorney wellness as a many faceted objective, is the focus; where everything necessary to achieve a goal, understand a problem and access a solution is at the fingertips of anyone seeking this knowledge or guidance. Allow yourself to understand the scope of such an idea and the many lives and careers that can be positively affected or even saved by such a resource.
This idea is unfolding as a reality. It is a monumental undertaking and is the brainchild of California attorney Janet Sobel who has, with the help of a small number of volunteers founded a nonprofit entity that has established the initial virtual architecture for this monumental resource. The Lawyer Wellness Library will feature access to and information about every conceivable wellness topic including:
- Lawyer physical health issues, strategies and resources to overcome Substance Use Disorders, Eating Disorders, nutritional and exercise needs for optimal health and performance, pandemic information and strategies for healthful living during challenging times and cutting-edge information on brain health;
- Lawyer emotional and mental health issues, helping to raise awareness, foster understanding and acceptance of our feelings and personal circumstances along with the tools to manage professional and personal challenges and change;
- Lawyer intellectual health promoting cognitive functioning as well as research concerning cutting-edge brain science which includes neuroplasticity and brain healing;
- Lawyer financial and occupational health combining resources and strategies for the unique challenges which attorneys face including career change and retirement;
- Lawyer spiritual and environmental health providing resources and strategies for creating passion and purpose in life along with healthy interaction with nature;
- Lawyer Assistance Programs and their supporting Boards and Commissions within the 50 states along with all of the information and research that these entities want lawyers to know;
- Private nonprofits such as the Other Bar, designed to bring struggling lawyers together to form communities to solve their common problems; and
- Wellness studies past and present along with interactive discussions concerning their efficacy and application to the lawyering community and its changing landscape.
The list of information and topics is endless and will be added to, updated and enhanced as new and important information and experience is derived. This project is monumental in scope and will provide a resource which is currently unavailable and heretofore unimaginable. All healthcare providers and researchers who have a stake in lawyer wellness as well as legal associations and individual lawyers who care about the future of lawyering are invited to be part of the process of development and curation. Nowhere in the vast regions of the virtual world is there a resource where every person and entity can access cutting edge health and wellness information, tailored for the legal profession and communicate with other individuals, authors and entities instantly. The availability of personal “dashboards” to manage selections, conversations and contributions will create a space where lawyers can not only visit but use and become a part of the wellness process.
The Lawyer Wellness Library is more than a pet project of Janet Sobel, a 40-year civil lawyer who is passionate about and committed to lawyer wellness. In her years as a practicing attorney she has seen the physical, emotional, social and professional struggles of lawyers and wondered why bar associations, firms and governing entities were seemingly unable to help. Ms. Sobel is out to benefit all of us; she can achieve a lot of good with our help. Our humanity coupled with our many talents as lawyers can create something wonderful.
Any offer of help will be appreciated; Janet would love to hear from you. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and her phone number is (619) 261-6165. This is an idea that must come into being. It is most certainly an idea whose time has come.