With the work force aging and baby boomers moving toward/entering retirement, there has been an increase in dementia in the workforce. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive disease that worsens with time and impacts the person’s mental functioning in multiple areas. Symptoms often include declining memory (difficulty remembering common words, people, recent events, etc.), declining mental functioning (difficulty doing simple math, disorganization, confusion, etc.), and changes in mood and behavior (mood swings, agitation, social withdrawal, personality changes, etc.). Alzheimer’s disease is usually thought of as a disease that occurs in older adults (onset after 65 years old), but a small percentage of cases occur in those in their 40’s or 50’s (called younger-onset). Continue reading »
Many lawyers went to law school hoping to make a contribution to justice by working on behalf of the unfortunate, oppressed, and vulnerable, inspired by figures like the fictional Atticus Finch or the real life Jan Schlichtmann. Some actually end up doing this kind of work, where the demands may be less about billable hours than about dealing continuously with human pain – cases, for example, of domestic violence, tragic events, tales of torture in those seeking asylum, child neglect, and more.
Like others who work with traumatized individuals (e.g., physicians, nurses, mental health professionals), these lawyers are subject to a particular kind of stress – hearing the details of traumatic experiences in the presence of the individual who has experienced them and is still reacting to them. Often compounding the situation is a degree of relative helplessness to fix the problem in the face of various entrenched systems, very limited resources, and having to repeatedly confront some very bad realities. Continue reading »
I spent over five years working as a corporate associate for a premier Boston law firm. I was ambitious and determined to climb to the top. I naively thought that I was making choices and taking charge of my life, all in the name of success, whatever image of success was driving me at the time.
Unfortunately, the definition of “success” for a big firm associate is very narrow: you say “yes” to every assignment (even if it means working all-nighters), you become a coveted associate (which means more all-nighters, working weekends and ruined vacations), and you politely listen to the raving annual reviews, waiting for the inevitable other shoe to drop, and cringe at the obligatory constructive criticism, no matter how forced it sounds. Continue reading »