You Don’t Have to Be a Punching Bag

If the main rules of real estate are “location, location, location,” then the main rules of thriving emotionally in the field of law are “boundaries, boundaries, boundaries.” You can preserve your emotional and mental health by establishing firm boundaries early in the legal career. These boundaries will help you successfully navigate all of the ego-damaging obstacles along the way.

Some boundaries, like drawing the line about how late you are going to check that flashing BlackBerry on a Friday night, are obvious. Other boundaries are equally as crucial, but it’s slightly more difficult to recognize their importance when you are just starting out your legal career and are eager to advance. The determination to excel and the mental stamina required to climb the metaphorical legal ladder are very admirable. It takes a special kind of personality and strength of character to be willing to compete in the field replete with aggressiveness and power games. The legal discipline embodies survival of the fittest at its best.

To survive, developing the instinct of self-preservation is a must. In this case, we are talking about the preservation of a stable self-image, which leads to the preservation of the emotional and mental well-being.

The self-image of a young lawyer can get attacked from a myriad of directions:

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Many New Lawyers are in Rough Shape – Tell Me Something I Didn’t Know

A report published last month by Wisconsin’s state bar, based on a survey of new lawyers, found that newly admitted attorneys faced “huge law school debt, unemployment, underemployment, or inadequate pay,” along with fewer opportunities for training.  The result, of course, is not only economic depression but emotional depression.  (Click here to read the Wisconsin Bar article.)

None of this comes as a surprise to me as a clinician at LCL, 

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Sailing on Troubled Waters: Helping the Attorney in Crisis

Seating Limited. Complimentary Lunch. Register here. This program will provide a framework for managing partners, law firm administrators and human resource personnel to respond appropriately when law firm personnel are demonstrating signs of a mental health or substance abuse crisis. You will…

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