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Should I Use My Firm’s EAP or LCL?

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) of Massachusetts, like the lawyer assistance programs in all 50 states, is in many ways based on the model of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which grew out of the early growth of the AA movement and initially focused almost entirely on alcoholism.  The first official EAP seems to have been developed by the Kemper insurance company in 1962.  Over the years, employee and lawyer assistance programs have greatly expanded their scope to include a wide range of human issues including emotional, family, and occupational sources of distress, and in many cases have been credited with saving the careers of people who would otherwise have lost their jobs.

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Sudoku – More than just a game

In a previous post I talked about the importance of working less in order to engage in different activities (working less and playing more). One such enjoyable activity might be the popular game Sudoku. If you have never played it I encourage you to check it out. In addition to being a fun activity (if you enjoy such things), the benefits of Sudoku on your brain range from improving your concentration and memory, improving analytical thinking, practicing “if, then” thinking, increasing awareness of the interdependent relationships among various factors, and it has been said that it can decrease the chances of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Tips for Practicing Good Sleep Hygiene


Getting regular, quality sleep is one of the most important factors in good physical and mental health. Our bodies need sleep in order to repair and refuel our energy. While many of us use caffeine and sugar to replace the energy we should have gotten from a good night’s sleep, nothing can replace the benefit of a night of quality sleep. And while it seems simple, regularly getting quality sleep is difficult to do. Any parent can tell you that a full night’s sleep is more of a fantasy than a reality. However, there are some practical tips (generally called Sleep Hygiene) that can help you improve your sleep experience.

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New Study on Substance Abuse, Depression, and Anxiety among Lawyers

A new study published this month in the Journal of Addiction Medicine confirms that lawyers have higher than average rates of alcohol abuse, depression and stress.  The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP) collaborated in a survey of over 12,000 attorneys in 19 states (not including Massachusetts).  We know that the legal profession is a stressful profession with prior studies showing higher rates of alcohol abuse and depression than the general population, but find it gravely concerning that the levels of substance abuse, depression and stress remain so high, particularly among younger attorneys. 

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Perfection is not your friend

Let’s be honest, everyone would like to be perfect at what they do. After all, if you were perfect, no one could ever criticize you for anything. And let the honesty continue, we all hate being criticized and judged. It just doesn’t feel good. But I assure you, you too can survive criticism (even harsh criticism). The first place to start is to reject the idea that you need to be perfect. You don’t. You’re not. No one is. And somehow we all find a way to go on surviving despite lacking perfection.

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Increase your pain tolerance in order to get the tough stuff done

One of the most stressful situations that a person can be in is when they feel they have no control. Feeling a lack of control increases stress. Lists of the most stressful jobs are often topped by jobs in which the employee feels little control over their time and workload. A CEO who is responsible for the operations of a company and the jobs of all of its employees will most often report a lower amount of stress than a middle manager who feels like he or she is stuck in between the rules of upper management and the complaints of the ground level workers. The biggest difference between those two jobs (aside from the paycheck) is the amount of control that each person feels they have within their job.

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