Are You Taking Care of Your Law Firm's Most Important Asset
March 12th, 2018
Contributor: Chris Attig
Taking care of your law firm's most important asset.
Law is a service business. We help people resolve the disputes which impact their ability to live.
That makes your law firm's most important asset ... you.
If you are a small firm owner or a solo practitioner, without you, your law firm ceases to exist. So it is important for you to take care of that asset.
Unfortunately, many of us find out the hard way that we are not taking care of ourselves.
The legal profession has the 4th highest suicide rate. Studies show that nearly 1 out of 3 attorneys suffer from depression of varying degrees. 1 out of 5 attorneys self-report as problem drinkers
I know that over 15 years of practicing law, I have struggled with burnout, exhaustion, overwhelm, extreme stress at levels which are not normal or healthy. I worry that in the past I have not been the light at the end of the tunnel for my clients, but the headlight of an oncoming train.
There are things we can do to start taking care of ourselves, and in this video I will discuss 3 things you can do - and that I strongly recommend you do - to take care of yourself.
One of those things I recommend doing is starting a mindfulness meditation practice. This is such a powerful tool - I did an experiment, and for 6 months, I did a minimum of 3 minutes of mindfulness meditation using the Headspace App. At the end of those 6 months, here are some of the changes I noticed:
- I was sleeping 7-8 hours a night (excluding middle of the night diaper changes and kiddo nightmares)
- I was able to run the Chicago Marathon despite an incredibly heavy Court briefing schedule
- I experienced a creative peak, and found the time and energy to start the VA Form 21 Blog
- My wife, family and friends commented on how much calmer and how much more fun I was to be around
In a nutshell, a short 3 minutes of mindfulness meditation each day for a 6 month period helped me become more productive with my time, creative in my work, and enjoy life more. Give it a try.
The legal profession is serious business, and the profession as a whole seems to not understand the enormity of the problem behind attorney burnout, exhaustion, stress and depression.
Observationally, from my own admittedly subjective experience, by the time an attorney starts to manifest the signs of these problems, the consequences can often be quite severe.
Once things start to go bad, the sharks start circling and things can get a lot worse in a hurry.
I can't say it enough: you are your law firm's most important asset, and your number one priority must be protecting that asset.