A Message from Assist: Putting Lawyer Well-being at the Forefront

May 7, 2020

Research out of the University of Calgary indicates that Calgarians are experiencing record stress levels. It is unlikely that these findings only reflect the stress level in Calgary, as unemployment, one of the key indicators, grows throughout the province during the pandemic.

The services, programs and resources of the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist) are readily available to lawyers, students and their families during these difficult times.

While lawyers help clients with their own problems, lawyers are not exempt from having problems of their own. Even though lawyers are collectively facing changing environments due to the pandemic, everyone faces different challenges. Lawyers need to set reasonable expectations for themselves that factor in personal and professional circumstances. Self-compassion is an important resilience skill for high achieving people in challenging circumstances.

Assist knows there are lawyers and their families who are suffering at a deeper level. Assist provides free counselling services to lawyers, articling students, law students and dependent members of their immediate families. To arrange these services, please call 1.877.498.6898 from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Crisis counselling is also available 24/7 at 1.877.498.6898 – please follow the prompts and you will be connected to a registered psychologist.

Lawyers and students should ensure their dependent family members know that they can call Assist for counselling independently. Please call Assist at 1.877.737.5508 for information to provide to family members.

Assist wants to do everything that they can to support lawyers during these difficult times and throughout their careers. Please call Assist’s Executive Director, Loraine Champion, at 403.571.1066 if you have any questions or need more information.

Assist is an independent society. No personal information about who is accessing professional counselling is shared by the psychological services provider with Assist or with the Law Society.

Upcoming Sessions

Please join Assist and Karmen Masson, Certified Executive Coach, for a webinar addressing these issues:

Gloom v. Hope: Who’s Winning?
Thursday, May 14: 11 am to 12 noon
To register: email program-manager@lawyersassist.ca

One of the hardest hit groups are articling students and junior lawyers whose prospects are uncertain. Assist is partnering with Legal Education Society of Alberta to provide resources to articling students and junior lawyers who face a daunting job market (but all are welcome!).

Please save the dates for our Career Development Webinar Series.

  • Friday, May 29: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Networking
  • Friday, June 5: How to Make it Past the First Cut: What Recruiters and Employers are Looking For
  • Friday, June 12: Opening Your Own Shop: What you Need to Know Before Hanging your Shingle

Information on registration for these sessions will be shared on the Assist website shortly.