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|Ethically Speaking: Addiction||A lawyer who knows that a colleague is impaired bears the burden of ensuring steps are taken to protect client interests, and may carry an additional burden: worry for their colleague. Empathy, the ability to share or understand another’s experiences, can help the lawyer navigate the difficult path of addressing lawyer impairment.|
|Psychological First-Aid: Alcohol Use||Substance use is a major problem. For professionals, like lawyers, whose job is safety-sensitive and decision-critical, chronic alcohol use would put those they serve at increasing risk. On average five per cent of lawyers seeking assistance from Lawyer’s Assist present with the primary issue being alcohol and/or drug problems.|
|Assist||The mission of the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society is to provide confidential help to lawyers, law students and their immediate families with personal issues.|
|Letter from the Law Society: A Year Into Working Remotely||The move to and continuation of remote working, and the other social restrictions with which we have become all too familiar, are focused on protecting our families, our work families, our clients and society at large.|
|Ethically Speaking: Competence and Wellness||If competence means doing something successfully or efficiently, a lawyer’s competence includes additional esoteric components.|
|CPD Tips: Wellness||Wellness is vital to daily living and a key component of competency, as we cannot be competent and help others if we are not well.|
|Fostering a Healthy Workplace for the LGBTQ Community||Lawyers, law firms, and law societies seeking to create a culture of inclusion and to support LGBTQ colleagues, staff, or clients, may find these tips helpful|
|Get a Practice Plus-One|
If you practice on your own, you may also have noticed how hard it is to take a vacation or just step back from the details of practice for a while.
|Psychological First-Aid: Helping the Stressed/Distressed Individual|
The stress and distress that we experience is the result of many factors including work, family, finances, parenting, health, and fear about the future, to name a few.
|Word on Wellness: How to Talk About Addiction With Dignity|
Words matter and when it comes to talking about the disease of addiction, we can all do a little better and expand our vocabulary to those living with or experiencing the impact of substance use disorder.
|Ethically Speaking: Immune-Compromised Work Expectations|
What should I do if I’m immune compromised or someone in my family is immune-compromised but I’m still expected to come into work?
|Letter from Assist: Lawyers and Substance Use|
While we do not have a current study of Alberta lawyers, or even Canadian lawyers, and their consumption of alcohol and other substances during the pandemic, other research suggests that it is likely that some Alberta lawyers are drinking more during the pandemic. What does this mean for us as a community?
|Letter from the Law Society: Let’s Not Return to ‘Normal’|
Once our work environment returns to ‘normal’, however that looks for each of us, many of the same issues that contributed to the decline in our mental health pre-pandemic will continue to exist. Many of us will still face excessive working hours, high pressure and competitive environments, high-conflict situations, and be subject to both internal and external unrealistic standards of perfection. The transition may also come with its own additional stressors.
|Mental Health in the Legal Profession: Your Obligations and How to Help|
If you suspect a mental health issue is affecting another lawyer’s practice, what should you do?
|Preparing for Parental Leave||Preparing for maternity or parental leave may be a cause of stress and anxiety for both lawyers and law firms.|
|Psychological First-Aid: Stepping Up to the Plate||Psychological First-Aid (PFA) is an evidence-based intervention designed to reduce an individual’s level of stress or distress and to foster short and long-term adaptive functioning and coping. It is a supportive intervention designed to help the individual help themselves.|
|Letter from Assist: Q&A on Assist Trends over 25 Years With Bob Philp, QC||Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist) has been helping Alberta lawyers for 25 years. Bob Philp, QC, who has served as a director of Assist through this entire period, talks about how the “lawyers helping lawyers” movement has developed during this time.|
|Letter from the Law Society: The Well-being Matrix – Why Equity, Diversity and Inclusion are Essential to a Healthy Legal Profession||Each day in addition to the rigors of practising law, some of us, because of who we are and how we identify, weigh our words, check our facial expressions, agonize over a hand gesture and, wonder if our setting an otherwise reasonable boundary is being interpreted as rude.|
|Letter from Assist: Trends in Assist Usage During the Pandemic||Individual circumstances have caused large variations in individual stress and distress levels. What can we learn about how Alberta lawyers and students are managing?|