It’s no secret that individual lawyers are under siege in a profession with a high incidence of stress, divorce, substance abuse, and suicide. In this groundbreaking multi-dimensional collection, you can find tools and information that enable you to have both a successful career and a happy, satisfied life. These tools will teach you how to harness the transformative power of being more relational and less transactional.
The earmark of happy lawyers is the development of emotional intelligence, resilience, and mindfulness practice. The book provides the keys to the kingdom, what is essential to thrive in the competitive environment of lawyering. The material comes from recognized experts who provide step-by-step behavioral guidance of what you need to do. The material is easily accessible. Each chapter has a summary and conclusion. Follow the wisdom and it’s guaranteed to change your life and career.
Many lawyers are not convinced that they can find material personal and professional benefit by taking care of themselves. Even if they are interested in better self-care, tackling the many elements of leading a more healthy life can be daunting for hard-working professionals. Lawyer Wellbeing provides accessible and practical insights and tools from which even the most skeptical and overwhelmed can immediately pick and choose in order to start on an individual path to better mental and emotional health and success in their chosen field and beyond.
Miriam J. Frank, Leader, Talent Management Consulting, Major, Lindsey & Africa
Reading Stewart’s book is a deeply rewarding experience. When I started practicing law in 1962, lawyers focused on identifying the problems they faced in that industry, with little understanding of how to find solutions. In The Best Lawyer You Can Be, contributors are focused on how to support individual well-being while practicing law. There is a single sound, a common voice, to Stewart’s writers. By sharing their individual experiences, they deliver the tools that lawyers can use to be fulfilled within their practice. It is a must read for attorneys who feel trapped in an adversarial system and who are seeking actions they can take that support attorney well-being.
George Kaufman, author The Lawyer's Guide to Balancing Life and Work; Vice Chair and Director of Development, Omega Institute;
At this time when the legal profession is facing a crisis of well-being, Levine’s book is a timely must-read for lawyers across the country.
Bree Buchanan, J.D., Director, Texas State Bar Lawyers Assistance Program, Chair ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs
Stewart Levine has compiled one of the most important books for lawyers in a generation. An expansive follow-up to Steve Keeva’s Transforming Practices, The Best Lawyer You Can Be will indeed be a crucial ally to lawyers of all stripes seeking to improve their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. The essays and references within are primed to guide you on the path forward and upward. They represent some of the best wisdom of the modern day. I hope many lawyers are exposed to this volume early in their careers.
Doug Chermak, Esq., Mindfulness teacher and speaker for legal professionals; Former Law Program Director, Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
Stewart offers good counsel to all lawyers. This collection offers tools for crafting a rewarding and meaningful career. Each author invites readers to step away from the “in box” and take stock. The common theme: success and satisfaction follow authenticity. I came away thinking of the U.S. Marine Corp slogan – Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome. Practical exercises and advice gives readers tools to take charge of their destinies. This book is about growth, resilience, and having the life and career you want.
Susan Manch, Chief Talent Officer, Winston Strawn LLP
If we truly care about serving the interests of justice, then we must also care about the lawyers, the judges and the future lawyers (aka law students) who we rely on to serve and deliver justice. I am so grateful to the editor and authors for their commitment to this national conversation focusing on the health and well-being of the legal profession.
Michael J. Higer, 2017-2018 President, The Florida Bar Association, Partner, Berger Singerman
As someone who works closely with law students and lawyers, I can’t think of another book that I would consider a must-read as this one is for those in and about to enter the legal profession. As recent studies have reported, this is a profession that demands much of its members, and the results are often depression, anxiety, substance abuse, physical ailments, and more. Stewart Levine has brought together some of the best thinkers and practitioners in the world of lawyer wellness. The Guide not only provides practical information on wellness practices, such as mindfulness, exercising, taking care of the body, and nourishment, but also how to build resilience, emotional intelligence, and self-empowerment – the self-awareness elements that help one find and sustain satisfaction in life as a practicing lawyer. The book’s primary message is, “Put your oxygen mask on first.” As flight attendants will tell you, when in need of air, take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others. So few lawyers ever hear this message, let alone understand how to do it. The discussions on Effective Engagement – Client Service, Collaboration, Diversity, Mentoring, Pro Bono, Innovation, and leading democracy – help those in the practice of law (or those considering a life in the law) to create an environment where they can flourish and serve their clients. To anyone who is struggling to find happiness and wellness as a practicing lawyer or to those law students beginning their legal careers, the wisdom in this book has the power to transform your life and career into something meaningful, where you feel the energy and engagement to make an impact on your clients and society around you, and most importantly, enjoy your life! I know this book will be on the reading list for our law students.
Marcia Pennington Shannon, Assistant Dean, Office of Career Strategy, Georgetown Law School
I'm not a lawyer, but I have friends who are... they need this book! But they're not alone. I've coached corporate executives and their teams for three decades, helping them strengthen crucial competencies and collaboration. As I work with them, I inevitably find they need help dealing with overload, stress, and conflict. They might be brilliant, experienced leaders... but they forget to breathe. Many believe they can multitask and others talk more than they listen. I will buy them this book! Congrats Stewart for collecting just the right people to co-create this treasure trove of stories and strategies, dedicated to improving lawyers’ lives. I have no doubt it will make a big difference to your intended audience and well beyond.
Sharon Jordan-Evans, Executive Coach, Speaker, Co-author of the International Best Seller Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay, Berrett-Koehler Publishers 2014
Stewart Levine, as the editor and compiler of The Best Lawyer You Can Be, asks the question for lawyers, statistically the most unhappy of professionals: how do I practice law and hold on to my humanity—the inner promptings of my own being that bind me to what makes life worth living? Stewart asks this of his contributors, who not surprisingly answer in a wide variety of useful ways. But he also asks this of each of us. It’s all too easy to forget the idealism and vitality and zest with which many of us entered the legal profession, but somehow lost touch with amidst the pressures of professional and familial responsibilities. This book reminds us. More than merely a set of prescriptions for optimizing well-being in various domains, The Best Lawyer You Can Be reminds us of what really matters, and demonstrates that we can be lawyers and happy and fulfilled human beings. As the book demonstrates, it’s not necessarily easy, and it’s certainly not guaranteed. Yet there are many different ways we can find professional and personal fulfillment as lawyers, if we are willing to ask Levine’s question and listen to our minds, hearts and bodies for our own unique set of answers. For those of us who struggle to maintain balance and meaning in a profession that demands so much from us, The Best Lawyer You Can Be is essential reading.
Stephen H. Sulmeyer, J.D., Ph.D., lawyer, clinical psychologist, mediator and collaborative coach
Shelley Canter, PhD
Prof. Laurence Kraiger
J Kim Wright, JD
Linda Alvarez, JD
Dean Joan Bullock, JD, MBA
Larry Richard, JD, PhD
John Mitchell, JD, MBA
Anne Brafford, JD, MAPP
Elizabeth Bader, JD
William Bill Gibson, JD, MA
Anne Collier, JD
Eva Selhub, MD
Felicia Stoler, PhD
Nathalie Martin, JD
Cheryl Connor, JD
Katy Goshtasbi, JD
Edward Poll, JD, MBA
Steve Meyers, JD
Heidi Gardner, PhD
Julie Laeace, JD
Marguerite Picard, JD
Louise Phipps Senft