The Lawyer Wellness Library will cater to the legal community at large, from law students to practicing lawyers, judges, paralegals, and the support personnel for all of them.
By promoting the emotional and mental health of all parts of the legal community, the Library will serve the interests of the clients who rely on the lawyers, which will, in turn, promote the interests of the insurance companies that handle their malpractice claims. Because no area of our society is untouched by lawyering in one way or another, it stands to reason that healthy lawyers give rise to a healthier system of justice, which makes for a healthier society.
Importantly, the Library will serve the interests of the family members that care about the good health of the lawyers in their lives. Each person’s life affects so many, as It’s a Wonderful Life shows us. And when one person finds greater peace of mind, those in their circle are benefited.
The internet carries the way to managing the stress and anxiety of practicing law, but finding and exploring the many strategies that lawyers can apply to their own lives takes time, a precious commodity in the legal profession. Internet technology allows someone to curate wellness information and bring it to lawyers in a single, time-saving location, so they can promote their own well-being according to their own unique life situation.
Law firms should not bear the impossible burden of ensuring the mental stability of their lawyers, nor should their clients have to suffer the inevitable disruption to their cases when their lawyers fall apart—and we know they do in significant numbers. Making sure a firm’s lawyers have a curated collection of wellness information, above and beyond what the firms themselves can bring them, is a way to meet the needs of their lawyers to deal with the harsh realities of this challenging profession that the law firm’s leadership cannot fairly or reasonably assure.
Legal Malpractice Insurance Companies
Legal malpractice insurance companies can figure out how to make a profit in the face of clients who are injured when impaired competency results in harm, but the human costs remain incalculable. By giving this Library to all of their insureds, insurers will more than recoup the small financial cost of this Library with reduced claims—and bring peace and harmony in untold ways. The direct and third-party beneficiaries of malpractice insurance companies will benefit personally, which is a socially responsible use of insurance, sure to bring goodwill to the carriers that join this cause.
Law schools can influence the well-being of their students, but not once they leave the fold and become alumni. Once a graduating student is licensed, they are subject to a profession that has proven itself unable to protect the well-being of the legal workforce. By ensuring their students and alumni receive the Library for free, law schools can provide a broad and expert collection of wellness resources to help their students once they’re gone. All for free to the school, its students, and alumni!
Bar associations are membership-driven and, unsurprisingly, what they might say to lawyers outside their organization is mostly moot because they are assured only of reaching their members. The Library will invite all state and national associations to share the views of their members on a national platform. The Library believes that airing problems facing lawyers in the performance of their professional duties to an expanded audience will permit a robust dialogue for the betterment of our legal system and the lawyers who fuel it.
Every stakeholder whose own health depends upon the health of lawyers will profit from lawyers having greater access to wellness resources than what they are getting today. The most directly benefited stakeholders—lawyers, law firms, legal malpractice insurance companies, law schools, and bar associations—acknowledge they benefit from healthier lawyers, but indirect stakeholders also benefit when lawyers can more effectively mitigate the stress and anxiety of practicing law. After all, everything that touches the lives of people in this country has involved the input of licensed lawyers, and everyone benefits if lawyers can address their addictions, mental illness, burnout, or overriding malaise as they work in service to others.