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Well-Being Week in Law 

The Massachusetts Bar Association invites all MBA members to take part in Well-Being Week in Law (WWIL) from May 6-10, 2024. WWIL is an event created by the Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL) and sponsored by the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Program’s Well-Being Committee. 

Participate in WWIL in Massachusetts by engaging in one or more of the daily activities found in your morning wellness email, and other events listed below during this wellness week.

WWIL Monday 2024

Moving Together: Experiments in Movement, Exercise, & Dance

We are kicking off WWIL 2024 with a fun opportunity to learn and experience the benefits of moving with other people. Moving together has positive effects on the body and mind.

First, all kinds of physical activity boost mood and vitality. When we do it regularly, it can prevent and improve symptoms of depression and anxiety and can improve memory, attention, learning, and cognitive processing. On the other hand, people who sit most of the day are at a higher risk for depression and a host of physical health problems.

Also, when we become absorbed in synchronized movement with others (especially when in person), our brains release chemicals that boost feelings of connection and belonging and reduce pain.

This program will offer multiple sessions with expert leaders for different types of movement. You can join any session in which you’re interested. Feel free to turn your camera off. Absolutely no experience necessary.

For more information and to register for different sessions, click here.

WWIL Tuesday 2024

Guided Mindfulness

Please join Dr. Tracey Meyers, staff clinician at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, for a guided mindfulness session from 9-9:30 a.m. tailored for attorneys to enhance their well-being and focus. Dr. Meyers will also provide a brief overview of how to start a mindfulness practice or continue to build on an existing one to manage the stressful demands of the legal profession (hosted by Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and the Mindfulness in Law Society).

For more information and to register for this event, click here.

Breaking Up with Alcohol: How and Why to Drink Less to Be Your Best

Amy Guldner, a practicing lawyer and certified coach focused on alcohol-free flourishing, will share her personal story of breaking up with alcohol as well as skills, tools, and inspiration to experiment with less alcohol in your life. For years, Amy was unable to acknowledge that her daily drinking had become a problem because she still was productive and functional. After questioning whether functional was enough given her devotion to her family, friends, and work, she chose to hit the pause button on alcohol four years ago—and never hit restart. Because her life was happier and healthier after breaking up with alcohol, she has continued to choose an alcohol-free life—and wants to help others do so. Like Amy, many are choosing to drink less—with 28% of adult Americans not drinking at all in 2023, and 41% saying they’re trying to drink less in 2024. Why so? Drinking less can improve the quality of your work, personal life, relationships, and health. Even small changes can make a big difference. This session can help get you started on making doable, small changes that can lead to positive transformations.

For more information and to register for this event, click here.

WWIL Wednesday 2024

Well-Being Lab: Turning Knowing into Doing with Playful Experimentation

Presenters: Dr. Anne M. Brafford, JD, MAPP, PhD, and Tara Owens Antonipillai, JD, MAPP

Feeling frustrated that your New Year’s well-being resolutions fizzled out by May? Ditch the guilt and disappointment and join the Well-Being Lab: your fresh start to make sustainable change for greater health and happiness.

​​Science tells us which well-being strategies benefit people “on average.” That’s helpful. But it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll work for you. Or that they’ll work forever. Also, most of us know many things we should do to protect and promote our well-being. But busy lives and ingrained habits get in the way.

Because everyone is different, there’s no one-size-fits-all well-being strategy. This means that we each need to figure out what works for us and how to sustainably integrate it into our own complicated, changing lives. How do we do this? Self-experiments can help. The gist of self-experimentation is to try different things, figure out what’s working for you, and then keep doing things that work. And the more fun we have doing it, the more likely that we’ll keep experimenting and integrating our learning into our lives.

For more information and to register for this event, click here.

WWIL THursday 2024

Realizing Your True Potential: An Evening with The Performance Whisperer, George Mumford, and Local Attorneys (hosted by the Supreme Judicial Court Standing Committee on Lawyer Well-Being, the IWIL, the MBA, and the Boston Bar Association): 4-6 p.m.

This special program will feature George Mumford, a.k.a. The Performance Whisperer, a globally recognized speaker, teacher, person in long-term recovery, and pioneer in sports psychology and performance. Since 1989, he’s been honing his groundbreaking performance and mindfulness techniques with people from locker rooms to board rooms, Yale to jail — as Phil Jackson’s "Secret Weapon" to winning eight NBA Championships, helping Michael Jordan transform his leadership and teaching Kobe Bryant to “just be.”

Mumford's strategies that utilize mindfulness, self-regulation and self-awareness work in all high-stress environments, including the practice of law. Mumford will help us to understand how unlocking these strategies can impact our performance and happiness in the profession. 

The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion among lawyers and lawyer-athletes.

For more information and to register, click here.

WWIL FRiday 2024

Legal Well-Being in Massachusetts: Impressions a Year After the NORC Report with Dr. Jeff Fortgang, Clinician at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, and Amy Levine, Director of Programs and Volunteers at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (Hosted by Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers): Noon-1 p.m.

When the NORC study was published in February 2023, it revealed high rates of depression, burnout, and hazardous drinking among Massachusetts lawyers, reflecting a national trend. Since then, what progress has been made?

Join us to review signs of movement, on the part of law firms, bar associations, law schools, and other legal organizations, toward improving the well-being of the over 60,000 lawyers across Massachusetts.

We’ll explore:

  • Where we were: A review of the NORC study findings from one year ago.
  • Where we are now: A glimpse of initiatives and programs launched since the study.
  • Where we are going: A discussion on emerging trends and aspirations for the future of lawyer well-being in Massachusetts.

This is an opportunity to learn more about how the legal profession in Massachusetts is addressing mental health and creating a more supportive environment for its members.

For more information and to register, click here.

Share Your Well-Being-Boosting Passion

How legal professionals invest their non-work time and energy can have a big impact on their mental health and work engagement. But many feel so busy and tired from work that their non-work activities dwindle. It can become a vicious cycle. We want to help. The aim of this program is to provide inspiration and resources to try out new well-being-boosting activities outside work.

Session leaders will:

  • Share activities they do to disconnect from work, revitalize their energy, stave off burnout and feed their soul.
  • Explain how they fit their passion into their busy lives and give suggestions to others for doing so.
  • Provide tips and resources.

For more information and to register, click here.