Avoiding lawyer meltdown

Issue April 2010

by Kelsey Sadoff

The Law Practice Management Session: Avoiding Lawyer Meltdown session gave attendees the opportunity to learn what technology is available to help attorneys avoid burning out.

Lawyer meltdown can manifest itself in different ways - sometimes similar to symptoms of depression - and can occur by "ignoring little things along the way," said panelist Gina Y. Walcott of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers in Boston. Walcott outlined how positive lawyer traits can often have negative consequences. For example, a lawyer who is a perfectionist might not know "when to say when," or be so focused on work that other interests don't have a "role in your life."

"LCL is a place to go for yourself - but a place for your friends and family as well," said Walcott, who manages the only lawyer assistance program in Massachusetts.

Allison C. Shields, president of Legal Ease Consulting Inc. in New York, provided attendees with the "tools to give you a feeling of not being overwhelmed," and ideas on how to make the most of your time by:

  • Organizing your activities: How to manage what you are doing in the time you have;
  • Prioritizing: Focusing on your core tasks/clients;
  • Systems and Structures to support your practice; and
  • Delegating effectively.