Virtual Isolation Is Hyperconnectivity Helping or Harming the Legal Professional

Virtual Isolation Is Hyperconnectivity Helping or Harming the Legal Professional

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If we stop to think about what we look at most during the day, the answer would probably not be our family or friends, nor our clients or colleagues. The most likely answer would be our mobile phones. Smartphones are now our companions for work, social, leisure, and even family life. However, excessive use can lead to problems of dependence, addiction, and fear. We find ourselves simultaneously connected and alone. Workers today are never "turned off." Like our mobile phones, we only go on standby at the end of the day as we crawl into bed, exhausted.

Gradual, incremental increases in responsibilities, duties, pressures, and demands upon lawyers, at home and at work, combined with long work days and weeks have placed our profession at risk. At some point work may dominate our lives and keep us at a chronically high level of distress, yet we are often unaware that we have lost balance in our lives. Since it does not appear that the “always-on” culture will be switching off any time soon, we must develop key strategies that can help safeguard our personal lives.

Recent studies have shown that there has been a dramatic increase in impairment due to alcoholism, addiction, and mental health disorders among members of the legal profession. The statistics are compelling and clearly indicate that one out of three attorneys will likely need substance use or mental health services at some point in their careers. And technology? What role does it play in perpetuating this public health crisis?

Attorney Brian S. Quinn, the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers of Pennsylvania, will discuss the following:

  • The early warning signs of impairment, with special emphasis on stress, anxiety, and trauma, including the mental health impact of technology in the post-COVID-19 world
  • The free services that lawyers assistance programs provide to lawyers, judges, and their family members, as well as law students
  • A close look at the barriers that prevent lawyers and judges from seeking the help they need and the role that education plays in breaking the stigma and fear associated with addiction and mental illness in the legal profession
  • Wellness strategies that can be used by legal professionals and their families
  • The ethical challenges created by the imposed isolation of the pandemic, including the role technology plays, and its possible long-lasting effect on the legal profession

Presented by: Brian S. Quinn

CLE: 1.0 ethics credit 

Approved States: AR, CA, CO, GA, IL, NJ, NV, NY, OK, PA, TN, UT, VT

(AK, AZ, CT, ND, NH, TX eligible to claim credit. MO eligible to claim general credit only.)

We will supply you with the information needed to apply in other states.

Contact for CLE assistance.

WealthCounsel members: This CLE eligible program is complimentary for WealthCounsel members.  Please access and view it here via the member website for optimal experience and inclusion in your CLE Profile Account.

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