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Florida Lawyers Helpline: Call 833-351-9355

Florida Lawyers Helpline Call 833-351-9355 Get Help
Mental Health and Wellness Center
The Bar’s Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee is working to destigmatize mental illness, recommend best practices and remedies, and help bring more balance into members’ daily professional lives.

Why we need to talk about Lawyers' Mental Health

Help is available


Florida Lawyers Helpline


This free and completely confidential service connects members with professional counselors. Calls are always free. You may be referred for up to five free counseling sessions per year to help you develop strategies to overcome life’s challenges, balance priorities, and better handle both personal and professional pressures.

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Please note: The helpline is for Florida Bar members and is not a referral service to find a lawyer or make a complaint against a lawyer.

Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc.

FLA provides programs and services to assist attorneys, judges, law students, and other legal professionals who may be impaired in their ability to function in a legal setting. The backbone of FLA is a support network of recovering attorneys and judges who wish to carry the message to fellow members of their profession that recovery is possible. FLA also offers help to those suffering from depression and other mental illnesses.

Learn more

eVideo Counselor

eVideo Counselor provides online face-to-face video counseling with licensed mental health therapists. Florida Bar members and their families save more than 20% per session.

Activate Member Benefit


Calm Meditation and Sleep App

Florida Bar members receive a more than 50% discount on the price of a one-year subscription to Calm, the No. 1 app for meditation and sleep.  After you complete your order, you will receive an email with instructions to redeem your product.

Find Your Calm

Waking Up with Sam Harris

Waking Up is much more than a meditation app, and over 40,000 five-star reviews attest to this. Discover daily mindfulness and meditation with Sam Harris—neuroscientist, philosopher, and best-selling author—and explore the theory behind the practice.



Fresh Meal Plan

Florida Bar members receive a 15% discount on Fresh Meal Plan, a service that delivers healthy, fresh meals right to your home. With over 500 rotating options, there’s something for everyone! When it’s time to eat, just heat and enjoy — ready in three minutes or less.

Try Fresh

Physical Health


Florida Bar members are eligible for YMCA Corporate Membership at no cost to join and 10% off the monthly membership at 124 participating YMCA locations in 37 countries.

Join the Y

Mental Health and Wellness Organizations

This comprehensive listing of state, national and online mental health and wellness resources was compiled by Attorney Mental Health Education, Inc.


Broward County-Fort Lauderdale-24 Hour Suicide/Mental Health Hotline

Dade County-Switchboard of Miami – 24 Hour Crisis/Suicide Prevention
305-358-HELP (4357)

Florida Lawyers Helpline

Florida Lawyers Assistance Inc.

Mental Health Resource Center

Miami Dade Homeless Trust
305-375-CARE (2273)

Miami Rescue Women

National Alliance on Mental Illness of Florida

South Florida Behavioral Health Network

South Florida Behavioral Health Network-Miami Dade & Monroe County Mental Health & Drug Treatment


Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Cocaine Anonymous (CA)

Debtors Anonymous (DA)

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

National Domestic Violence Hotline

National Helpline For Judges Helping Judges

National Hopeline Network
1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24/7

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Deaf & Hard of Hearing

United Way 211

Continuing Legal Education Videos

The Florida Bar produces free health and wellness webinars and videos, many of which are eligible for continuing legal education credit. Here is just a sampling of what’s available.

Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism

The Bar’s Center for Professionalism has produced a free, three-part CLE series focused on helping lawyers maintain work-life balance.

  • Session One — Lunch and Learn with Justice Alan Lawson
  • Session Two — Preventing the Other Pandemic: Lawyer Suicide Awareness and Tools for Prevention
  • Session Three — Three Giant Steps Inside to Health, Happiness & Success in the Law

Watch the Well-Balanced Lawyer Series

LegalFuel: The Practice Resource Center of The Florida Bar

Young Lawyers Division Health & Wellness Video Series

The Young Lawyers Division hosts live webinars throughout the year, and many happen during the month of May. The webinars are FREE and may help you earn continuing legal education credits.

Browse the Health & Wellness Video Series

#StigmaFreeYLD Campaign

The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division launched the #StigmaFreeYLD campaign to help end the stigma over mental health and illness in our profession. The campaign website includes the stories of attorneys who have struggled with mental illness but have gone on to build successful practices and find joy in their lives by taking action to seek help.

The Florida Bar Podcast

Substance Use and Mental Health Toolkit for Law School Students and Those Who Care About Them

This toolkit is a collaborative effort of the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. It was created by hundreds of individuals around the country to provide pre-law advisors, law school administrators, counseling personnel, faculty, students, student leaders, and lawyer assistance programs with a user-friendly resource to deal with mental health and substance use within your respective schools.

Download the Toolkit

Mental Health Well-Being Tool Kit for law Students

Well-being Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

ABA Wellbeing Toolkit for Lawyers and Legal Employers

Developed by Anne Brafford for the American Bar Association.

Download the Well-Being Toolkit

80 Tips for Lawyer Thriving

ABA Well-Being Toolkit Nutshell

Developed by the American Bar Association’s Presidential Working Group to Advance WellBeing in the Legal Profession.

Download the Nutshell Version

Here you’ll find news from The Florida Bar News and Journal, research, and state and national articles.

Articles From The Florida Bar News

Perry Mason and the Present Moment

This month’s column meanders like a river, flowing from television’s most popular trial attorney, to a largely forgotten courageous and mistreated state prosecutor, to the practice of mindful listening. A current running through this river is Native American Heritage Day, legislation signed into law by George Bush so designating the Friday following Thanksgiving. Televisions Most…

‘How Mindfulness Helped Me Win a Jury Trial’

In this month’s column, trial attorney Roger Feicht shares some of the ways the practice of mindfulness meaningfully influenced the course of a fiercely contested federal trial. He writes that “it is indisputable that a few simple mindfulness practices helped me perform at my highest level as a trial attorney.” Roger wrote of his experience…

Bar Mental Health and Wellness Committee announces expanded services

The confidential Florida Lawyers Helpline is expanding services offered to Florida lawyers, the Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee reported October 20 during the Bar’s Fall Meeting. CorpCare, which provides confidential, round-the-clock support as the vendor responsible for operating the Florida Lawyers Helpline (833-351-9355), recently upped the number of free therapy sessions available…

Bar provides hurricane recovery resources for lawyers and the public

As the cleanup and recovery from Hurricane Ian continues, The Florida Bar Hurricane Information page includes important and timely updates on court closures and other resources for lawyers and consumers alike. “Unfortunately, Florida is no stranger to hurricanes,” said Bar President Gary Lesser and Communications Committee Chair Josh Chilson in an email last week to every…

The Elements of a Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness practices and the law have a lot in common. Both are pathways for moving from confusion and conflict to clarity and calm. The former we tend to regard as an internal process; the latter we regard as external. Yet bringing greater clarity and calm into an environment (be it the courtroom, boardroom, or deposition)…

Inhale the future, exhale the past: New group looks to help Florida lawyers de-stress

Stress in the legal community is well documented. Lawyers and judges work in an adversarial system with demanding schedules and heavy workloads that often contributes to increased stress. A survey conducted by the ABA last summer showed that more than 40% of lawyers reported their overall work-related stress had increased. In the same survey, when…

The Mindful Lawyer: A License to Breathe

It is said that mindfulness practices are simple, but not easy. The same can be said about relaxation practices. The instructions are straightforward enough — for example, take a few slower, deeper breaths — but for a variety of fascinating reasons, they can be difficult to implement. Doing so, especially amid times of high stress,…

Mindfulness in a war zone

The study and practice of mindfulness draws on a variety of wisdom traditions spanning across the ages. One of the most well-respected and researched mindfulness training programs, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), is taught across the globe as teachers and students hail from hundreds of countries — from Canada to Australia, Brazil to Japan, and South Africa…

Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee gets high marks

The Board of Governors has signed off on a favorable review of the Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee that includes a recommendation to request a promotion budget for a signature achievement, the Florida Lawyers Helpline. At a May meeting in Tampa, the board voted unanimously to approve the review, which included a…

The Mindful Lawyer: Waking Up This Summer

Did you notice the trees swaying in the breeze the last time you were outside? Did you observe the gentle movement of leaves and flowers? It’s certainly easy to get so caught up in our thoughts that we miss the beauty in our midst. If you can relate to this, the presence of trees and…

The Mindful Lawyer: Being Present for Your Experience

In today’s column we are going to reverse engineer a popular mindfulness practice known as Focused Attention. Doing so will help clarify what is meant by being present, a term familiar to many that can come across as too vague to be helpful. Afterall, what does it mean to be present? Aren’t we always present?…

Mindfulness and Gratitude: Then and Now

In today’s column you’ll learn a gratitude practice called “Then and Now” that can be a meaningful way to bring moments of heartfelt appreciation into your day. As this practice may be new to you, slowly ease into it and practice at specially carved out times. Importantly, it offers you the opportunity to relate to…

Searching for Mindfulness

If asked for the most direct route to practice mindfulness — the simplest instruction, the most bang for the buck — a pretty good answer would be “pay attention to the breath.” Most every guided mindfulness practice offers pointers and reminders for doing just this. For example, the common instruction “and should you notice your…

Mindful Walking: Transform everyday moments of walking into a beneficial mindfulness practice

The New Year is offering many of us cool mornings, blue skies, and a bright sun that beckon us outdoors to take a walk. In previous columns we have explored the four primary mindfulness practices of focused attention, body scan, open monitoring, and connection that tend to be done sitting down. This month we consider…

Mindfulness and Holiday Hurricanes

Even though hurricane season is over, we can still expect a few holiday hurricanes. Things like rooms filled with the debris of hastily opened gifts — wrapping paper, ribbons, glitter, bubble wrap, and boxes strewn across the floor.  And you know what it’s like after the holiday meal — the empty glasses, dirty plates and…

The relevance of mindfulness to the work of legal professionals

This month I’d like to reacquaint you with one of the world’s leading authorities on the science of mindfulness. Dr. Amishi Jha is a cognitive neuroscientist who, back in 2018 contributed to this column by responding to a reader’s question on the influence of mindfulness practices on the brain. Her just released book, “Peak Mind:…

The Mindful Lawyer: ‘So, gather your monkeys and squirrels and let them loose in the garden of your imagination’

In today’s column we’ll explore a practice that traipses into the territory of mind wandering, yet more precisely meanders into the creative realm of daydreaming. A variant of a focused attention practice, we could refer to it as unfocused attention. Rather than directing attention to a fixed object, like the breath, we establish mind wandering…

Balancing on the Breath

Life is a balancing act. Meaningful engagement with work, family, friends, community, and ourselves can often be challenging given how we over-extend ourselves, underestimate how long things will take, and are continually presented with new requests and changing circumstances. Life is also a balancing act when interacting with people whose positions differ from our own….

The Mindful Lawyer

Members of the legal profession are often motivated by a desire to help others and to alleviate their distress. So basic is this ethic that many lawyers work tirelessly, worry a great deal, and feel the weight of not just one client’s burdens, but many. And as much good as this does for our clients,…

The Mindful Lawyer: Resistance is Fertile

It’s early morning and you’re on your way to meditate when you abruptly turn around and get back in bed. Or maybe it’s mid-day and a few minutes into your focused-attention mindfulness practice your monkey mind catapults you out of your seat to check for a text message. Perhaps it’s the end of the day…

Group counseling sessions help lawyers who are mothers

One participant talked about her recent miscarriage. Another, contemplating becoming a mother, asked how other attendees balanced pursuing professional excellence with parenthood. The setting was a weekly group counseling session for women attorneys who are also mothers. It is the product of a partnership between the Bar’s Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee…

Mindfulness Without Meditation

This column frequently offers instructions and tips to engage in a variety of basic mindfulness practices. Today we look at a method of cultivating greater mindful awareness—advanced by a world-famous psychologist—that does not involve mindfulness meditation.  If you enjoy practicing mindfulness, the work of Ellen Langer will add to your appreciation of mindfulness. If it…

Mental Health and Wellness panel to reimagine law practices

A reimagining of the practice of law in a way that helps lawyers improve their mental health and wellness will be a top priority of the Bar’s Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee in the coming year. New committee Chair Karl Klein also wants committee members to attend an all-day mental-health first aid…

Bar’s mental-health efforts build on a solid foundation

For Bar President Dori Foster-Morales, awareness grew following the December 2013 suicide of prominent Miami criminal defense attorney Richard Sharpstein. “He had the gift of gab, the best joke teller,” she said. “There was no way you thought that this guy suffers from mental health or depression issues. It was to me shocking that this…

Mental Health Awareness Month: Take the steps you need to flourish

My term as president began in the middle of a global pandemic that catapulted our familiar, traditional way of work into our makeshift home offices — for many of us — our kitchen tables. We went from frequent in-person interactions with co-workers and clients to only seeing each other through a tiled screen. Going into…

The Mindful Lawyer: Becoming self-aware of your inner critic can go a long way to being free from its painful messaging

For the past 20 years, the legal profession has been taking note and exploring the potential role mindfulness practices can play in the law. Here in Florida, in the last three weeks alone, members of the Florida Bar’s Tax Law Section, Tampa’s Ferguson White Inns of Court, and the Southern District of Florida’s Bankruptcy Bar…

Mental Health First Aid training minds the business of our community

Ferd & Gladys Alpert Jewish Family Service (Alpert JFS) is taking the lead in Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), destigmatizing mental illness, and working to make mental health education as common as CPR training! The program is appropriate for everyone who has an interest in making a positive contribution to our community, but is particularly…

Committee promotes health and wellness resources for judges

Even in the best of times, managing a judicial docket can be a stressful undertaking. Trials, hearings, motions, filings, not to mention addressing expectations from the parties, can be exhausting. The Bar’s Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee is reaching out to about 1,000 of the state’s judges to remind them of resources…

Brushing Up on Mindfulness

You have probably brushed your teeth today, doing so for two reasons: fresh breath and maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Many tubes of toothpaste provide messages like: “regular brushing can help fight cavities and leave your breath feeling fresh.”  If practicing mindfulness were described in a similar way it might read something like, “regular practicing…

Lessons learned from enduring a long-haul illness

Reports of the spread of COVID-19 were everywhere but Florida and its court system were still open and functioning on Tuesday, March 3, last year when a mid-Florida attorney felt flu symptoms. It launched the attorney, who asked that her name not be used, on a more than year-long journey dealing with not only a…

The Mindful Lawyer: Working with fear and anxiety

The practice of law — and the living of life — is met from time to time with experiences that can generate fear based on present-moment threats to our wellbeing, and can set in motion a sense of anxiety and dread over troubling matters that potentially lay on the horizon. Both offer important signals to…

The Mindful Lawyer: Heart-opening practices

The imagery most frequently associated with Valentine’s Day is the heart.  We live at a time when an aching heart is palpable on a daily basis.  The pandemic, entering its second year, has taken a toll on relationships, on careers, and on our individual and collective wellbeing.  The political landscape has exacerbated relationships among family…

Foster-Morales talks mental health and wellness with Cooley Law students

With the anxiety and stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important for current and future Bar members to know what mental health and wellness resources are available. Florida Bar President Dori Foster-Morales spoke virtually to over 40 attorneys and law students February 1 and shared Florida Bar initiatives aimed at assisting current…

The Mindful Lawyer: Zooming Out in 2021

The rapid ascent of Zoom is reminiscent of Xerox and Google, two companies whose names became verbs. Unlike copying papers or conducting Internet searches, however, too much Zooming can wear us out, deplete us. Whereas Xerox involves copying data, and Google involves accessing data, Zoom turns us into data. As observer and observed, we move…

The Mindful Lawyer: ‘We Were Made for These Times’

Mindfulness is about seeing things clearly. One might have thought 2020 would prove to be a good year for just that. But for many of us unexpected events, unimaginable grief and heartache, and the polarization of ideas and beliefs contributed to a great deal of confusion and despair. Some have been able to make lemonade…

Helpline assistance extended to Florida Registered Paralegals

Florida Lawyers Helpline eligibility will be expanded to include nearly 5,000 members of the Florida Registered Paralegal Program, the Board of Governors has decided. Budget Committee Chair Melissa VanSickle urged board members to approve a $3,600 budget amendment that would cover the cost of expanding eligibility for the final six months of FY 2020-2021. “It’s…

This holiday season, put mental health and wellness at the top of your to-do list

As we begin the holiday season, it’s vital we keep our  mental health and general well-being front and center and on the very top of our holiday to-do lists. Now more than ever, we must prioritize our mental and emotional states. For many of us, the number of guests at our Thanksgiving tables may be…

Mindfulness, Metaphors, and More

The practicing of mindfulness is fairly straightforward. You likely know a standard mindfulness practice that involves focusing attention on the sensations of the breath and when you notice mind wandering, returning attention to the breath. The instruction is simple, it’s easy to get started, the benefits are robust, and yet the practice can be challenging….

Four mindfulness practices for these times

We live in exciting times. We live in challenging times. And some of the excitement and challenge arises because the future is, by its very nature, uncertain and uncertainty can be a source of anxiety and alarm that compromises wellbeing, workflow, and relationships.  The uncertainty surrounding the upcoming election along with the many health, economic,…

Taking Stock on World Mental Health Day

From the outset of my legal career I’ve witnessed the toll our profession can take on our mental health, even in the best of times. We often measure success in terms of billable hours or getting our name on the firm’s letterhead, but it’s past time to update this perspective. Professional success can and should…

The Mindful Lawyer: Breathing into clarity and calm

People who practice mindfulness tend to fall into one of two camps.  There are those who are interested in finding calm and those who are interested in finding clarity. This is an overstatement, of course, and many land in both camps, but there tends to be a preference.  What is yours?  In this month’s column,…

YLD works to promote mental health and wellness and bias elimination education

YLD President Adam White says he is willing to compromise after the Board of Legal Specialization and Education rejected a division proposal to make mental health and wellness and bias elimination credits mandatory within the 33 CLE hours that Bar members must earn every three years. “We are not in any way taking an adverse…

The Mindful Lawyer: Practicing together online

You may have noticed the abundance of online programs and trainings associated with just about everything. . . including mindfulness. These include both multi-session trainings and short drop-in mindfulness practice sessions. This month’s column offers you some general information, insights, and tips for drawing upon these sessions in ways helpful to you. Meditating Alone The…

Bar exam registrants may now call helpline for counseling assistance

To assist with added stresses caused by the pandemic, all registrants for the August 2020 bar exam in Florida may now use the Florida Lawyers Helpline — a free confidential 24/7 service providing professional mental-health counseling. By calling 1-833-FL1-WELL (1-833-351-9355), exam registrants will speak with counselors who can also make referrals for up to three free…

ADR Section to offer a six-part webinar focusing on health and wellness

In addition to COVID-19, Florida lawyers are facing another potential contagion — society’s skyrocketing anxiety. “There’s people losing their jobs, there’s riots, there’s an election, there’s all kinds of things going on, and it’s out of control,” said Miami attorney and mediator Patrick Russell. “As legal professionals, we’re dealing with agitated clients.” So the Alternative…

The Mindful Lawyer: Furthering the cause of justice

We lawyers are guardians of justice. Whatever our practice area, whatever “side” we are on, whatever our political or ideological leanings, we are stewards of the rule of law. Earlier this month, the Young Lawyer’s Division of the ABA initiated a five-part series titled, “Liberty & Justice … For All? Confronting Systemic Racism and Addressing…

The Mindful Lawyer: Insights from a three-and-a-half-year meditation retreat

One of the reasons for the legal profession’s interest in mindfulness is the popularization of scientific research examining changes in brain structure and function associated with meditation. Some of the most compelling findings from early work in this area came from monks who had meditated over the course of many years for upwards to 50,000…

The Mindful Lawyer: Finding the sweet spot

A core component of many definitions of mindfulness and to many mindfulness practices is “attention.” You may have heard that mindfulness involves “paying attention on purpose” or been instructed to direct attention to the breath. Given how easy it is to become distracted, lose focus, and get lost in mind wandering, practices that can help…

Section leaders work to educate their members; are confident lawyers will adjust

With part of its mission to “preserve and protect the jury system,” the Trial Lawyers Section has every reason to feel uniquely targeted by COVID-19. Two months ago, the Florida Supreme Court suspended jury trials and ordered judges to use remote technology whenever possible to protect the public. “While our courts are open, the door’s…

With the Florida Lawyers Helpline, the emphasis is on ‘help’

The Florida Lawyers Helpline, the newest Florida Bar member benefit, is called a “help” line for an important reason, says one of the professionals who worked to create it. “It’s all about perception,” said Lisa Hardy, vice president of clinical operations for CorpCare Associates, Inc., the Atlanta-based provider. More than a traditional hotline, Florida Lawyers…

Broward YLS promotes health and wellness with positive message videos

Each Monday during May’s Health & Wellness Month, Broward County Bar Association‘s Young Lawyers Section committed to bringing videos from young lawyers around the state with positive messages about what they’re doing to #LiveWell during the coronavirus crisis, as well as tips that members can use. But instead of one member at a time, the YLD is…

Bar launches free Mental Health Helpline

With surveys showing the COVID-19 pandemic taking a toll on the nation’s mental health, Florida Bar leaders are accelerating the launch of a confidential Florida Bar Mental Health Helpline. “It is clear that our members are facing, as is all of society, a crisis of epic proportions,” said President-elect Dori Foster-Morales. Beginning May 1, some…

LegalFuel webinar explores reducing stress and staying sane in the age of COVID-19

Adding the stress of social distancing and the fear of an “invisible enemy” to an already high-pressure career, the COVID-19 pandemic is putting the mental health of Florida lawyers at increased risk, an expert warns. “We’re all pretty overwhelmed right now,” said South Carolina marriage and family therapist Amy Wood. “Having worked with attorneys for…

A message to the membership from President-elect Foster-Morales

Dear Fellow Florida Bar Member: These are the most uncertain of times. While we all recall difficult times, none compare to the way in which this pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our lives and will require true resilience and reliance on our support systems in equal measure. It is my prayer that you…

Mindfulness Practice: Observe the moment as it just is

The practice of law is often in the service of justice. Justice for our clients, for a cause, for society. It may express itself in the outcomes of criminal matters, civil lawsuits, administrative rulings, and in the enactment and enforcement of laws and regulations. And while justice can take many forms, when realized it inevitably…

YLD’s newest #StigmaFreeYLD video tackles failing the bar exam

People who didn’t pass the bar exam on their first try do go on to become incredible lawyers, and it isn’t a measure of how successful you will be in life, according to Ethan Wall, co-chair of the Young Lawyers Division’s Mental Health and Wellness Committee. Dealing with failing the bar exam is the subject…

Board approves the creation of a mental-health helpline

Florida Bar members would get free access to a confidential, 24-hour mental health helpline, possibly this summer, under a contract approved March 20 by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee met via conference call to consider a host of agenda items from a Board of Governors meeting that was cancelled in the wake of the…

Mindfully Washing Hands

Concerns over contracting the coronavirus have led to health warnings to wash hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds. A popular mindfulness practice involves washing hands. As it is a short practice, it is termed an “informal practice,” to distinguish it from the more traditional “formal” periods of practice. This month we’ll explore the…

Mental-health helpline, budget top board’s March agenda

The Board of Governors is expected to consider establishing a Florida Bar mental-health helpline when it meets March 20, part of a continuing effort to address the health and well being of its members. The recommendation comes from the Standing Committee on Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers, which voted at the Bar’s Winter…

TJ Reddick Bar Association takes up mental-health issues

THE TJ REDDICK BAR ASSOCIATION recently heard from William “Bill” Mulligan, Florida Bar discipline counsel in Ft. Lauderdale, and Molly Paris, assistant director of Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., about how mental health can affect your practice. Mulligan discussed the Bar’s discipline process and how the failure to take care of your mental health can lead…

The Mindful Lawyer: Don’t be afraid to out yourself as a meditator

One of the great joys of teaching is when the student becomes the teacher. A few years ago, at a mindfulness in law conference, I found myself sitting next to Amanda Leipold, a former student who, a decade earlier, was among the first to enroll in Miami Law’s mindfulness class for 1L’s. The next semester,…

YLD renews its #StigmaFreeYLD campaign

While serving nearly a decade as a prosecutor, Delray Beach attorney Danielle Dudai had a front-row seat to the dark side of human nature. Dudai brought more than 50 cases to trial, including convicting a South Florida rapper of human trafficking, before the work took a toll. “It can be really soul-crushing and soul-destroying to…

The Mindful Lawyer: Relaxing a tension and attention

It is said that the practice of mindfulness is simple but not easy. This column is intended to help bridge this gap by shining a little light on “attention,” a building block to so many mindfulness practices. Don’t let the play on words in the title detract from the seriousness of its message: the ability…

A mindful transition to greater peace

A life in the law can be filled with conflict and challenges, both at work and home. Each has its charms and, at times, may be the more stable and supportive environment. As the practice of law is explicitly adversarial and most who enter the profession expect that it will be stressful, one may feel…

Bar’s mental health and wellness panel sets its agenda

The Florida Bar campaign to destigmatize mental illness and promote health and wellness in the profession remains a top priority. That’s the message Bar leaders delivered to the Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee at an October 17 meeting in Tampa. “This committee is important, super important,” President John Stewart told committee members…

The Mindful Lawyer: We Are All In This Together

As mindfulness has become more richly infused into the fabric of the legal profession, a shift is taking place from a primary focus on the lawyer and members of the legal profession to the broader relational context to include clients and parties to a dispute. Such a shift raises interesting and important questions about the…

Making it personal: The effects of alcohol and substance abuse in the legal community

Since I joined the bench as a county judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit in 2005, it has been my mission to do my part to enhance the legal profession. Fortunately, there is not a lack of opportunities to participate in educating and mentoring legal practitioners, law students, and others. When the chair of The…

AG’s round table focuses on mental health in the criminal justice system

 For nearly two decades, Michael, a homeless man with mental-health issues, was a fixture at the same intersection in Sarasota. He regularly found himself at odds with the law. Sarasota County Judge Erika Quartermaine called him the “face of the homeless” in Sarasota. That was until Michael finally received the mental-health treatment he so…

Mindfulness and the law: The renewal of an old friendship

The legal profession’s embrace of mindfulness took many by surprise. It still does. Today’s column takes a serious look at the role of mindfulness in the law and of the law’s connection to mindfulness. That mindfulness practices can help enhance concentration, refine the ability to detect mind wandering, and regulate emotions amid challenging experiences, helps…

The Mindful Lawyer

The resolution of disputes often involves the mediation process. Many readers of this column will have participated in a mediation and a large number of attorneys and judges become certified mediators. The central role of mediator neutrality, and the challenge of maintaining both the appearance of neutrality and minimizing the influence of implicit and explicit…

The Heart of Mindfulness

This column offers readers information on mindfulness and related domains, drawn from the insights and experiences of lawyers and judges who have been studying and practicing both law and mindfulness for many years. Whereas 10 years ago the popularity of mindfulness was just beginning to seep into the legal landscape, it has since become regular…

The Mindful Lawyer

There was a time, in recent memory, when yoga was unfamiliar to many and regarded as an esoteric practice not particularly relevant to one’s life. Today that has changed, a shift that speaks for itself. Some see parallels between yoga and meditation, and indeed, not only is meditation, and in particular mindfulness meditation, gaining in…

FBBE will pay for required mental health, substance abuse evaluations

Applicants to The Florida Bar who are asked to have an evaluation for potential mental health or substance abuse problems will have that evaluation paid for by the Florida Board of Bar Examiners, under a new policy adopted effective March 21. According to a FBBE press release, the new policy continues the Bar Examiners’ policies…

The Mindful Lawyer

The practice of law differs from many other high stress, high stakes professions in that it is adversarial by design. The battles waged, however, are not inherently personal, yet it can be all too easy to regard another’s words and deeds as personal attacks, which can interfere with the purposeful, focused, and effective charge one…

The Mindful Lawyer

Lawyers and judges make decisions that have consequences. The decision-making process is a complex and fascinating one, and many factors can influence the quality of our decision making and our confidence and comfort with the decisions we make. Mindfulness practices have been found to be of benefit to the decision-making process in a variety of…

The Mindful Lawyer

By Scott Rogers Special to the News The New Year is here, and with it important reminders of the challenge and promise of transitions. Whether it’s transitioning from the holiday season to the busy work week, from a well-intended New Year’s resolution to the practical realities of seeing it to fruition, or the daily balancing…

UF students crave more health and wellness resources

REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STUDENT Education & Admissions to the Bar Committee and the Bar’s Henry Latimer Center for Professionalism recently met with law students at the University of Florida to talk about the Bar’s efforts to promote health and wellness and lift the persistent cloud that clings to mental illness and listen to student’s concerns. From…

The Mindful Lawyer

Mindfulness and motions for clarification and relief Special to the News The practice of mindfulness, like the practice of law, can take many forms. Today, we explore ways of practicing mindfulness that incorporate movement and do not depend on sitting still or sequestering oneself from the busyness of everyday life. This exploration is couched in…

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Special to the News Lawyers and judges who are introduced to mindfulness, perhaps through a presentation, webinar, or article, or talking with a friend or colleague, often are interested in learning more. A popular mindfulness training program is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, or “MBSR,” which is perhaps the most widely researched and delivered mindfulness program in…

The Florida Bar and YLD designate May as health and wellness month

    The Florida Bar is partnering with the Young Lawyers Division to designate the month of May as “Health and Wellness Month” for Florida lawyers. This comes on the heels of a year when the Bar has had an unprecedented level of focus and commitment to health and wellness issues. The Bar will be…

The Mindful Lawyer

The Mindful Lawyer ‘You can’t change the waves but you can learn to surf’ Special to the News The law is, by its very nature, adversarial. We lawyers have chosen a profession that calls on us to move into situations riddled with conflict. And each time we do our job and move on to the…

When lawyers need help, let’s make sure they don’t fear getting it

When lawyers need help, let’s make sure they don’t fear getting it Florida Supreme Court Most lawyers work in stressful jobs. Mine often is. So are the jobs of most of my friends in the profession. It is no surprise, then, that stress-related disease hits attorneys at a much higher rate than other people. It…

The Mindful Lawyer

Mindfulness ‘isn’t a bump-free ride’ Special to the News Mindfulness tends to reveal its benefits — whether it be moments of clarity and calm, being less overcome by impulses and feeling emotionally reactive, or experiencing greater focus and concentration — to those who set aside time to practice. And for many, these shifts in attention,…

The Mindful Lawyer

The Mindful Lawyer Special to the News The Mindful Lawyer column first appeared in this year’s August 1 issue of the News, marking eight years since the publication initially reported on mindfulness and the law. Over the course of the past decade, interest in supporting the mental, physical, and emotional health and well-being of lawyers,…

Bar YLD promotes health and wellness

For the third year in a row, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division has designated May its “Health and Wellness Month.” With every year that passes, the YLD increasingly sees indications that quality of life concerns have become more important than ever to young lawyers. President-elect Zack Zuroweste opined as to why this might be:…

YLD devotes May to attorney health and wellness

May will mark The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division’s second annual “Health and Wellness Month,” designed to bring awareness to the mental and physical issues that affect lawyers’ quality of life. This year, the YLD wants to raise awareness through several month-long programs that will help lawyers establish healthier habits and provide them with support…

Mindfulness Studies gains traction at UM

Mindfulness Studies gains traction at UM Associate Editor S ome of the most popular and well-attended courses at the University of Miami School of Law aren’t part of the core curriculum or required for graduation. Instead, the classes are part of the primarily voluntary mindfulness program, only in its third year at the school. The…

Mindfulness program aims to help law students live in the moment

To be an effective law student or lawyer, it is important to be able to focus on the task at hand. Obsessing about the past or worrying about the future can diminish that focus and dilute effectiveness. That’s one reason the University of Miami has decided to introduce law students to contemplative practices that provide…

Meditations & Self-Assessment

Wellness Wednesday: Weekly inspiration and tips.

Mindfulness Meditation Practices with Jon Kabat-Zinn

UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center: Scripts vary from five to 19 minutes (free for download and also available in Spanish).

Dartmouth: Audio recording of a 10-minute relaxation & mindfulness practice (free for download).

What Makes Lawyers Happy? (Personal Assessment)

What Makes Lawyers Happy – Redefining Professional Success?

Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee

The Mental Health & Wellness of Florida Lawyers Committee was established to implement the 2018-19 Florida Bar Strategic Planning Priority, which focuses on the mental health and wellness of Florida lawyers, and to continue the work started by the Special Committee on Mental Health and Wellness of Florida Lawyers.