Wednesday, February 20, 2019

February 21: The Path to Lawyer Well Being & Conscious Inclusion

This program - The Path to Lawyer Well Being & Conscious Inclusion - comes in two parts.
Program #1: The Path to Lawyer Well Being
Too many in our profession are too exhausted, too impaired or too disengaged to develop into their best selves. Many find themselves in a profession drained of civility and compassion and plagued by chronic stress, poor self-care, and high rates of depression and alcohol problems.
The result is that the legal profession may not be living up to its full potential as an institution in which attorneys can thrive, best serve their clients and contribute to a better society. Further, recent research demonstrates that lawyers are far more likely to suffer from substance use and mental health disorders compared to other professions and the public as a whole. What can we do and how do we create a movement of change towards improving the health and well-being of the legal profession?
This program discusses practical steps that can be taken by lawyers, law firms, bar associations, judges, legal educators and regulatory counsel to shift the legal culture from one that can be self-destructive to one that focuses on the well-being that is expected by all those who look to the legal system for justice. In addition, participants also will learn ways to foster healthy lifestyles within their practice settings as well as how to implement some stress-reduction techniques at home and in the workplace in examining best practices for promoting healthy lives in the legal profession.
Program #2: Conscious Inclusion
Implicit bias occurs in every aspect of the law – from the courtroom to the law firm to legal non-profit organizations. It is a daily challenge to consciously include those who deserve to be part of the picture. The Illinois Supreme Court IPI Civil Jury Committee promulgated a new instruction for civil jury trials in Illinois on implicit bias in May 2018, recognizing that we “all have feelings, assumptions, perceptions, fears, and stereotypes about others. Some biases we are aware of and others we might not be fully aware of, which is why they are called implicit biases or ‘unconscious biases.’” Additionally, it warns that “our biases” often affect how we act, favorably or unfavorably, toward someone. Bias can affect our thoughts, how we remember, what we see and hear, whom we believe or disbelieve, and how we make important decisions. Illinois is the seventh state to require MCLE on the elimination of bias. The terms surrounding this issue hold no universal definition, and our panel of various experts in this field will discuss what these issues mean in the context of various institutions, interest groups and legal entities.
Our speakers will discuss a “how-to” in these various areas and how diversity can be meaningful. It is the moral thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. And it’s even good for business. The first step, though, is understanding implicit bias and recognizing when it may be permeating your decisions. Hypotheticals will be discussed as well as ways to reduce implicit bias and how diversity and inclusion can become part of one’s everyday life in this one-hour interactive, lively discussion.
The Path to Lawyer Well Being & Conscious Inclusion
February 21, 2019
2:30-4:30 p.m. CST
Webcast - Register Now!
  • Moderated by: Robert A. Clifford - Founder and Senior Partner, Clifford Law Offices, Moderator 
  • Robin Belleau - Executive Director, Lawyers' Assistance Program (LAP)
  • James Faught - Associate Dean, Loyola University School of Law, and Chicago Bar Association, Future of the Profession Chair, Law Student and New Lawyer Committee, LAP Board Member
  • Hon. E. Kenneth Wright, Jr. - Cook County Circuit Court, Presiding Judge, Municipal Division, and Chair, Illinois State Bar Association Special Committee on Health and Wellness
  • Tracy L. Kepler - Director, Center for Professional Responsibility, American Bar Association
  • Karen Munoz - Lawyer, Certified Yoga Instructor, LAP Illinois Task Force on Well Being and CBA Member of Mindfulness & the Law Committee
  • Hon. Thomas More Donnelly - Cook County Circuit Court, and Chair, Illinois Judicial College Board of Trustees, the Illinois Supreme Court’s educational arm
  • Cunyon Gordon - Senior Counsel and Director, Settlement Assistance Program, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights
  • Josie M. Gough - Assistant Dean for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law
  • Allison Wood - Principal of Legal Ethics Consulting, P.C., Former Hearing Board Chair and former Litigation Counsel with the ARDC
Clifford Law Offices
  • Illinois: This two-hour program has been approved for two hours of professional responsibility credit: specifically, one hour of Mental Health/Substance Abuse and one hour of Diversity/Inclusion.
  • Other Jurisdictions: You may check with your credit-granting authority to see how to apply for credits.

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