The Well-Being Hour

The Well-Being Hour is a series of on-demand video conversations that focus on the current challenges and overall well-being of lawyers and legal professionals.

These programs are generously supported by Lawyers Financial and are FREE for CBA Members and $25 for non-members.

Beyond Mindfulness

Tactics to Improve Your Daily Well-Being and Focus

Mindfulness often conjures thoughts of meditation or yoga, and while both can be very effective, they aren't always practical for a busy lawyer. What if you could make little tweaks to your day-to-day routine that wouldn't take a great deal of time?

This session goes beyond mindfulness explores short daily exercises that can be incorporated into your existing schedule to help improve your focus, clarity, and overall well-being.

Presenter: Paula Vital, BCL LLB, Mindfulness Coach, Yoga Therapist, Live the Present

Moderator: Fabien Fourmanoit, Chair, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee | Vice President, Legal & Corporate Secretary, Xplore Inc.


FREE MINDFULNESS SESSIONS

In recognition of the upcoming May Mental Health Week, join us for a free 30-minute introduction to mindfulness! 

  • Session 1 – May 7, 2024 @ 12:00 pm ET
  • Session 2 – May 14, 2024 @ 12:00 pm ET

Contact cbawellbeing@cba.org to sign up for one of these sessions today. Space is limited, so sign-up early!

Women in the Legal Profession

What Happens When Law Firms Fail to Retain Female Lawyers Due to Well-Being Challenges?

Join Bree Buchanan, one of three co-authors of a study of the California and D.C. bar on the attrition crisis of women lawyers post-COVID, discuss these issues and provide recommendations on how law firms can retain women lawyers in the profession.

Speaker: Bree Buchanan, JD, MSF, Senior Advisor for Krill Strategies

Moderator: Glen M. Hickerson, K.C., Wilson Laycraft & Chair, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

BE AN ALLY

How Can Non-Indigenous Lawyers Help Better the Working Environment for Indigenous Legal Professionals?

Merle Alexander and Akosua Matthews discuss how the current firm structure can negatively impact the well-being of Indigenous legal professionals and why it is important for non-Indigenous legal professionals to actively contribute to reshaping that structure for the future.

Speakers
Merle Alexander, KC, Principal Lawyer, Miller Titerle + Company
Akosua Matthews, Associate, Kastner Lam LLP

Moderator: Melinda Moch, Paralegal, MLT Aikins

TAKE CARE

What Can Indigenous Legal Professionals Do to Support Their Well-Being within the Existing Firm Structure?

Anita Cardinal and Stacey Soldier share some of their experiences working within the current legal environment and the systemic barriers they have faced.  They discuss their views on how Indigenous legal professionals can best prioritize self-care and set boundaries when navigating workplace challenges.

Speakers
Anita Cardinal, Associate, Barrister & Solicitor, Cooper Regel
Stacey Soldier, Associate, Cochrane Saxberg Barristers & Solicitors

Moderator: Melinda Moch, Paralegal, MLT Aikins

British Columbia's Alternative Discipline Program

Addressing Lawyer Disciplinary Issues with a Well-Being Lens

For legal professionals, the stakes in making a mistake can have dire consequences, with the threat of not only losing your job, but potentially losing your license. The public has a stake in knowing that the legal professionals serving them are fully capable of bringing their skills to bear on legal problems. Health problems like depression, anxiety, addictions, physical illness, and many others can contribute to, and exacerbate issues that come before regulators. 

The Law Society of British Columbia has begun a pilot Alternative Discipline Process to address this, recognizing that there should not be a “one size fits all” course of action in all cases. Panelists Jess Abells and Brook Greenberg discuss how this exciting new process can not only help some lawyers find an appropriate method of treating their underlying issues, but also take some of the burden off of Law Societies going through a more extensive formal process.

Presenters:
Jess Abells, Staff Lawyer, Law Society of British Columbia
Brook Greenberg, K.C., Bencher, Law Society of British Columbia and Partner, Fasken

Moderator: Glen M. Hickerson, K.C., Wilson Laycraft & Chair, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

A Four-Day Work Week? How Alternative Business Models for Firms Can Positively Affect Well-Being While Remaining Profitable

With the current demands that many lawyers experience in their day to day lives, more and more legal professionals are experiencing heightened stress and burn-out. Most law firms follow a standard business model, but are there alternatives that could potentially lessen the strain on legal professionals without compromising on productivity and profitability?

Family Lawyer and CEO of YLAW, Leena Yousefi, discusses the merits of legal firms moving to a four-day work week and other initiatives her firm utilizes to improve the stresses felt in the practice of law.

Presenter: Leena Yousefi, CEO, Family Lawyer, and Mediator, YLAW

Moderator: Nancy Birt, Partner, Birt & McNeill and Member of the CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

24 Hour Demand

Tactics to Help Lawyers Manage Expectations and Set Healthy Boundaries

The unrealistic demands put on lawyers, in an industry that already has an issue with normalizing overworking, has been exacerbated in the wake of the pandemic.

Join presenters Heidi Alexander and Danielle Hall as they discuss issues around professional culture, managing lawyer burnout, tactics to manage technology in a healthy manner and setting reasonable boundaries.

Presenters:

Heidi Alexander, Director of Lawyer Well-Being, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Danielle M. Hall, Executive Director, Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program

Moderator:

Bonnie Reddekopp, Lawyer, Saskatchewan Government Insurance & Member of the CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

From Lawyer to Filmmaker

Insights into a Lawyer’s Decision to Leave the Profession

With the current climate, we are seeing many young lawyers moving to alternative practice or leaving the profession altogether.  Often a driving force for these decisions comes down to issues with their well-being.

Former lawyer and new film maker, Anna Robinson shares her journey to leave the legal profession, sharing insights through her short film When We Were Younger.

Presenter:

Anna Robinson, Former Lawyer & Filmmaker, Actor and Photographer

Moderator:

Glen M. Hickerson, K.C., Wilson Laycraft & Chair, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

Making the Shift

Managing your Well-Being into Retirement

Are you looking forward to retirement days or are you dreading the transition? What steps do you need to take to begin the shift, and when should you start to plan for retirement? While these questions are necessary, they can also cause a great deal of stress and anxiety.

Assistant Director and Lawyer Counsellor for the Lawyers Assistance Program of BC, Shari Pearlman, discusses the importance of maintaining one’s well-being while shifting into retirement and shares tips for making a smooth, healthy shift into transition.

Presenter: Shari Pearlman, Assistant Director, Lawyer Counsellor, Lawyers Assistance Program B.C.

Moderator: Fabien Fourmanoit, Member, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

From Point A to Point B

The Benefits of Coaching on Your Practice & Well-Being

There is often confusion between coaching, therapy, and mentoring. While there may be some cross-over, they are different resources that support well-being and career development in different ways.

In this program, our expert panel examines the benefits of coaching for lawyers and legal professionals. Learn about gladiator mentality, the pitfalls of perfectionism, and above all, if coaching is something that would benefit your life and career at this time.

Presenters:

Karmen Masson, Lawyer, Certified Executive Coach & Founder, Your Best Practice

Sabine Neuman, Lawyer, International Certified Coach, Avocate et bien +

Moderator: Glen Hickerson Q.C., Chair, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

Resilience Skills for Lawyers

Trauma-Informed Lawyering & Resilience in Practice

Why is trauma and resilience relevant to lawyers?  Why does the impact of trauma sometimes go unnoticed? Do so-called soft skills like emotional intelligence and empathy really connect with lawyer wellbeing, or lawyer performance?  

Join presenter Helgi Maki as she answers these questions and more through the examination of the neurobiology of trauma and its effects on lawyers using the biopsychosocial model. Registrants will gain helpful tips and learn resiliency skills that they can use today to help their practice and their clients when faced with adversity.

Presenter: 
Helgi Maki, Consultant, Executive Coach & Mindfulness Instructor Generativity Co., Coaching & Consulting

Moderator: Cherie Langlois-Klawson, Member, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

Benefits of Mindfulness for Well-Being and Performance in Law

A lawyer’s mind is a vital working tool. Just as skilled carpenters and mechanics prudently take good care of their working tools, so too can lawyers. Mindfulness and meditation provide effective, time-tested techniques for doing so.

Join Joy Noonan, lawyer and meditation instructor, and Michael Apollo, mindfulness consultant and founding member of the Parliamentary Mindfulness Advisory Group, as they discuss the benefits of mindfulness and meditation for both well-being and performance in law.

Presenters:
Michael Apollo, President, Mindful Gateway Consulting; Founding Member, Parliamentary Mindfulness Advisory Group
Joy Noonan, Lawyer, Mediator, Mindfulness Facilitator - Potential Project

Moderator: David Bryan, Member, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

Reducing Stigma

Building Resilient Lawyers and Fostering Mental Health in a Stressful Profession and World

The legal profession may very well be facing a state of crisis when it comes to mental health and addiction. Isolation, job dissatisfaction, and the constant pressure to be an overachiever can often lead to overall ill health, a misuse of alcohol, or problems with substance abuse. In extreme cases, these issues may threaten a lawyers’ ability to practice law.

Join Dr. Charl Els and Cherie Langlois-Klassen as they discuss the impact these issues have on the profession as well as the preventative measures that should be taken to help mitigate the risk. In addition to the video, registrants will receive the paper ‘Lawyers Health Conditions: Protecting the public, optimizing outcomes for lawyers-as-patients, and protecting the profession.’ Register today.

Presenter:
Dr. Charl Els, Psychiatrist, Addiction Specialist, MR and Occupational Physician, Alberta

Moderator: Cherie Langlois-Klassen, Member, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

Working from Home

Lawyers Taking Their Well-Being Online

The pandemic has had some real drawbacks, but there have been a few advantages to going online.  You can access programs from around the world without the commute or need to leave the office.  

Join our panelists as they discuss how easy access to online mindfulness and yoga programs can not only help with overall wellness, but can help make you a better lawyer.

Presenters:
Deni Cashin, Retired, Daunais McKay + Harms, Yoga Instructor, ASSiST
Danica Doucette-Preville, Legal Officer, Global Affairs Canada and Yoga Instructor, ASSiST
Amanda Huxley, Associate, Parlee McLaws LLP and Mindfulness Instructor, ASSiST

Moderator: Glen Hickerson, Chair, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

Change Your Brain, Change Your Results

Stress Resilience and Change Management

What if you could change the way you respond to stress? Think about what a personal and professional advantage that would be. Well, good news: its possible! Using tools and strategies based on principles of neuroscience, you can learn to be more resilient, connected, and focused during life’s most challenging moments. We will explore this material and more in this unique and practical presentation.  

Presenter: Jill Hewlett, Brain Fitness & Wellness Authority

Moderator: David Bryan, Member, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

Belonging at Work

The Relationship Between Diversity & Inclusion and Well-Being

There is a lot of talk in legal circles these days about wellness, and there is a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion. But there isn’t much talk about how these two elements relate to each other. How does promoting inclusivity in the workplace also promote work-life balance, social connection, and satisfaction at work? How does implicit bias affect our businesses and what can we do about it? Join us for this insightful discussion to help you and your firm achieve (some really important) objectives. 

Presenters:
Antoinette Moriarty, Integrative Psychotherapist
Vivene Salmon, VP Country Compliance Manager, Global Banking & Markets Compliance, Bank of America

Moderator: Pooja Chugh, Chair, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee

Lawyers in a Dangerous Time

We lawyers, like members of other helping professions, are particularly susceptible to compassion fatigue. Regular exposure to traumatic accounts from clients and the ongoing need for empathetic listening and responding can wear us down over time, as well as triggering some of our own trauma. As we look after our clients’ interests (and those of our parents, partners, pets, kids and colleagues…), who is looking after us?  This timely session will focus on how to recognize, overcome, and guard against CF, allowing you to build on your professional success as well as your personal well being.  

Presenters:
Doron Gold, The Lawyer Therapist, Homewood Health
Françoise Mathieu, Registered Psychotherapist

Moderator: Amy Bradbury, Wickwire Holm, CBA Well-Being Subcommittee