Health and Wellness

"Focused on your well-being" banner with illustration of a a head in the clouds with eyes closed

2021 Well-Being Week In Law (WWIL)

WWIL is an event of the Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL). CLA’s Health and Wellness Committee participated in this effort last year and will be continuing the tradition. This year, CLA’s HWC offers a live virtual event or activity every day of #WellbeingWeekInLaw in alignment with the daily themes set by IWIL:

Click on the dates above or see our upcoming events to register for these free programs.  We will also be hearing from the IWIL VP of Research, Patrick Krill, on April 28th to learn about some of the findings of his recent study on lawyer mental health, and don’t forget about our monthly Wellness Wednesday on May 19th!  We also invite you to join the CLA Health and Wellness Facebook Group, a casual online environment to share resources and provide encouragement as we pursue our own paths to wellness.  We hope you’ll join us in this national effort to focus on and support improving the well-being of the legal community.  Whether you attend one of our programs, find a helpful resource, or just have something to say about the well-being of the profession, use #WellbeingWeekInLaw to bring more attention to this important discussion!

To align with Mental Health Awareness Month in May, WWIL will occur the first week of May every year–which, in 2021, will be May 3-7.  The aim of WWIL is to raise awareness about mental health and encourage action and innovation across the profession to improve well-being. In 2021, the event’s name was changed from “Lawyer Well-Being Week” to WWIL to be more explicitly inclusive of all the important contributors to the legal profession who are not lawyers. WWIL is an event of the Institute for Well-Being in Law (IWIL) (formerly the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being).


Health and Wellness water bottle image and label

Thank you to everyone who participated in our inaugural #CLAWellnessChallenge! During this 25-day challenge participants were provided daily prompts pertaining to fitness, fuel, or fun.  Each week featured a live virtual event: a mindfulness class, multiple workouts including Daily Method and BoxUnion, a talk and walk with fellow members, and a competency issues MCLE webinar. The daily prompts with resources were circulated to challenge participants through our new Facebook group – the group was a great way to share progress on the challenge throughout the month!

In CLA’s March eNews we heard from multiple challenge participants about their experiences. The Facebook group will continue to be available to all legal professionals and students who are interested (regardless of CLA membership status). The CLA’s Health and Wellness Committee will continue to provide resources and events in addition to a place for community and support. Please join us!

About the CLA Health and Wellness Committee

In 2020, CLA established a Health and Wellness Committee to provide resources and content that support attorney and law student wellness, including general health, mental health, and problematic substance use.  The Committee, chaired by Sara Rief, is working on a variety of content including monthly articles in the CLA e-news, regular webinars, mindfulness meditation experiences and other activities.  In 2021 you can count on the Health and Wellness Committee on the 3rd Wednesday of every month for programming and activities focused on the wellbeing of our members and the legal profession, “Wellness Wednesday”. See the upcoming events at the top of this page to see what we have in store.

Do you have a suggestion for a future program or want specific resources?  Do you want to write an article about a wellness topic?  Contact the Committee to let us know!

Upcoming Events

View More CLA Events
View Past Health and Wellness Offerings

Featured Webinars

5 Positive Psychology Activities to Cultivate Resilience & Preserve Mental Health During the Pandemic
Presented by the CLA HWC – January 2021
1.0 Hour MCLE credit, including 1.0 Hour Competency Issues

Shelter In Place Institute: Emotional and Social Intelligence for Lawyer Wellbeing
Presented by the CLA Intellectual Property Law Section – November 2020
1.0 Hour MCLE credit, including 1.0 Hour Competency Issues

Substance Abuse and the Practice of Law
Presented by the CLA HWC – July 2020
1.0 Hour MCLE credit, including 1.0 Hour Competency Issues

Weathering the Pandemic and Keeping Your Center Through the Crisis
Presented by the CLA HWC – May 2020
1.0 Hour MCLE credit, including 0.5 Hour Legal Ethics & 0.5 Hour Competency Issues

Health and Wellness Articles

The Healthy Lawyer (Advocati Sani) (March 2020)
Advocati Sani: What We Already Know But Can’t Seem to Do (April 2020)
Advocati Sani: When Lawyering Becomes Who You Are (May 2020)
Practicing Law in Interesting Times, by Erin Joyce (May 2020)
Advocati Sani: How To Promote Clear Thinking During Stressful Times (June 2020)
Advocati Sani: Internet Addiction Disorder: Can You Relate? (July 2020)
Competency Issues: Having “The Talk”, by Michelle Harmon (August 2020)
Consider a Plant-Based Diet for Health and Wellness (September 2020)
ADHD in the Age of COVID, by Heather A. Benton (October 2020)
Advocati Sani: Anxiety is Here! Build Your Own Toolkit (November 2020)
Advocati Sani: The Elephant in the Room (December 2020)
Holiday Season Self-Care in the Pandemic Era, by Joan Bibelhausen (December 2020)
Everyday Mindfulness and Activities for Mental Wellbeing, by Gayani Weerasinghe (January 2021)
To Empower Your Wellbeing in 2021, Recognize and Avoid Learned Helplessness, by Patrick Krill (February 2021)
The Importance of Feeling Grateful, by Dominika W. Kriozere (February 2021) Well-Being Strategies for Solos and Small Firms: Building Resilient Work Cultures, by Anne M. Brafford (March 2021)

Join the conversation in the CLA Health and Wellness Facebook Group!

Health and Wellness Resources

Click on the topics below to see the full collection of resources available.

Attorney Well-Being


  • The Anxious Lawyer: An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation, written by me and my co-author, Karen Gifford
  • Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story  by Dan Harris

Positive Psychology 101 for the Legal Profession, by Anne M. Brafford

Mental Health
Problematic Substance Use

If you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties with using substances (alcohol, drugs, or others) in a problematic way, we encourage you to seek information if not assistance from one or both of our partners:

  1. Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP), provided by The State Bar of California
    • Click the resource category immediately below to learn more about what LAP has to offer and how you may take advantage of their voluntary, free services.
  2. The Other Bar
    • They are a network of recovering lawyers and judges throughout the state, dedicated to assisting others within the profession who are suffering from alcohol and substance abuse problems. They are a private, non-profit corporation funded by members contributions and private donations. Their organization is founded on the principle of anonymity and provides services in strict confidentiality. The program is voluntary and open to all California lawyers, judges and law students. Our consultants and volunteers stand ready to assist their colleagues in all areas of recovery.
    • Call their Toll-Free Information Hotline 24 Hours a Day at (800) 222-0767 or reach out to them here:
Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP), The State Bar of California

Most people encounter a difficulty at least once in their lives. The State Bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) is here to help. LAP helps lawyers, State Bar applicants, and law students who are grappling with stress, anxiety, depression, problematic substance use or concerns about their career.

Click here to learn more about LAP and the services they offer.   

You can call the LAP for a free, confidential  assessment by a licensed clinician who can provide you with recommendations and resources for further support.  During this time of social distancing, assessments can be conducted via telephone or video calls.

877-LAP-4HELP / 877-527-4435

State Bar of California Lawyer Assistance Program

Video: “The Lawyer Assistance Program Experience, Part 1,” The State Bar of California
Video: “The Lawyer Assistance Program Experience, Part 2” The State Bar of California
Physical Well-Being
Stress Management

CLA Recorded Wellness Sessions

Screenshot of video

March 20, 2020 | Finding Ease During Uncertainty
Speaker: Jeena Cho, Esq.

It’s a stressful and anxious time for many in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. You may be overwhelmed trying to figure out how to work from home, manage childcare, care for elderly parents, and worry about what’s ahead.  Join Jeena Cho, attorney, and author of the best-selling book, “The Anxious Lawyer: An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation” for a 20-minute session.  Jeena shares tools for relaxing the anxious brain, practices for returning to homeostasis, and lead you in a short guided meditation.

March 27, 2020 | Meditation Experience
Speaker: Dr. Rochelle Calvert, PhD.

A brief discussion about the science behind mindful meditation and nature helping our immune systems and mental and emotional health. This discussion is followed by a guided mindfulness meditation lead by Dr. Rochelle Calvert, PhD.  Dr. Calvert is a licensed psychologist, a certified mindfulness teacher, and the founder of New Mindful Life at which she is a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner.

April 10, 2020 | Practicing Resilience in These Times: Tools to Navigate Our Personal and Professional Lives
Speaker: Judge Paul A. Bacigalupo, Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and Immediate Past President of the California Judges Association

Join Judge Paul Bacigalupo, Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court and Immediate Past President of the California Judges Association, for this illuminating discussion about how to build and maintain resilience in both our professional and personal lives followed by a breathing exercise.

May 8, 2020 | Conquering Chronic Disease & Preexisting Conditions in the Age of COVID-19
Speakers: Gary Laturno, Esq., Past Chair, CLA Real Property Law Section; Member, CLA Health & Wellness Committee; former FBI fitness advisor and Lera Blevins, Esq., Attorney, Simone & Associates in San Diego, CA

During Lawyer Wellbeing Week 2020, attorneys Gary Laturno, Lera Blevins, and Sara Rief discussed how lifestyle changes, such as a whole food diet, can reverse most chronic disease and preexisting conditions.  They also answered several questions regarding how to incorporate a whole food diet, in part or in full, into your routine.  This session was an informal follow up to an MCLE webinar Gary Laturno gave in early April 2020, Conquering Chronic Disease & Preexisting Conditions in the Age of COVID-19.

July 23, 2020 | Benefits of Plant-Based Diets
Speaker: Vanita Rahman, M.D., Barnard Medical Center (Certified Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, and Board-Certified Internal Medicine Physician)

Dr. Rahman shares with us her own struggles with weight loss and health issues, and how a plant-based diet helped her lose weight and regain control of her health. She shares the scientific evidence about plant-based diets, and how they can lead to sustainable weight loss and reverse common conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. She also reviews the interconnection between nutrition and the environment before answering some questions from our live audience.

October 20, 2020 | Radically Transform Your Health Through a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
Speaker: Anthony Lim, M.D., J.D., Medical Director of the McDougall Program & a Staff Physician at TrueNorth Health Center

Moderated by Sara Rief and Gary Laturno. A whole-food, plant-based diet has demonstrated the ability to prevent and reverse the majority of chronic illnesses. This video will explain what a whole-food, plant-based diet is, the evidence supporting its ability to reverse chronic illness and radically improve one’s health, and practical steps for adopting this lifelong joyful way of eating.  Dr. Anthony Lim shares some of his own personal journey, the experiences and successes of some of his patients, and takes the time to answer several questions from the live audience.

January 4, 2021 | New Year, New Era, New You
Speaker: Mitra Manesh, Innermap Founder & Mindfulness Teacher

If you’re still waiting/hoping/wishing for the old normals to come back, you’re not alone, and also, you’re not on the right path.  Mitra Manesh shares with us why and how we can navigate our way through the dizzying maze of these uncertain times into a healthier, happier, and more meaningful life in using mindfulness as a tool. This zoom session was the first event to kick off the #CLAWellnessChallenge in January 2021. Mitra Manesh’s website:
Podcast: “Lights On with Mitra Manesh”:
Innermap – Mindful Living, beyond meditation App (IOS):

February 11, 2021 | Ready to Rock Your Practice?
Speaker: Judith Gordon; Founder, LeaderEsQ, LLC; Founder, Center For Thriving in Law; Lecturer in Law, UCLA School of Law

As we well know, law is a high-demand, high-intensity profession requiring skills that go beyond analytical thinking. Staying focused, productive, and high-performing is a challenge in the best of times. On top of that, noncognitive influencers are always at play. What are some of those hidden factors and necessary skills? Watch this interactive hour to pick up a few tools of the trade that support a sustainable, high-performance career in law.

The CLA Health and Wellness Committee may be contacted at This committee is staffed by Ellen Miller and Lauren Oakley.

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