Health and Wellness

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

CLA Wellness Walking Challenge

Over 250 individuals from the legal community, their friends and family joined us this summer to virtually walk across California in the CLA Wellness Walking Challenge! This free, five-week challenge was completed in teams of five and challenged all participants to walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day. Learn more.


Image reads: Key findings from attorney mental health and wellbeing study. Read more

2021 Well-Being Week In Law

Well-being Week In Law (WWIL) occurs the first week of May every year to align with Mental Health Awareness Month.  The aim of WWIL is to raise awareness about mental health and encourage action and innovation across the legal 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).

CLA’s Health and Wellness Committee participated in this effort again offering a live virtual event or activity every day of #WellbeingWeekInLaw in alignment with the daily themes set by IWIL: Monday, 05/03 – Stay Strong; Tuesday, 05/04 – Align; Wednesday, 05/05 – Engage & Grow; Thursday, 05/06 – Connect; Friday, 05/07 – Feel Well.  Recordings of most WWIL events are available for viewing on our YouTube channel and at the bottom of this web page.


2021 #CLAWELLNESSCHALLENGE

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 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?  Do you have feedback about a past program? Contact the Committee to let us know!


The 2020-2021 Health and Wellness Committee is comprised of: Sara Rief, Chair; Erin Joyce, Co-Vice Chair; Gary Laturno, Co-Vice Chair, Heather Benton; James Binnall; Tara Burd; Greg Dorst; Jala Eaton; Shelly Frasier; Michelle Harmon; Layla Khamoushian; Dominika W. Kriozere; David Mann; Martine Marich; Kenneth Minesinger; Matt Neco; Mike Razo; Jeff Stander; Alex Yufik; and Cathy Sargent.

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

How Judicial Officers Can Assist in the Creation of Mental Health of Attorneys While Supporting and Aiding the Delivery of Justice, By Erin Joyce, the Hon. Kevin Rosenberg and Carolin Shining (Fall 2021)
Swimming Through ‘Pandemica’, by Matthew Neco (September 2021)
Food is Your Doorway to Wellness: A Healing Journey Through Ayurvedic Practices, by Layla Khamoushian, Esq. (August 2021)
I Walked 10,000 Steps Everyday for a Year and Then I Broke Up with My FitBit, by Sara Rief (July 2021)
Small Changes I Made to Improve My Sleep, by Dominika W. Kriozere (June 2021)
The Year of Bingo, by Michelle Harmon (May 2021)
Well-Being Strategies for Solos and Small Firms: Building Resilient Work Cultures, by Anne M. Brafford (March 2021)
The Importance of Feeling Grateful, by Dominika W. Kriozere (February 2021)
To Empower Your Wellbeing in 2021, Recognize and Avoid Learned Helplessness, by Patrick Krill (February 2021)
Everyday Mindfulness and Activities for Mental Wellbeing, by Gayani Weerasinghe (January 2021)
Holiday Season Self-Care in the Pandemic Era, by Joan Bibelhausen (December 2020)
Advocati Sani: The Elephant in the Room, by Greg Dorst (December 2020)
Advocati Sani: Anxiety is Here! Build Your Own Toolkit, by Greg Dorst (November 2020)
ADHD in the Age of COVID, by Heather A. Benton (October 2020)
Consider a Plant-Based Diet for Health and Wellness (September 2020)
Competency Issues: Having “The Talk”, by Michelle Harmon (August 2020)
Advocati Sani: Internet Addiction Disorder: Can You Relate?, by Greg Dorst (July 2020)
Advocati Sani: How To Promote Clear Thinking During Stressful Times, by Greg Dorst (June 2020)
Practicing Law in Interesting Times, by Erin Joyce (May 2020)
Advocati Sani: When Lawyering Becomes Who You Are, by Greg Dorst (May 2020)
Advocati Sani: What We Already Know But Can’t Seem to Do, by Greg Dorst (April 2020)
The Healthy Lawyer (Advocati Sani), by Greg Dorst (March 2020)

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

Books:

  • 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: https://otherbar.org/contact-us/
Resources:
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

July 21, 2021 | Wellness Wednesday: Essentials of Walking
Speaker: Jacki Elledge, Fitness Instructor

Nordic Walking and Yoga Instructor Jacki Elledge reviews the essentials of walking for beginners and active walkers. In this presentation we learn about hazards to be aware of, how to prepare for your outing, the lifespan of our fitness shoes, walking sticks and poles, hydration, stretching, increasing intensity, proper posture and more!

May 7, 2021 | #WellbeingWeekInLaw: Simple Tools for Managing Our Everyday Emotions
Speaker: Mojdeh (Maya) Zavosh, Board Certified Mind-Body Wellness Coach & Reiki Master

For the final day of 2021 #WellbeingWeekInLaw, we focused on feeling well and our emotional well-being.  Join board certified wellness coach and certified workplace wellness coach Mojdeh (Maya) Zavosh for an interactive session to identify and manage everyday emotions and increased mental agility, for a healthier happier more focused you.

May 5, 2021 | #WellbeingWeekInLaw: LAP & The Other Bar, Supporting the Legal Profession
Speaker: Michelle Harmon, LCSW and Greg Dorst

On day #3 of 2021 #WellbeingWeekInLaw, we gave our attention to engagement and growth as professionals. We were joined by representatives from both The Other Bar and The State Bar of California’s Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) to talk about exactly what each organization does and has to offer members of the legal community.

May 4, 2021 | #WellbeingWeekInLaw: Meditation for the Legal Mind
Speaker: Speaker: Gulwinder “Gullu” Singh, Esq.

For day #2 of 2021 #WellbeingWeekInLaw, we focused on alignment and spiritual well-being of the legal community. Join mindfulness instructor and corporate real estate attorney Gullu Singh for a guided meditation, and some of his insights on the characteristics of the legal mind and meditation myths. Use this time find your center and learn how you may benefit from mindfulness and meditation practices.

May 3, 2021 | #WellbeingWeekInLaw: Moving Medicine & Law Forward in the 21st Century
Speaker: Michael Klaper, M.D., Physician, Speaker, Educator

For the 1st day of 2021 #WellbeingWeekInLaw we focused on our physical well-being, with an emphasis on the food we eat… Join us for one of the hottest topics in medicine and law – the implementation of plant-based diets for reversal of degenerative disease. This presentation will highlight the medical and nutritional concepts of disease reversal that participants can use to improve their own health.

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.

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: https://www.mitramanesh.com/
Podcast: “Lights On with Mitra Manesh”: https://www.innermap.me/lightson
Innermap – Mindful Living, beyond meditation App (IOS): https://apps.apple.com/us/app/innermap-daily-mindfulness/id1446002903

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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

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