Health and Wellness

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

In 2020, CLA established a Health and Wellness Committee to provide resources and content that support attorney wellness, including general health, mental health, and problematic substance use.  The Committee is working on a variety of content including monthly articles in e-news, regular webinars, mindfulness meditation experiences and other activities.

Featured Event

Wellness, Health, and Sobriety During These Difficult Times – Wellness and Sobriety Conference

Saturday, October 24, 2020 @ 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

The Other Bar is a California non-profit service organization dedicated to assisting attorneys, judges, paralegals and law students who struggle with wellness issues and related problems with alcohol or other substance use.   We are proud to sponsor this conference offering wisdom, guidance, humor and education designed to help you stay sane, productive, and yes, even happy, during this unprecedented confluence of overwhelming events and challenges.  We have assembled a lineup of stellar speakers for this event, which includes 2 MCLE presentations: Mental Competency/Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession, and Legal Ethics. (1 hour credit each.)   

Available Resources

CLA Articles

CLA Recorded Wellness Sessions

Conquering Chronic Disease & Preexisting Conditions in the Age of COVID-19

Conquering Chronic Disease & Preexisting Conditions in the Age of COVID-19

Recorded on Friday, May 8, 2020

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

Benefits of Plant-Based Diets

Benefits of Plant-Based Diets

Recorded on July 23, 2020

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.

Recorded Guided Meditations

Practicing Resilience in These Times: Tools to Navigate Our Personal and Professional Lives

Practicing Resilience in These Times: Tools to Navigate Our Personal and Professional Lives

Recorded on Friday, April 10, 2020

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.

Meditation Experience with Dr. Rochelle Calvert, PhD

Meditation Experience

Recorded on Friday, March 27, 2020

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.

Finding Ease During Uncertainty with Jeena Cho

Finding Ease During Uncertainty

Recorded on Friday, March 20, 2020

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.

Other Resources

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

Lawyer Well-Being Week
Lawyer Well-Being Week logo

The first annual Lawyer Well-Being Week was on May 4-8, 2020. Here is how we took action to help lawyers build better wellness habits throughout #LawyerWellbeingWeek:

Monday, May 4: Stay Strong

Eat well, get enough sleep, and recover from stress to protect your physical well-being. Minimize addictive substances and seek help when needed. On Monday, many members joined us for a free webinar on “Weathering the Pandemic and Keeping Your Center Through the Crisis.” We learned how to deal with the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic on the practice, and how attorneys need to be especially careful of their professional responsibilities in the time of crisis.

Tuesday, May 5: Align

Foster a sense of meaning and purpose in all aspects of life. Align life and work to serve your values and nurture your spiritual well-being. Take a moment for mindfulness to recenter yourself. Find our recorded guided meditations here.

Wednesday, May 6: Engage & Grow

Continuously learn and develop to invest in your occupational and intellectual well-being. Strive for personal satisfaction and growth at work. Aim for financial stability. Attorneys from around the state discussed how they are making their career well-being a priority in the 5/6 Coffee Break.

Thursday, May 7: Connect

When it comes to social well-being, it is important to build connection, belonging, and a reliable support network. Contribute to groups that matter to you. Connect with other CLA members, ask questions, offer ideas, and comment on the latest developments in the legal world through our Online Community.

Friday, May 8: Feel Well

Understand, identify, and use emotions well. To maintain your emotional well-being, seek help for mental health when needed. When your lifestyle is intentional, your mental health and physical health can align. We hosted a free webinar called “Conquering Chronic Disease & Preexisting Conditions in the Age of Covid-19; How Lifestyle Changes Can Reverse Most Chronic Disease” to help members navigate healthy choices during COVID-19.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

It takes a minimum of 21 days to form a habit. If you are up for it, we challenge you to try to do something everyday this month in order to take care of yourself. Gather family members or find a friend or coworker who is willing to join you for 31 days. Missed May 1st? Start on any day you like! Get the list of family fun activities.

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
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

Health and Wellness Committee

Co-Chairs: Sara Rief and John (J.R.) Richards

Co-Chairs: Sara Rief and John (J.R.) Richards

Committee Staff: Ellen Miller and Lauren Oakley

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