REST – No Longer a Bad Word
By Marina Kats Fraigun
Marina Kats Fraigun is a Plaintiff’s employment attorney. She has been practicing for more than 22 years. She was selected as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Southern California in 2019, 2020, and 2021, and the Top 100 Lawyers in Southern California for the same years. She is an aggressive Plaintiff’s side employment attorney who has been referred to as a "pit bull." Marina also teaches in the Paralegal Program at Los Angeles Valley College. In addition to being a passionate advocate and founder of Fraigun Law Group, Marina is happily married and is raising two teenage sons.
The lives of attorneys are replete with stress, anxiety, depression, and alcohol and drug use. It is almost a cliché. A 2016 study conducted jointly by the ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation1 conducted a study involving approximately 13,000 lawyers, which found that 28% of respondents experienced depression, 19% experienced anxiety, and 23% experienced stress. More recently, ALM’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey, published in 2020, found that 31.2% of the respondents felt that they were depressed, 64% felt they had anxiety, 10.1% felt they had an alcohol problem, and 2.8% reported a drug problem.2
Lawyers love to discuss how busy they are, and how stressed out they feel. The common refusal to rest is almost a badge of honor, and even a widely presumed indicator of success. While bar associations sponsor programs and provide resources about work-life balance, there is always an undercurrent of guilt for attorneys associated with choosing to rest.