Monday, February 7, 2011

Carrying the Weight of Others' Problems

I had the privilege of speaking at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar this past Friday.  Another attorney speaking at the seminar reminded me about the burdens that we family law attorneys take on.  Every day we go to the office, meet with clients, and argue legal points of law, and our jobs can become a little routine.  All too many times, we focus on our jobs and lose sight of the fact that what we do significantly affects not only our clients' lives but also the lives of their children and other family members.  Family law attorneys routinely have to counsel domestic abuse victims or we get involved in a custody battle for which the outcome will affect where our client's children will live and go to school.  Dealing with these types of cases often comes with a great deal of stress and anxiety.

I don't know a single family law attorney that has not laid awake at night agonizing over a client's problems, or who hasn't worried that he or she will discover on the evening news that a client was killed as a result of domestic violence.  Is it any wonder that attorneys have such a high rate of alcoholism and divorce themselves?  What we do is important, but it is also extremely stressful and can affect our lives and our health, which is why it is so critical that we each have a support group, if you will, of colleagues who understand the burden of carrying the weight of our clients' family law problems.  So, reach out -- ask a colleague to lunch, swap war stories.   It helps to unburden and to know that you are not alone.  It's a fundamental concept of physics that every weight feels lighter when the load is shared.


  1. Good idea Jessica! I hope this is used and enjoyed by many!

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