514 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 4 JULY 2020
distribution: 90% of the lawyers we test score below the 50th percentile”.7
LaCroix states that more than ever, we need to consciously shift our mindsets
in a positive way. He also acknowledges that more lawyers are finding
it challenging to adapt and offers that the Lawyers Assistance Program
exists to provide myriad, flexible support to the profession.
Both Greenberg and LaCroix acknowledge that negativity can be countered
by volunteering in our communities. A study by two Carnegie Mellon
University researchers found that adults over 50 who regularly volunteered
for altruistic reasons were less likely to develop high blood pressure than
non-volunteers.8 This study was backed up a study by University of Exeter
researchers showing that the benefits of contributing were conditional on
the volunteers’ intentions.9 Suzanne Richards, one of the contributors to the
University of Exeter study, stated: “The evidence points to volunteering as
something that can potentially be good for people, but only when they
choose to do it, and at a level that feels right for them … Compelling people
to volunteer is unlikely to yield health benefits.”10 So while an awareness of
vulnerable populations is important, an individual will neither commit nor
derive, or confer, any benefit from volunteering based on insincerity.
Becoming Better Advocates for Our Clients
Besides keeping connected to society and looking after our mental health,
we can become more effective counsel by contributing to our communities
and advocating for clients of all societal backgrounds.
Sara Forte of Forte Law has taken contributing one step further by including
community involvement in her business plan and as a guiding principle
for her firm. For example, last year, she advocated for raising awareness
about workplace sexual harassment. She wrote many articles and blog
entries, gave talks and webinars, and incorporated the issue into a new service
offering by her firm. Her contributions aligned with the values of both
her community and her business model. She has expanded this approach
for her team at Forte Law and also challenged them to develop their own
ways of educating the public and legal communities.
CONTRIBUTING TO THE LEGAL COMMUNITY
Contributing to the legal community can take many forms, whether it is
joining and participating in a legal association, conducting speaking
engagements, writing articles and/or blog posts, or simply ensuring that
you are connecting with your colleagues. In the last few months, we have
seen that unity in the bar can still take place through Zoom calls, phone
calls or simply sending e-mails to check in, forms of communication that
require reliance on technology.