Christina D. Crow
This is a one-of-a-kind issue for The Alabama Lawyer. While I am not an authority on the Lawyer and what has been published in the past, I understand this is the first issue that is focused on what some might consider a non-substantive law issue. I commend Greg Ward and everyone who contributed to this issue for taking the brave step forward into a hard conversation that has been stigmatized for way too long.
After I became the president-elect designate, I had many people ask what I wanted to accomplish during my year as president. I've always loved hearing the stories of lawyers and finding out what makes people tick. So I knew I wanted to tell the stories of lawyers and encourage the Alabama State Bar to tell the stories of its members. I wanted to do more than that, though. I wanted to create a path to make it easier for the lawyers in our state to thrive. A few weeks after I became president-elect, a lawyer in my small circuit who graduated from law school with me committed suicide, and another lawyer from our circuit had a brother who committed suicide. This was not long after an investigator in our local district attorney's office (whose son is also an attorney) committed suicide. The sadness and despair in our community was palpable. These experiences so close to home solidified my desire to ease the path of my fellow lawyers.
I know and love people who are in recovery. I know and love people who suffer from depression. I know and love people who live unhealthy lives, are chronically over-stressed, drink too much, eat too much, and generally are not well. I would guess we all have known and loved people who have suffered similarly. I know I have suffered from those same things from time to time. The stress of practicing law, keeping a marriage together (and, hopefully, happy), raising a family, giving back to a community, and trying to develop clients affects everyone, including me, and can b e overwhelming at times. Sometimes I handle that stress in a healthy way, and sometimes I handle it in a less healthy way. While I am blessed that I do not...