Be Well, 1220 WYBJ, Vol. 43 No. 6. 56

PositionVol. 43 6 Pg. 56

Be Well

No. Vol. 43 No. 6 Pg. 56

Wyoming Bar Journal

December, 2020

Attorney Wellness is Not One-Size-Fits-All

This month’s column is driven by questions from you, the practicing bar. I was recently asked how small and solo firms should approach wellness. A few weeks later, I was asked by another colleague what a wellness program should include. Both questions are the impetus for this month’s column.

Attorney wellness is not necessarily amenable to a one-size-fits-all program. It is also not a one-point-in-time program. Well-ness is like an umbrella. Each segment of that umbrella is a different facet of wellness. There are eight facets to that umbrella depending on the wellness model you use—occupational, social, emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, financial, and environmental. The goal is to strengthen each segment of the umbrella. When several or all segments of the umbrella are strong, then when natural stressors come at you in the practice of law or in your personal life, your wellness allows you to be more resilient; the stressors can be dealt with and just roll off the umbrella without causing lasting damage to the person covered by the umbrella, you.

Attorney wellness is not one-size-fits-all because each person has different segments of the umbrella that are strong and less strong. The needs within each segment also vary by individual. Wellness is not a one-point-in-time concept either because individual needs change over time. A person might need to bolster the financial and social segments of their wellness umbrella at one stage of practice but need to amend some other segments of the umbrella a year later and other segments sometime after that.

Large Firms v. Small Firms

Large firms and small firms might approach wellness efforts in different ways. Large firms, governments, and in-house corporate attorneys may see one type of wellness program thanks to different budgetary resources and the ability to form wellness committees. These programs might include organized events, a newsletter from the health insurance provider, periodic email blasts, free reusable water bottles, lunchtime yoga or tai chi, and in-house health fairs or flu shots. These programs have many advantages but may be less personalized due to the scale of the program or the number of people it tries to serve. The program may be designed to be one-size-fits-many.

Small firms and solo firms...

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