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FAQ

  • Are you a licensed therapist or licensed social worker?
    No. I am not a licensed therapist or social worker. I am someone who has struggled with mental health issues that have been exacerbated by working as a practicing lawyer. I have been in therapy for over a decade and have used more recently developed approaches to address mental health problems (including ketamine). I do not discount the importance of seeking help from mental health professionals and recommend anyone viewing this website to find their own therapist. My goal is to help you understand that you are not alone in your struggles. As someone who lives The Lawyering Life and has done so for the past 13 years, I hope to provide guidance and support to those lawyers that face their own mental health problems caused by or exacerbated by their professional lives.
  • Why should I hire you?
    I am an empathetic person and I am open about my own vulnerabilities and insecurities. I know that may not sound like much but in my experience, lawyers are afraid to open up about their insecurities and struggles - they fear being labeled as "weak," "too soft," or "incapable." I understand this hesitation but in my experience, the best way to help manage and deal with the difficulties that come along with being a lawyer are therapy and talking to other lawyers that are willing to be open about their own struggles. The Lawyering Life coaching sessions are not a replacement for therapy or other forms of mental health treatment, but because I have been (and still am) a practicing lawyer, I want to make you more comfortable with yourself and let you know that you are not alone. I wish that I had a service like this available as a younger lawyer and frankly, even today.
  • Can we discuss ongoing or past cases, disputes, and negotiations?
    Attorney-client privilege and worries about others' perceptions can have a chilling effect on being open about struggles that come along with being a lawyer. If we don't talk about specific issues we are facing because of this chilling effect, we run the risk of isolating ourselves and feeling alone in our struggles. The privilege and confidentiality concerns, however, are real and serious. Fortunately, there is a comment to Minnesota Rule of Professional Conduct 1.6 (regarding the confidentiality of information) that allows for these sorts of discussions with certain restrictions: "A lawyer's use of a hypothetical to discuss issues relating to the representation is permissible so long as there is no reasonable likelihood that the listener will be able to ascertain the identity of the client or the situation involved."
  • Why are you offering these services?
    I was in law school and at the end of a semester, a professor told the class that clients hire lawyers "to be perfect," and he urged us to "go be perfect." In reality, no one is perfect and there is no 'perfect' approach to lawyering. They call it the "practice of law" for a reason - we are constantly practicing and working hard, but we need to accept that no one is perfect. Even a great contract or a winning litigation strategy is not perfect. If you expect perfection in your work, it's going to be hard to accomplish anything in your career. You are not alone in feeling like people (clients, colleagues, judges, etc.) expect perfection and you are not alone in putting that pressure on yourself. Talking about this unachievable expectation has helped me be a better and more decisive lawyer, as well as a happier lawyer. It's OK to admit uncertainty and frankly, it helps to talk about it with someone who has been through similar situations.
  • Have you participated in other lawyer wellness programs?
    Yes. For a period of time a few years ago, I attended meetings held by Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL). LCL is a great resource and I urge you to explore its services. I think that our discussions can help supplement whatever other avenues of improving your well-being you choose, whether that's talk therapy, ketamine therapy, or otherwise. I do not claim to be a replacement for mental health professionals and am merely someone to talk to who knows about the difficulties that we face as lawyers.
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