A private chat with fellow attorneys is a click away

first_img “As lawyers, we’ve always talked about the ideals of public service and serving the client and the great good we can do in a democracy and all that razmatazz,” Krieger said. “And lawyers who are following that ideal are more satisfied. But the money thing is always the big thing. And people forget that, yes, their family is as important, more important/ The deep parts of our values and ideals that make us people can be expressed in the law in marvelously helpful ways. But too many lawyers forget, and get lost in billable hours or the next client. It’s easy to get lost, because it’s hard work.” The bottom line: “If one is not happy, what is the point?” Krieger asks that question in an article he wrote for the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law’s Journal of Law and Health, titled “What We’re Not Telling Law Students — and Lawyers — that they Really Need to Know: Some Thoughts-In-Action Toward Revitalizing the Profession from its Roots” (Volume 13, Issue I, 1998-99). “Legal educators need to explicitly acknowledge the reality which is increasingly dawning on unhappy practitioners: There is much more to a good life as a lawyer than constant achievement. Students must learn early to work toward their very best while keeping personal health, happiness and life balance as absolute priorities. Otherwise, giving up qualtiy of life now may well become a lifelong mistake.” Krieger goes on to say, “It is no coincidence that the common caricature of lawyers includes shallowness, greed and dishonesty — qualities that manifest in a personal environment devoid of real meaning. And a high rate of addiction among lawyers, by definition, reflects a loss of connection with our feelings and inner self.” Krieger, once a prosecutor, knows well how busy lawyers are — often too busy to seek help or even attend a CLE class on stress management. “Our committee felt that lawyers feel too busy, and we get isolated,” he said. “With isolation can come a sense of depression, which can make people dive even more into work.” And ’round and ’round it goes. The electronic discussion board, Krieger hopes, is a safe chance to have a chat with a fellow lawyer, maybe someone who will say, “I know what you mean. I’ve been there. And I made this change that has really helped. Why don’t you try it?” June 1, 2000 Regular News The drive to be the best, and that only the best will succeed. Relentless competition in a win-lose arena. Performance and appearaces are crucially important. Unyielding devotion leads to excessive hours of work. Being so analytical, you lose touch with your inner feelings and conscience. A private chat with fellow attorneys is a click away Take a deep breath and try to answer this question honestly: How often do you meet a happy lawyer? That’s what we thought. You know what the research reveals: More than a third of lawyers say they are “highly dissatisfied;” an even higher number wish they could flee the profession. Lawyers have the highest rate of major depressive disorders among 104 occupational groups, and lawyers rank fifth among all occupational groups in committing suicide. “All the studies and figures indicate that this is one of the most stressful professions,” says Michael Cohen, chair of The Florida Bar’s Quality of Life/Stress Management Committee. “The whole thrust is that you don’t need to be working 60 to 80 hours and making X dollars to be happy. Maybe make less and have more time for family and get back to the practice of law would make you happier.” Cohen advises there’s great comfort in knowing you’re not alone, and that it’s a lot better to talk about your concerns and problems early on, before stress can lead to addiction, alcoholism, neglecting clients and ethical problems. That’s why his committee has come up with a new resource to help: a confidential electronic discussion group as a convenient and confidential way for lawyers to vent and chat about stress or other problems, and, hopefully, colleagues will be ready to supply construction solutions. From the privacy of your home or office, click on www.law.fsu.edu:8080/~happylawyer or it can be accessed from the Quality of Life/Stress Management web page at www.fla-lap.org/qlsm/. What you’ll find is the discussion board, “Happy Lawyer is Not an Oxymoron: Health and Satisfaction in the Profession,” (a pithy title created by Tampa attorney Diane Vogt) that bills itself as a confidential, password-protected electronic discussion group maintained primarily for members of The Florida Bar who are “seeking greater happiness, health and balance in their lives, or who would like to share their efforts and methods of maximizing those qualities in their lives as lawyers.” The site is maintained at Florida State University College of Law, where Dean Don Weidner believes: “It is important for our law school to be involved in the life of the profession. I hope we can be of real service to practitioners seeking to lead balanced professional, personal and even spiritual lives.” Manager of the site is Larry Krieger, vice-chair of the committee and a clinical professor at FSU’s College of Law. In preparing his students for externship clinics in criminal law, he also teaches his students about the pitfalls of the profession that can easily lead to stressed, out-of-balance, unhappy lives: A private chat with fellow attorneys is a click awaylast_img read more

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‘State of Emergency a Blockade to Liberia’s Economy’

first_imgHundreds of Liberians using the highway connecting Bomi, Cape Mount and Gbarpolu counties have complained that the blockade by the Joint Security as a result of the State of Emergency announced by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is seriously impeding their movements. They also complained that it will harm the nation’s economy.The citizens made the disclosure Thursday, August 7, to our reporter who toured the Klay area, where the Joint Security team has a checkpoint.In an interview with some of these citizens, most of whom are business people and commuters, moving between Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, they said the State of Emergency will damage economic growth for this year, if some of the measures are not reduced in favor of business people.They noted that from the economic and business perspective, the State of Emergency is a concern to them because it is going stall economic growth.“The fact is that once your country is under a State of Emergency, which in itself is a disincentive to foreign investors who will not be inclined to choose Liberia until it is lifted,” Maima Kromah, a Liberia businesswoman, who was taking a taxi loaded with goods from Monrovia to Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County, indicated.A resident of Bomi County, Musa Foday, stated that local investors are already in a state of paralysis. “They will not be inclined to move ahead during this State of Emergency,” he opined.The traders argued that although the President is trying to stop the further spread of the Ebola virus in Liberia, the timing of the State of Emergency is not ripe. They believe she should have long since declared the emergency back in March when the disease first broke out.“We agree that she is using her power as the President; but people in rural Liberia need food and other things for their families. So tell me with this kind of situation right now on the this road, how are we going to feed them?” Madam Kromah wondered.The businesswoman projected that if the emergency extends into December, which is the Christmas season, it will have a severe effect on the nation’s revenue intake.All the other merchants who spoke with the Observer proposed that the government of Liberia needs to determine a strategic plan in the fight against the Ebola virus. They said the plan must make enough room for the business sector to operate, with very limited restrictions.President Sirleaf late Wednesday, August 6, declared a State of Emergency through the Republic, to be observed for 90 days (three months).In declaring the emergency, the President said the government will institute extra-ordinary measures including, if need be, the suspension of certain rights and privileges as mandated by the Constitution.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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MP Jay Hill’s Weekly Report

first_imgAnd finally a note on news from several weeks back …. a new distinctly Canadian Victoria Cross has been unveiled. Awarded for extraordinary valour and devotion to duty while facing a hostile force, the Victoria Cross is the highest honour one can receive in the Canadian Honours System. The new Victoria Cross can only be awarded to Canadians and will contain metal from the original 1867 Confederation medals, as well as metal from every region of the country.Remember, you can always check on more government news at: www.gc.ca Child Care Benefit is Two Years OldJuly marked two years since the introduction of the Universal Child Care Benefit by the Conservative Government. Over 1.5-million families and 2 million children have received $5-billion to help balance work and home responsibilities. The second phase of the program, a $250-million investment to help the provinces and territories create child care spaces, has resulted in over 60,000 new spaces so far. That’s in addition to the $850-million the provinces already received this year through the Canada Social Transfer for children’s programs and services, an annual amount that will grow by 3 percent through 2014.Saskatchewan to Hold Senate ElectionsThe Saskatchewan government will introduce legislation this fall to hold elections for Senate nominees. This initiative by Saskatchewan reflects Canadians’ desire for a modernized, democratic Senate and complements our government’s actions. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has already appointed one Senator, Bert Brown, who was chosen by Alberta voters in Senate elections in that province. In addition, we’ve introduced Bill C-20, to provide Canadians with a direct say on who will be their Senators, and Bill C-19 to limit Senate terms to eight years from a current maximum of 45 years!Advertisement Catching Up on Federal News and NoticesTime to catch up on a selection of news and notes on federal programs of interest to local residents.Final Farm Options Payments on the Way- Advertisement -During the first week of August, final payments for the Canadian Farm Families Options Program will be mailed out to participants. ‘Options’ is a two-year pilot program providing low income farmers and farm families with short-term financial assistance while they take advantage of business/skills development services that assist them in finding ways to improve their farm and off-farm income. Participants have received roughly $221-million over the two-year life of the program with a total average payment of $17,000 per participant.U.S. Travel UpdateOur Conservative Government’s ongoing efforts to work with the United States to ensure that its Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative does not compromise the flow of legitimate trade and travel have achieved results. While all Canadian citizens currently require a passport for air travel to the U.S., adult requirements for ground and sea crossings will not take effect until June 1, 2009. Canadian citizens 15 years of age and under will be allowed to present only proof of citizenship, such as an original copy of a birth certificate or a citizenship card, to enter the U.S. by land and water. Travelers 18 years of age and under in approved adult-supervised groups, such as a school trip, will also be permitted to present only proof of citizenship.Advertisementlast_img read more

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