Diversity and inclusion, stress management, mental health and practice management are some of the major areas of focus among legal professionals today. And contributors to the ABA Journal’s Your Voice column certainly brought these concepts front and center in 2022.
The ABA Journal launched Your Voice in 2018 to offer space for lawyers to discuss the issues most impactful to them and the work that they do. Legal professionals submit columns about their personal experiences and share them with their peers through this column.
ABA Journal Assistant Managing Editor Blair Chavis. Photo by Callie Lipkin/ABA Journal.
We’ve rounded up eight staff picks from 2022 that strongly reflect our Your Voice submissions from the year.
By Kee Tobar
“As a legal aid attorney, I did not encounter much direct bias within the organization, though my experience is likely not representative of many diverse attorneys. But I experienced the diversity tax within the ‘greater workplace,’ which includes the courtroom, opposing counsel, clients and recurring external organizational collaborative partners.”
By Judge Victor Reyes
“A healthier and more self-compassionate judicial officer makes for a better decision-maker and community leader and should not be seen as weakness. To the contrary, it takes an incredible amount of honesty and self-awareness for anyone to admit the adverse impact of our work on our personal and professional lives so
we can begin the process of accessing the tools available to develop resiliency.”
By Joe Beyer
“Optimal performance is all but predicated on the ability to properly modulate your psychophysiological state—thoughts and emotions in relation to the body. While the consequences of poor performance are not as tremendous as those seen within the military, acute manifestations of stress are experienced all the same.”
By Nadine C. Atkinson-Flowers
“How a client behaves can negatively impact a firm and its lawyers. Namely, untrustworthy clients can pose a professional responsibility risk. While the article zeroed in on untrustworthiness, I’ve had additional difficulties with clients and have developed some tips for how to manage them.”
By Lindsey Rogers-Seitz
“So many of us struggle in silence while striving for excellence, when only a helping hand and understanding—not only from family and friends but also from colleagues and those with leading positions in law firms—could guide our way to attain success as humans and as professionals.”
By Michael E. Rubinstein
“Opening my own practice has enabled me to do things I never could have done working for someone else. It has also given me pride in ownership. I can decide which cases to take and which ones I don’t want.”
By Haley Moss
“Choosing to include neurodivergent folks with accommodation solutions is not just a floor set by the Americans with Disabilities Act but a key ingredient to having an accessible legal profession for everyone.”
By Joseline Jean-Louis Hardrick
“How many times have you heard, ‘You don’t look like a lawyer!’ How do you feel when it happens? What’s your typical response?”
ABAJournal.com is accepting queries for original, thoughtful, nonpromotional articles and commentary by unpaid contributors to run in the Your Voice section. Details and submission guidelines are posted at “Your Submissions, Your Voice.”