Wellness and Balance

Being a Lawyer
According to the Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney must be fit. The astute attorney, however, understands that fitness means more than just fitness of legal expertise; it means also those qualities of physical, mental and psychological health that enables a lawyer to carry out the demands and the responsibilities to their clients and to their profession.

More specifically, the fit attorney practices law while practicing personal wellness. Wellness leads to a balanced life-style. Data supports that without a balance life-style; lawyers are at high risk to burnout.

Wellness and health are interrelated, but distinct concepts.  Health is considered freedom from disease; it is the condition in which people are able to do their most constructive work, provide the best possible service to their clients and experience the highest possible enjoyment in leisure-time experiences.  On the other hand, Wellness is much more complex than basic physical health. Wellness is the ability to fully integrate physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being into an effective lifestyle.  Optimum wellness balances the five basic dimensions.

Optimum wellness balances the following five basic dimensions:

physical Physical Dimension – This dimension is related to sound nutritional practices, maintaining proper weight, participating in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, engaging in physical activity, avoiding risky behavior and restricting intake of harmful substances.
career Career Dimension - This dimension is related to finding balance among various life roles as people engage in fulfilling work and related activities, and identifying leisure activities that will provide a sense of life satisfaction.
emotional Emotional Dimension – This dimension is related to understanding personal feelings, maintaining a relative even emotional state, accepting one’s own limitations, expressing emotions effectively, adjusting to change, and maintaining goo, healthy relationships with other people.
social Social Dimension – This dimension is related to sharing friendships, family relationships and group memberships.  It entails using empathy and active listening skills, care genuinely about other people, being open to care from other people, and committing to the common good of the community, the legal profession, the nation and the world.
yin-yang Spiritual Dimension - This dimension is related to maintaining a sense that life is meaningful, employing a continuing quest for value and purpose, searching for clarity, committing to peace and contentment in life, and developing the fortitude to continue in the face of obstacles.  (The Wellness Lifestyle Workbook: Self-Assessments, Exercises and Educational Handouts.  John J. Liptak, EdD; Ester A. Leutenberg, Whole Person Associates, Duluth, Minnesota, Introduction.)


Carol P. Waldhauser
Executive Director of the
Delaware Lawyers Assistance Program
and Licensed Wellness Inventory Coach
A special notice will be sent to announce the start of the program.
You are encouraged to be kind and patient with yourself.

Burnout: A modern malaise

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Attorney Well-Being Featured in ABA Law Practice Today

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The August 2018 issue of Law Practice Today from the ABA Law Practice Division is dedicated to attorney well-being. In it you’ll find…

The Nuts and Bolts of Work/Life Balance

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Materials from the September Nuts and Bolts of Work/Life Balance seminar series

Law Career Counseling

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ABA: What Does it Take to Satisfy Character and Fitness Requirements?

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MEDLINE PLUS: Women's Health Issues

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MEDLINEPLUS: Men's Health Issues

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