Welcome, Jennifer!

We are delighted to welcome Jennifer Harrington, JD, MS, as the newest attorney counselor at the OAAP!

Move Over Gratitude, It's Time to Try Delight

As vaccinations increase and COVID rates fall in Oregon, many of us are venturing back into the world, albeit perhaps tentatively. A meal with friends or a fiddle jam in someone’s backyard can be exhilarating, tenderly heartfelt, and also a little terrifying. While we relearn how to make small talk and navigate who goes first in building entrances, now is a great time for trying out a new practice.

FEEL WELL: EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING

Welcome to the 2021 Well-Being Week in Law! The OAAP is excited to celebrate this event and provide support for the well-being of members of the Oregon legal community. Each of the five days in Well-Being Week will focus on one dimension of well-being, and our daily blog post will include activity suggestions to “watch,” “read,” and “do” to enhance your well-being in that area. Let’s cap off the week with emotional well-being!

CONNECT: SOCIAL WELL-BEING

Welcome to the 2021 Well-Being Week in Law! The OAAP is excited to celebrate this event and provide support for the well-being of members of the Oregon legal community. Each of the five days in Well-Being Week will focus on one dimension of well-being, and our daily blog post will include activity suggestions to “watch,” “read,” and “do” to enhance your well-being in that area. Let’s continue the week with social well-being!

Engage and Grow: Career and Intellectual Well-Being

Welcome to the 2021 Well-Being Week in Law! The OAAP is excited to celebrate this event and provide support for the well-being of members of the Oregon legal community. Each of the five days in Well-Being Week will focus on one dimension of well-being, and our daily blog post will include activity suggestions to “watch,” “read,” and “do” to enhance your well-being in that area. Let’s continue the week with career and intellectual well-being!

ALIGN: SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING

Welcome to the 2021 Well-Being Week in Law! The OAAP is excited to celebrate this event and provide support for the well-being of members of the Oregon legal community. Each of the five days in Well-Being Week will focus on one dimension of well-being, and our daily blog post will include activity suggestions to “watch,” “read,” and “do” to enhance your well-being in that area. Let’s continue the week with spiritual well-being!

Stay Strong: Well-Being Week Kickoff and Physical Well-Being

Welcome to the 2021 Well-Being Week in Law! The OAAP is excited to celebrate this event and provide support for the well-being of members of the Oregon legal community. Each of the five days in Well-Being Week will focus on one dimension of well-being, and our daily blog post will include activity suggestions to “watch,” “read,” and “do” to enhance your well-being in that area.

Well-Being Week in Law: A Review of 2020 and a Sneak Peek at 2021

What Is “Well-Being Week in Law” Anyway? “Well-Being Week in Law” is a national event that takes place annually the first week in May. The goal is to raise awareness about mental health and encourage action and innovation to improve well-being throughout the profession.

Flashing Lights and Guiding Lights - Lawyers and ADHD

For many of us, COVID has materially altered the way we work and interact with others. These changes have significantly impacted people with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). Students with ADHD are often struggling to adjust to new classroom structures and methods of learning.

Procrastination: A Story and Some Resources for Solutions

The following is a fictional account of someone who is wrestling with the age-old challenge and uniquely human experience of procrastination. Although the story is not “true” from a factual standpoint, it contains much “truth” in the larger sense of the word – and many people will undoubtedly recognize themselves in this narrative.

Is the Juice Worth the Squeeze?

The other day I had something of an epiphany. For me, these are intuitive perceptions or insights into the meaning of something or, more frequently, how to do (or not to do) something. Of course, they are not really epiphanies in any true sense; most often, they are just sporadic breakthroughs of common sense. Most of these aha moments, when the light comes on, have to do with me recognizing some better, faster, easier, or smarter way of doing something...

Farewell from Shari Pearlman

I am writing this post to say farewell to the Oregon legal community, as my last day at the Oregon Attorney Assistance Program will be November 3, 2020. It will be a bittersweet parting, as I have been fortunate to have served our community for 21 years by helping people and building community, which has always been and remains my personal mission.

Gratitude: Now More Than Ever

As the months are stretching longer and the days are growing shorter, many of us are looking for strategies to help buoy us for the long haul. One of the techniques that I find exceptionally helpful for these challenging times is GRATITUDE.

What's on Your List? Developing Healthy Ways to Calm and Soothe

Lawyers and students often leave healthy relaxing activities and rituals at the door of the profession, starting when they arrive at law school. As we get closer to Law Student Mental Health Day on October 10, 2020, I want to encourage law students to practice well-being, but I also want to help lawyers and students find ways to calm and soothe themselves.

Telling Time

A few weeks ago, I commented in my blog post about the recent Sunday morning I awoke to a warm and beautifully clear day, happily looking forward to some recreation and relaxation …. only to fairly quickly realize that it was not Sunday, it was Monday!

Seeing Beyond into the Horizon

Hot summer days have come. Soon enough it will be fall. Schools have reopened – albeit remotely for many districts – for concerned parents and young kids. Law school graduates have made decisions about diploma privilege, while others plan for, or have proceeded to take, the bar exam.

Welcome Law Students

It was twenty years ago now, but I still remember what it was like showing up at law school that very first week or so.  I didn’t know anybody, and I felt a little bit like a fish out of water, because it had been a while since I’d been in school.  I was the first person in my family to become a lawyer, and I didn’t know what to expect, so I was pretty nervous.  But I was also excited! 

Vicarious Trauma in the Time of COVID-19

How does the vicarious trauma caused by exposure to our clients’ suffering intersect with the stress and anxiety many are experiencing right now due to a global pandemic? If you have ever attended one of my CLE presentations, or met me in person, it is very likely you have heard me talk about vicarious trauma. I hope these discussions and others like them have helped us recognize a familiar experience for many of us in the legal community.

Awe-some or Awe-struck: The Benefit of Finding AWE in the Ordinary

I find myself amazed at the simplest of things sometimes and am curious, upon making new friends, what brings a sense of awe to them. What I knew before reading about some research is that when I feel that sense of awe, that fascination with something right in front of me, in that moment I possess buoyancy, light, and a childlike sense of wonder. I am in the moment, mesmerized and able to concentrate on the object of my awe.

A Day in the Life

Forgive me for not dispensing well-being advice and wisdom here. We are all navigating through uncharted waters today. Most of us are doing the best we can. There are times we get things right, and times we don’t. Below are some of my own reflections, and perhaps not uncommon examples, of how I have attempted to navigate those waters.

On Healing Racial Trauma

It may be difficult, perhaps seemingly far-fetched, to consider that race and trauma coincide, or that they even exist in our individual or collective bodies. However, because of the manner in which our nervous system processes information and experiences of race and racism, both of which are so much a part of our American history and culture, it would be neglectful from a mental health standpoint to discount the mark that a societal history of racialization leaves in all our bodies.

Why Compassion Matters

Normally, the purpose of this blog is to talk about ways in which we can be healthier, happier lawyers. So my original plan for this post, when I thought about it weeks ago, was to write about a self-care topic – some little tidbit that would help better manage the daily stress of being a lawyer. But honestly, in this moment, that seems trite, a little patronizing, and frankly, a bit tone-deaf.

Getting Unstuck from in the Uncertain Place

Living in the “place between no longer and not yet” (a phrase coined by Victor Turner, anthropologist, writer) can make us feel stuck. We all find ourselves living with uncertainty, and the unknowns can create a level of anxiety within us that has us freeze and then at times feel stuck.

The Best 12 Minutes of My Day

The other day I was checking out our new OAAP blog, Thriving Today, to re-familiarize myself with the topics and the resources about which we had previously written. I wanted to post something this week that would be new and different, maybe even insightful and profound − a short piece that would dispense some really helpful advice about how, in times of significant difficulty and uncertainty, we can best help ourselves navigate our way through the challenges we sometimes have before us.

Oregon Legal Community Acts Kindly: The Icing on the Cake to Lawyer Well-Being Week

Hello everyone, When the OAAP embarked on our first endeavor to celebrate lawyer well-being week, we did not know what would unfold.  What we found was sincere participation by our community and care for ourselves and others. I personally was amazed. We are all living our lives under ever-changing rules and encountering new experiences.  Yet, we are able to carve out time to listen, learn, and participate together.

Inspiration: A New Breath

It turns out that the word “inspiration” comes from the Latin word “inspiratus,” which essentially means “breathe into.” It has been said that, before this literal meaning, the word inspiration had a theological basis that predated this definition. It initially referred to the influence of a divine entity on a person. I like to think of inspiration as the occurrence of both breathing life into and as something ethereal.

Acts of Kindness Improve Well-Being

Welcome to Day 2 of Well-Being Week! I am so glad you have stopped by the blog today for our post on acts of kindness. There is some lovely research (see Dartmouth for a fact sheet) on how participating in acts of kindness improves our physical and mental health. Even the mere act of observing someone else sharing a moment of kindness improves our own well-being.

Lawyer Well-Being Week Kickoff

The OAAP welcomes you to Lawyer Well-Being Week!! Watch our blog each day for new opportunities to take care, connect, be inspired, and inspire others.

Now Might Be a Great Time to Start a Meditation Practice (It’s Easier Than You Think)

In his article, “Why Leaders Need Meditation Now More Than Ever,” in the March 22, 2020, edition of the Harvard Business Review, Dr. Matthias Birk talks about the value of meditation for increasing empathy, analytical decision making, and creative thinking. These are traits needed by business leaders, and, I would argue, everyone else, during this time of change and uncertainty.

Things to Do While Sheltering in Place

Working remotely and practicing physical/responsible distancing from friends and family is teaching me a lot! As an extrovert, I have learned that three hours of people contact time each day is quite satisfying, and I can achieve that through phone and Zoom most days.

Moving Beyond Social Distance Towards Expansive Solidarity

In times of stress, I try to get really intentional about taking care of myself. I use a couple of strategies to increase my awareness of what is going into and coming out of my mind. I attend to how I am describing my circumstances and the world around me, and what I consume in the printed or visual forms. I came upon two great resources this week from The Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley that I’ve been sharing with colleagues and friends.

THRIVING…Despite Challenge: A Brief Roadmap for Lawyers

It is no surprise that each of us responds differently to life’s changes and challenges: the birth of a child, the death of a parent, a good job obtained, a good job lost, a financial success, a financial setback. No two of us react in exactly the same way. That’s natural and to be expected.