Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 22

FEATURE
It was also timely. The same year Goldstein was diagnosed, the National
Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being released The Path to Lawyer Well-Being:
Practical Recommendations for Positive Change, a robust report that
addressed disturbing levels of chronic stress and high rates of depression and substance use among lawyers and law students. It also
outlined recommendations for stakeholders, judges, employers, bar
associations, and law schools.
Goldstein's struggle was a real-life example between the numbers.
"I thought my letter might reach maybe one to two people," says Goldstein,
a New York-based labor and employment attorney at Reed Smith LLP. Over
the past year, thousands of lawyers, judges, and others have reached out
to him to share their own mental health struggles or those of a loved one.
Speaking engagements at law schools and American Bar Association professional events now fill his calendar, and he continues to make time to share
his experiences through email and phone calls or face to face over coffee.
"There really is an appetite for discussing these issues now. They aren't
new, but we have to now be willing to acknowledge that mental issues
exist and create an environment for those who are suffering," he says.

CHANGING HABITS, CHANGING MINDS
As a follow-up to the 2017 National Task Force report, the ABA charged
the legal community in 2018 with one overarching mission: to take on the
plight of mental health issues and substance abuse in the profession and
encourage healthier lifestyles. The game-changing campaign, created by
the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession,
included a seven-point pledge and a toolkit with an all-hands-in
approach to workplace wellness.
Since the campaign's launch, the industry is witnessing a shift in mindsets
about what it means to be well. Wellness goes beyond fitness classes and
weight-loss challenges toward a holistic path, focusing on the mind,
body, and spirit. Now more than ever, employers recognize that happy
and healthy employees are more productive, too. And fostering a culture
that encourages work-life balance, promotes health, and provides safe
spaces for attorneys to open up is good for business, for clients, and for
the profession as a whole.
Chipping away at the stigma around mental health may be the greatest
challenge. "Stigma is the powerful force that we are working against," says

shawnnell T. Barnett
Assistant General Counsel, D.C. Government
SELF-CARE ACTIVITY: STAND-UP COMEDY
By day, Barnett resolves conflicts as an employment law attorney.
But during her off-time, you might catch her at an open-mic event
tickling funny bones.
"I started doing stand-up comedy as a way to release stress," says
Barnett, who has been practicing law for two years. "Comedy makes
me happy, and I realized that it's my self-care. Self-care isn't just
humming mantras and getting facials. It is about finding what makes
you smile, what brings you into balance, and what keeps you going."
Barnett says she battled anxiety, depression, and stress in her
20s and early 30s, causing her to gain 20 unwanted pounds. But
Barnett, now 35, took control of her life by deciding to eat healthier,
exercise, and make people laugh. Lifestyle changes have made all
the difference for her health and perspective on life. Through
comedy, she's more confident than ever, which helps her on stage
and at work, she says.
Courtesy of Shawnnell Barnett

"If I can make people laugh with just a mic, I can certainly give a
presentation to a group of executives."

22 WASHINGTON LAWYER

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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2020



Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020

Digital Extras
Your Voice
From Our President
Practice Management
Calendar Of Events
The Opioid Litigation Wars
The Art Of Wellness: Law Firms Get Creative
Combating Secondary Trauma
Debating The Path Forward On Health Care Reform
Taking The Stand
On Further Review
Member Spotlight
Worth Reading
Attorney Briefs
Speaking Of Ethics
Disciplinary Summaries
Community & Connections
Special Section: Counting Down To The 2020 Conference
Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 1
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 2
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Digital Extras
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 5
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Your Voice
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 7
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - From Our President
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 9
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Practice Management
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 11
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Calendar Of Events
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 13
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - The Opioid Litigation Wars
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 15
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 16
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 17
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 18
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 19
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - The Art Of Wellness: Law Firms Get Creative
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 21
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 22
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 23
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 24
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 25
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Combating Secondary Trauma
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 27
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 28
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 29
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 30
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 31
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Debating The Path Forward On Health Care Reform
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 33
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 34
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 35
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 36
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 37
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Taking The Stand
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 39
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - On Further Review
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 41
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Member Spotlight
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 43
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 44
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Worth Reading
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 46
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Attorney Briefs
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Speaking Of Ethics
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 49
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Disciplinary Summaries
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Community & Connections
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Special Section: Counting Down To The 2020 Conference
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 53
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 54
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - 55
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Last Word
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover3
Washington Lawyer - January/February 2020 - Cover4
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