In an interview with The American Lawyer, CEO Noah Heller discusses his concerns about mental health stigmas that have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Now the level of the mental health crisis in the profession has to be magnitudes higher than what it was before," he told the publication.
Noah explained he has long worried about the perfectionist standards imposed and self-imposed upon practitioners.
"A certain aspect of the legal profession is perfectionist by nature and doesn’t want to admit weakness," he said. "Lawyers are trained to see problems, whereas mindfulness training teaches the importance of good attitude. The lawyer's life, which involves constantly looking for problems, is antithetical to optimism and gratitude."
Noah also noted that he worries attorneys, especially those working to advance their careers, won’t be honest when they are overwhelmed and need help.
"The stigma is just a part of that. If I raise my hand and say 'I can't do this,' I wonder 'Am I going to make partner; am I going to get promoted, is the client still going to work with me," Noah explained. "As a law firm leader, I try in every conversation to destigmatize this."
American Lawyer article, January 19, 2022