March 31, 2011

Have you checked your Internet hygiene lately?  
Hilarie Cash, Ph. D., a Redmond psychologist specializing in internet addictions, has helped bring to light this relatively recent issue.  While the intrusion of technology is an issue for all of us regardless of profession, this topic is highly relevant for lawyers as legal practice becomes increasingly paperless.  Given that our technology allows for more and more use of the Internet in the practice of law, it is crucial to recognize the importance of internet hygiene.
Issues around addictions and the Internet are Dr. Cash’s longtime specialty, after almost 20 years providing outpatient treatment in this area.  She has co-authored Video Games & Your Kids: How Parents Stay in Control and recently opened a residential treatment center located in Fall City, WA.  Signs of Internet addiction, according to Cash, are listed below; three of the following symptoms suggest abuse, five or more addiction:

  • Increasing amounts of time spent on Internet 
  • Failed attempts to control behavior 
  • Heightened euphoria while on Internet 
  • Craving more time on Internet, restless when not there 
  • Neglecting family and friends 
  • Lying to others about use 
  • Internet interfering with job and school 
  • Feeling guilty or ashamed of behavior 
  • Changes in sleep patterns 
  • Weight changes, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel 
  • Withdrawal from other activities

March 23, 2011

Lawyers with Depression

Dan Lukasik is a New York based attorney who launched a comprehensive website to help lawyers learn about depression.  As a group, lawyers suffer from depression at a rate of twice the general population.  As someone who personally suffered for years from this debilitating condition, Dan candidly shares his experience, his knowledge and his path to recovery on this informative website. 

His goal in creating his website was to specifically address lawyers with depression, and not general mental health issues.  The idea for a dedicated website arose out of his frustration with the lack of available information when he attempted to learn more about it some years ago.  In addition to his personal experiences, the website offers:

  • Articles and current reports
  • Clear information about the illness and its symptoms
  • Research results and findings
  • Resources, both on-line and in books/other publications
  • Audio presentations relevant to the subject
  • An active blog

Lukasik also seeks to remove the stigma of depression in the legal profession and is especially interested in sharing his knowledge and experience with law students. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, call the Lawyers Assistance Program at 206-727-8268.   

March 16, 2011

Remembering the work of Deborah Arron

Almost 10 years ago, the Lawyers Assistance Program lost a good friend: attorney, author and mentor Deborah Arron, who passed away in April of 2002.  However, the gifts of her insights and experience live on in the pages of her books, now available to WSBA members in the L.A.P. Library for loan, and some to keep at no charge, thanks to her husband’s generous donation. 

The Complete Guide to Contract Lawyering 3rd Edition, is a comprehensive resource for this growing practice model.  It offers thorough coverage on many issues, and anticipates just about every question a lawyer might have on this topic.  The book covers:

  • myths and realities of contract lawyering
  • strategies and advice for new contract lawyers
  • information about placement agencies
  • rate-setting and finding work
  • ethical considerations
  • malpractice and other insurance questions

Also available in the LAP Library to keep at no charge to WSBA members is Arron’s book, Running From the Law.  Based on interviews and Arron’s own personal experiences, it explores why some of the best and brightest are dissatisfied with the legal profession and are leaving it.  In addition, if offers an exploration of the legal field and many online career resources. 

Available on loan from the LAP Lending Library is another excellent Arron book, What Can You Do With a Law Degree, 4th Edition.  This comprehensive guide offers a strategic approach to determining how to develop a long-lasting and satisfying career, either in or beyond the law.  This 4th edition includes:

  • 700 job and career suggestions, 
  • web addresses for over 1,000 resources, 
  • extensive self-assessment exercises, 
  • profiles of law school graduates who moved into popular fields and 
  • a new test to determine the right fit for you within the practice of law

We also have free copies of Should You Marry a Lawyer? By Fiona Travis.  This one’s self-explanatory!

For availability information on this and other books in the Lending Library, call the Lawyer Assistance Program at 206-727-8268.

March 15, 2011

Open Your Mind to Mindful Lawyering

If you’ve ever wondered whether meditation and/or contemplative practices might enrich your professional life, you’re not alone.  In fact, you’re one of a growing number of legal professionals who have become interested in exploring Mindful Lawyering. 

Just a few months ago, lawyers, judges, mediators, law professors, law students, and other legal professionals from all over the country gathered at a first-ever national conference held at UC Berkeley School of Law to discuss and explore this new way of practicing law that has been gaining momentum in the profession.  Known as Mindful Lawyering, it is the integration of meditation and contemplative practices with legal education and practice.  The website from the conference does an excellent job of not only describing what Mindful Lawyering is, but offers some great resources for anyone wanting more information about this practice. 

A little closer to home, WSBA is excited to offer an opportunity for interested members to explore how mindfulness practices may lead to

  • enhanced delivery of legal services, 
  • improved stress management, 
  • increased empathy and well-being, and 
  • a deepened commitment to the profession.  

The Washington Contemplative Lawyers group is meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at the WSBA offices in Seattle from 8:15 until 9am, beginning March 30th.  For more information, contact Sevilla Rhoads at

March 4, 2011

Frustrated by your search for that Federal Job? Who Isn’t?!

Ten Steps

Have you found yourself wishing there was specific help out there for finding a way into Federal work?  A new resource making its home on the shelves of the Lending Library of the Lawyer Assistance Program is Ten Steps to A Federal Job, 2nd Edition, by Kathryn Troutman.  This excellent book provides, among many things,

  • Help with locating job announcements and working through the application process.
  • Clear guidelines for identifying the all-important Keywords of a job posting, and how to reframe your work experiences using federal language.
  • Numerous  ‘before-and-after’ resume examples, which identify problems and solutions for private industry resumes, including lawyer-specific information.
  • Different how-to’s for including “KSA’s” (knowledge, skills and abilities) in questionnaires and/or narratives when required.
  • A CD-ROM included with the book, which contains federal resumes and additional helpful information.

The LAP Lending Library is a resource for all members of WSBA. Books can be borrowed for up to a month. For availability information on this and other books in the Lending Library, or for other job-seeking assistance, call the Lawyer Assistance Program at 206-727-8268.