Parenting, Lawyering and Well-Being

Thank you to all who participated in our Parenting, Lawyering and Well Being online Options Webinar last Wednesday! There was certainly a lot of wisdom shared - more on that in the next few weeks. There was also a lot of interest in this topic, which is not surprising as it is an enormous challenge balancing parenting, our demanding careers and taking care of ourselves.

A recent Canadian study out of the University of Sherbrooke on the mental health of lawyers found significant stress for lawyers early in their career (1-10 year calls) which is understandable given these are often the building years: lawyers are learning their areas of law, acquiring knowledge and expertise, and their career trajectory may coincide with the “biological clock” for women, and the life stage where many lawyers want to settle down and have families. Added to these life stresses are financial pressures, for example, a mortgage, and not having the same financial resources lawyers will likely have later in their careers/life.

Parenting and lawyering are also gaining attention from our neighbours in the South, including a new survey from the ABA which is the first-ever national survey for understanding the impact of raising children on legal careers. The ABA hopes to meaningfully analyze the results to get at key factors about parenting and what parents need from their employers to have satisfying long-term careers. The link to participate in the survey is here.  We encourage you to participate (men and women, with and without children are encouraged to share their experiences) for the benefit of the legal community as a whole! The deadline to participate is September 28 at 11 PM ET.

Shelina Neallani
Shelina (RSW, LLB) brings over 30 years of combined training and experience in social work, law and mediation to LAPBC’s Lawyer Counsellor team.