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2019 National Conversation on Civility: Materials & Speaker Bios

“Civility and professionalism are the heartbeat of lawyer wellness.” – Hon. Cheryl Ann Krause
Judge Krause kicked off the discussion by framing the health and wellbeing crisis growing in the legal profession with three major points of impact: competence, autonomy and relatedness.

By understanding the intersection of competence and confidence, how low autonomy impacts job satisfaction, she outlined how feelings of disconnection from others in the legal community leads to isolation and – in many cases – depression.

“Patience is a lost virtue.” – Hon. Carl Stewart
Judge Stewart called out the twin concerns of incivility and stress. Expectations about the legal system have changed, whether they belong to judges, law partners or clients themselves.

This means stress is found at every part of a law practice, and many attorneys don’t have resources, mentors or models for how to handle stress, which can then manifest as incivility or health issues, or both; it is important to be patient with people, especially from the Bench.

“Everyone makes mistakes; it is important to let people recover and start again.” – Hon. Consuelo Callahan
Judge Callahan reminded us that if you treat people better, you get better results, and exhorted us to put respect at the top of the list of things people need to do their jobs well.

“We need to expand the idea of success in our profession – it is not necessarily linear.” – Hon. Cheryl Ann Krause
Competition for being and having the “best” contributes to both incivility and to poor physical and mental health – this includes emphasis on law school alma maters, making “Top XYZ” lists, and traditional career paths.

What is critical for the profession is a shift in culture to one that values client satisfaction and outcomes more highly than billable hours, that celebrates the ability to develop relationships in court over winning at all costs.

While this program has already happened, we are developing additional education and resources around the twin topics of civility and wellbeing that will incorporate information and video clips from the live program.
  • If you would like to be notified when they become available, please email us.
  • If you have ideas on topics or resources we should include in the development of the content, please share!
In the meantime, enjoy this excerpt from Judge Krause's winning essay (the full paper will be available after the New Year) and learn more about the panelists.