News

7 New Job Postings on TBA’s Joblink

See who is hiring in Tennessee. Recent job postings this month offer opportunities in litigation, real estate, health law and more. See full listings or post positions in your firm on TBA’s Joblink.
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Prioritize Sleep for Better Health, Productivity

Prioritize sleep. Sleep impacts every other department of your life. America is waking up to this realization and many companies have incorporated nap rooms into their offices and actively encourage naps when needed. Arianna Huffington has a nap couch in her office and sleeps without drawing the curtains of her glass office walls. She does this to destigmatize the practice and to encourage it. While not all of us can take a nap in our office, prioritizing getting the minimum adults need (between seven and nine hours) will actually help alleviate stress in other areas of your life and make you more productive during your waking hours.
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Learn Techniques to Manage Stress and Burnout at TBA Convention

The popular "Better Right Now" CLE is returning for this year's TBA Annual Convention in Nashville! The three-hour program is packed with strategies to create positive change in a challenging environment as well as effective tools to manage burnout and stress. As always, there will also be activities and prizes that will keep everyone moving and engaged and new this year, free chair massages. Register for Convention before April 30 to get at the Early Bird discount. Don't miss this program!

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Plan Walking Meetings with Colleagues

Need to have a quick discussion with a colleague? Instead of starting an e-mail string or making a phone call, invite them to "walk and talk" with you. This way, you have a partner to do physical activity with, and you are also still getting work done.
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April TBJ: Celebrating 20 Years of Help from TLAP

Help us celebrate with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program (TLAP) its 20 years of helping those in the legal profession who have experienced substance use disorders, stress or emotional health issues. Former Justice Janice Holder writes in the April Tennessee Bar Journal about the program’s history and how it continues to provide a lifeline. Russell Fowler explains how a case from 1615 pitted Chancery and Equity against each other, and TBA President Jason Pannu explains two new programs, the Reporters Workshop and one to help solo and small firm lawyers. Read all this and more in the April Journal.
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Move, Don't Sit, During Work Calls

Don't sit for phone calls. By standing up for phone calls and conference calls, you can incorporate movement into an otherwise sedentary activity. Lunges, squats, calf raises or even marching in place can be done in your office using just your bodyweight.
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Registration Now Open for TBA Convention in Nashville, June 12-15

 
The TBA's annual Convention returns to downtown Nashville this summer! Mark your calendars for June 12-15 and prepare for four days of CLE, networking, entertainment and more at the Renaissance Hotel, 611 Commerce Street. Registration is officially open, with early bird rates available until April 30.
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Occasional Treats Help Maintain a Balanced Lifestyle

Once in a while, treat yourself. The trick is to regularly eat healthily and to not constantly be on a diet. From time to time, have an ice cream cone or a real coke, but savor it. Ask yourself if it is something that you truly enjoy. If so, go for it!
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Justice Kagan: SCOTUS Considering Ethics Code

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is considering whether to create an ethics code for Supreme Court justices, Justice Elena Kagan told a congressional committee this week. The ABA Journal reports Kagan made her statements during an appearance with Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. before a House appropriations subcommittee that is reviewing the Supreme Court’s budget. Kagan made the disclosure in response to questioning about judicial accountability in the #MeToo era. Kagan and Alito also fielded questions about televising oral arguments. Both said they were against the idea.
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Editorial: Ending Stigma of Mental Health Important for Legal Community

A new editorial in the ABA Journal comes from the perspective of an attorney who has lived with depression for 40 years. Stephanie Mitchell Hughes describes her lifelong struggle, including uneasiness over taking medication and thoughts of suicide. It is important to speak honestly about mental health issues, she said, in order to end the stigma surrounding them and encourage others to get help. "The legal profession must stop pretending that the proverbial emperor is wearing clothes," Hughes writes. "Contrary to popular belief, we are merely human."
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Smiling Makes a Difference for You, Others

Positive psychologists have found that smiling evokes positive emotions in the person who smiles, as well as those who see the smiling face.  Whenever the situation is appropriate, be aware of your surroundings and try making eye contact with people nearby and smile. In addition, smiling can help you convey a positive attitude and reasonableness, even during difficult telephone conversations that could otherwise become unpleasant or even confrontational.
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Tracking Positive Change Can Reap Mental Benefits

Making an effort to notice the positive aspects of your life can have specific and beneficial results. Positive psychologists asked volunteers to each night write down three good things that happened that day and reflect for a few minutes on each one. Benefits resulting from this exercise included increased happiness, increased moments of gratitude and other positive emotion, enhanced capacity for hope and optimism, improved physical health and decreased depression. Why not give this simple exercise a try? Think of three instances of something that went right during the past 24 hours, write them down, and spend a few minutes reflecting on them (i.e., cause of the good thing, my contribution to the good thing, similar good things can happen in the future if I do X, what this good thing means). Do this for two weeks and see whether you notice a difference!

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Wellness Wednesday: In Times of Anxiety, Remember to Breathe

When finding yourself in a situation that evokes feelings of tension or anxiety, such as an opening or closing argument or a confrontation with opposing counsel, try pausing and taking one or two slow, deep, complete breaths before taking action. Since breathing is connected to the bodily systems associated with emotion and physiological response to stress, this will help your body relax, better enabling you to respond in a calm and thoughtful manner. Rather than succumbing to the nervous system’s “fight or flight” response, the “relaxation response” will ease the stress response, resulting in greater calmness and enhanced focus. While some people find that taking a sip of water helps them feel more comfortable in doing this, keep in mind that you are not expected to respond instantaneously (nor should you)!
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Start Your Day with a Brief Meditation

Consider waking 10 minutes earlier so you can incorporate a brief mindfulness meditation into your preparations for the day. Begin by sitting in a relaxed and comfortable upright position, with your spine and head aligned. Place both feet on the ground, with legs uncrossed, and rest your hands gently on your lap. Gently close your eyes and allow yourself to notice the sensation of sitting in the chair, of your feet on the ground, of your hands resting in your lap. Gently bring your attention to your breath, slowly taking a deep breath in, pausing briefly, then slowly exhaling. Our minds will wander, as intrusive thoughts are constantly vying for our attention. When you realize this has happened, simply observe without judgment and gently guide your attention back to your breath.

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Schedule Time to Read Email

Rather than checking on every e-mail as it arrives, schedule time in your calendar for reading and managing e-mail (and leave e-mail notifications silent during the other times of the day). This will enable you to have focused time for given tasks without constant interruption and distraction.
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Online Video: Wellness for Our Profession

With the stress of the holidays upon us, self-care and attention to one's well-being is often overlooked until the new year, especially in the practice of law. Why not start now! This program will focus on studies and findings about what does and does not influence ultimate well-being in the legal profession. Earn up to two dual (online) CLE hours.

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TBA Adopts Policy on Attorney Wellness

In a recap of the recent TBA Board of Governors meeting, an item in TBAToday discussing the adoption of a new TBA policy on attorney wellness did not include a link to that new policy. Here is the policy that was adopted, which references the Path to Lawyer Well-Being report prepared by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being.

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Damages, Failing Insurance and Lawyer Well-Being Headline New Issue

When there is a right, there should be a remedy, but as authors Robert Dalton and David Hudson point out, Tennessee’s Constitution doesn’t include compensation to a citizen injured by a governmental actor who has violated its provisions. Read the details in the November Tennessee Bar Journal. Also, David Broemel explains what happens if an insurer fails. In his column, TBA President Jason Pannu delves into how lawyers can watch for unhealthy habits and focus on well-being -- and what the options are for help, such as the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program, when needed. Check out these stories and more in the new TBJ.

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Tomorrow is Law Student Mental Health Day

Tomorrow is the new date for the American Bar Association’s Law Student Mental Health Day, which aims to promote well-being among the nation’s future attorneys. Planned by the ABA’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, the Law Student Division and the Young Lawyers Division, the day was moved from March 28 to Oct. 10 to encourage law students to start thinking about mental health issues earlier in the school year. A study conducted in the spring of 2014 among more than 3,000 law students found that 17 percent of law students screened positive for depression, 37 percent for anxiety and 21 percent reported thoughts of suicide. Forty-three percent reported binge-drinking habits as well. The ABA Journal reports that two upcoming webinars focused on well-being and recovery are planned for this week.
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ABA Launches Campaign to Improve Mental Health, Substance Abuse Issues Among Attorneys

The American Bar Association has launched a campaign targeting substance-use disorders and mental health issues among lawyers. The campaign, organized by the ABA Working Group to Advance Well-Being in the Legal Profession, is designed to address the profession’s troubling rates of alcohol and other substance-use disorders, as well as mental health issues. Recent studies have documented that lawyers struggle with these problems at levels substantially above both the general population and other highly educated professionals. The campaign’s goals are to raise awareness, facilitate a reduction in the incidence of problematic substance-use and mental health distress and improve lawyer well-being. The seven-point pledge identifies the core areas on which firms should focus and the concrete steps they should take as they seek to achieve those goals.
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CLE Yoga In the City

Relax your mind and enhance your meditation skills and earn up to 4 hours of dual credits with our new Yoga in the City CLE on Sept. 14. Held at the non-profit organization Against the Stream in East Nashville, participants will learn the benefits of meditation and yoga and how they can improve attorney well-being.
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Schedule Time to Read Email

A tip from the TBA Attorney Well-Being Committee

Rather than checking on every e-mail as it arrives, schedule time in your calendar for reading and managing e-mail (and leave e-mail notifications silent during the other times of the day). This will enable you to have focused time for given tasks without constant interruption and distraction.
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A Wellness Tip from the Attorney Well-Being Committee

Consider waking 10 minutes earlier so you can incorporate a brief mindfulness meditation into your preparations for the day. Set a timer for 3-10 minutes (depending on how much time you feel you want to use). Begin by sitting in a relaxed and comfortable but dignified and upright position, with your spine and head aligned. Place both feet on the ground, with legs uncrossed, and rest your hands gently on your lap. Gently close your eyes and allow yourself to notice the sensation of sitting in the chair, of your feet on the ground, of your hands resting in your lap.

Gently bring your attention to your breath, slowly taking a deep breath in, pausing briefly, then slowly exhaling. Now repeat this twice and as you do so, observe your breath as it goes in your nostrils and as it exits your nostrils. Sense the flow of air as it moves in and out, and the space between breaths. You may notice the air feels cool as you inhale, but warmer as you exhale.

Return to your normal breathing. Don’t try to change your breath, just continue to observe it, with a sense of curiosity. Allow yourself to feel your body relax and yield to gravity as you sit quietly in your chair, focusing on your breath. Notice any tense areas in your body and with your next breath, imagine it as a cool breeze touching those areas holding tension and as you exhale, release the tension along with the breath. Continue observing your breath.

When thoughts or concerns arise – as they inevitably will – simply acknowledge their presence, without judgment or opinion, and let them pass by while you gently bring your attention back to your breath. There is no need to grab hold of any thought right now -- just allow your breath to guide you back to the present moment.

Our minds will wander, as intrusive thoughts are constantly vying for our attention. When you realize this has happened, simply observe without judgment and gently guide your attention back to your breath. You might find it helpful to label the thought – “worry” “laundry” “clients” – then let it go and return to your breath. Although thoughts and feelings will come and go in the background, you can prevent them from highjacking your attention by simply acknowledging them without judgment, then gently returning to the breath and this present moment.

Julie Sandine is a graduate of Wake Forest School of Law. She serves as the Chair of the TBA Attorney Well-Being Committee.

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Balance Work and Play CLE

Do you feel tired and angry most of the time? Are you overwhelmed by work and family? Get your mojo back with tomorrow’s webcast, "Balance Work and Play 2: Finding your Moxie." This program offers 1-hour dual credit.
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TBA Well-Being Committee Points to Memphis

The TBA’s upcoming annual convention in Memphis was on the agenda for the TBA Attorney Well-Being Committee yesterday. Members are finalizing the Better Right Now CLE that will be held during the week's programming. See details here.
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