OC Lawyer Magazine’s May Issue features an article by Montage founders, Erin Giglia and Laurie Rowen: “Overwhelmed? Five Strategies Can Implement Today to Reduce Stress and Find more Hours in the Day.”

We designed Montage as a virtual company specifically to assist busy lawyers everywhere.  We have been using our eleven years of experience running a virtual business to assist attorneys during this unprecedented time of isolation, court closures, and uncertainty.

Lawyers face an unusual dilemma. Time is their valuable commodity, but time is also the most finite resource. It is simply not possible to create more time in a day without a strategy. Lawyers can often struggle with mental health and wellness issues due to the profession-related stress and anxiety, but lawyers are smart people.

According to a recent Law.com article, “Lawyers Reveal True Depth of Mental Health Struggles,” ALM’s study is out, and it the mental health picture is not looking great for attorneys. “ALM’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Survey found that 31.2% of the more than 3,800 respondents feel they are depressed, 64% feel they have anxiety, 10.1% feel they have an alcohol problem and 2.8% feel they have a drug problem… And nearly three-quarters of all respondents, 74%, said yes when asked “Do you think the profession has had a negative effect on your mental health over time?”

When asked what about their job negatively impacts their mental well-being, respondents identified a number of factors, most commonly: “the feeling of always being on call and unable to disconnect; billable hour pressures; lack of sleep; and client demands.”

And this was all BEFORE Covid-19. In addition to all of that, now we’ve been faced with working remotely, dealing with social isolation, possibly with kids at home, and no childcare.  The economy and court closures have not exactly been helping. Our clients, and all of us, are facing unprecedented uncertainty. How is attorneys’ mental health now?

We understand. You are an overwhelmed attorney, and you’re feeling stress and anxiety. Platitudes are unhelpful because you can’t get out from under your pile of work and life long enough to implement a new business/life strategy. The advice sounds simple: work less; sleep more; eat right; exercise. It is easier said than done. We all know that exercise, getting more sleep, and focusing on mindfulness and meditation can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress over time.  But what changes can you make in your legal practice NOW to find more hours in the day, and a little bit of peace? If you are an overwhelmed attorney suffering from stress or anxiety, here are some concrete strategies that are easy to implement today.

We have worked with thousands of lawyers over the last decade, and have seen lots of examples of how lawyers reduce stress and find more hours in the day. Our strategy, detailed in the article, is simple:

  1. Outsource non-legal tasks
  2. Hire an hourly lawyer
  3. Use the right technology
  4. Limit in-person networking
  5. Eliminate non-essential tasks (and just say no, thank you)

For more details, read our article in OC Lawyer’s online May edition.

Create a self-care plan and take some of your time back today! Thank you to OC lawyers Colleen McCarthy, Kimberly Wright, Amanda Paracuellos, and Dan Nguyen for providing quotes for this article, and for Gialisa Gaffaney for giving us the opportunity to write this article.

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