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Next Meeting: 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 24, 2013 - MSBA Offices
  • Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers: The Life and the Law Committee works closely with the Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers organization in Minnesota. LCL serves as a resource for members of the legal profession and their families. It assists with problems of chemical dependency and related issues. If you have a concern about these matters you can receive free, confidential assistance by contacting LCL at 651-646-5590.
  • Attorney Work Life Balance Calculator: JDBliss' work-life balance calculator is designed especially for attorneys with billable hours goals and non billable activities, like lunch, personal time and administrative duties.
  • Identifying Burnout Pressure Points: urges overwhelmed individuals to learn how to identify their burnout pressure points so that you can learn how to avoid stress factors and figure out the things about your job that give you the most satisfaction.
  • Six Steps for Creating Greater Work-Life Balance for Lawyers: This article reveals tips for lawyers who need to reevaluate their schedules, from understanding "that there is enough time in the day to effectively accomplish work-related tasks" to making regular time for activities you enjoy.
  • More on work/life it just a fad?: The Life at the Bar blog wonders whether or not work-life balance for lawyers is a worthwhile goal.
  • How Working Mothers Find Work-Life Balance: The Fast Company Blog takes a look at how working mothers try to balance out home responsibilities with their growing professional careers.
  • Easy Tips for Planning a Healthy Diet:  Maintain a healthy diet and work out whenever you can. Busy lawyers sometimes fuel up on too much caffeine and rich lunches or take-out when they're on the clock, and neglecting your health will run you to the ground.
  • Tips and Resources to Help You Sleep Better: Getting a good night's sleep is vitally important to your health and well being. And even though you may be getting a full eight hours, that doesn't mean your nights are restful. Check out these tips and resources to find out what you can do to improve the quality of your sleep.
  •  5 Tips for Better Work-Life Balance: Beat burnout by discovering ways to devote more time to the activities and people that matter most to you. WebMD asks overworked professionals to "protect their private time" in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance. When possible, decline a happy hour or late night party to chill out at home, get some extra sleep or indulge in a favorite activity.


References compiled by Jessica Servais
Minnesota Justice Foundation Volunteer
William H. Lindberg
The Ash Grove Group

Revised by Shaun Jamison, Life & the Law Webmaster

I suggest that the only books that influence us are those
for which we are ready and which have gone a little farther
down our particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.

--E.M. Forster

Career Transitions | Life and the Law | Stress Management
Student Interests | Ethics and the Law | Spiritual Resources

 Career Transitions

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Begin it now.


What Can I Do With A Law Degree? A Lawyers Guide to Alternatives Inside, Outside and Around the Law.  Deborah Arron. Niche Press. September 2003.

A guide to career transitions for people looking for a change in their legal career. This book provides self-assessment tests for people who are unsure if the legal career is right for them and helps them evaluate what’s underlying their career dissatisfaction. Written by a renowned legal career transition coach.

The Age Advantage: Making the Most of Your Midlife Career Transition

Jean Erickson Walker (ed.) Berkley Publishing Group. September 2000.
Discusses ways that age and experience can be an asset during career transitions. Includes ways to employ your acquired interests, contacts and knowledge toward a more satisfying career in midlife.

Don’t Stop the Career Clock: Rejecting the Myths of Aging for a New Way to Work in the 21st Century.

Helen Harkness. Davies —Black Publishing. April 1999.
An encouraging look at redefining your career later in life. This book also discusses new career ideas for your retirement. Includes examples and stories from people who’ve already done it.

The Lawyer’s Career Change Handbook: More than 300 Things You Can Do with a Law Degree.

Hindi Greenberg. Morrow, William & Co. January 1, 2002.
This book is an invaluable guide for the growing number of attorneys looking for a way out of their current careers and into something better. Includes career re-evaluation advice. Written by a well-known legal career-transition consultant and lecturer.

Judgment Reversed: Alternative Careers for Lawyers.

Jeffery Strausser. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. March 1997.
Strausser advises attorneys and recent law school graduates on how to use their degree and legal expertise in fields ranging from journalism to counseling. This source provides a wide variety of career opportunities appealing to many different interests.

Dare to Change Your Job and Your Life.

Carole Kanchier. JIST Works, Inc. January 6, 2009.
An encouraging guide for people who are thinking of changing their career but are afraid to take the first step. Provides helpful insight on how job satisfaction affects overall life fulfillment.

It’s Never Too Late: 150 Men and Women Who Changed Their Careers

Robert K. Otterrbourg. Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. January 1994
A compilation of testimonials from people who have changed their careers and don’t regret it. This book is another great resource for people who think they are too far along in their career to make a positive change.

Turning Points: Pivotal Moments in the Careers of 83 Famous Figures.

Louis Baldwin. McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers. September 1999.
A wonderful collection of stories about "the moment" that changed people’s careers for good and for the better. Includes the stories of Oprah Winfrey, Woody Allen, Harry Truman, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Newt Gingrich and others.

"Dealing with Change, Crisis, and Great Expectations"

    by Elizabeth Marvin
Reprinted with permission from Minnesota Lawyer (August 26, 2002)

Life and the Law

Life can only be understood backwards, but must be lived forwards.

--Soren Kierkeegard

Combating Attorney Burnout

David M. Bateson & Tim Hart / Bench & Bar December 2007


Living Billable Lives
From The Hennepin Lawyer, February 24, 2005

Dennis Coyne

The author, a lawyer and certified career and life coach, discusses the scramble for billable hours. "In summary," he says, "my advice is to consider whether your work as a lawyer reflects who you are and what you value at this time of your life. What served you so well in the past may not meet your needs today. While it may have been necessary to spend (almost) countless hours building a practice, it may no longer be necessary or rewarding to continue to practice in the same way and at the same pace."

Transforming Practices: Finding Joy and Satisfaction in the Legal Life.
Review by Judith Rush

Steven Keeva. NTC Publishing Group. January 2002.
A look at how to promote spirituality in your legal practice for the betterment of your firm and yourself. Includes profiles of several lawyers who’ve altered their lives through a more spiritual approach to their legal practice.

Growing Old Together

Martin Cole / Bench & Bar April 2008
Discussion of issues facing aging lawyers and their practice.


"On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession"

Patrick J. Schiltz, 52 Vand.L. Rev. 871. Vanderbilt Law Review. May, 1999.
This article presents a fairly pessimistic view of the modern legal profession. It provides important analysis of aspects of the legal profession, such as long hours and financial motivation, that lead to "unhappy" and "unhealthy" lawyers. The author also examines the high incidence of alcoholism, depression, suicide and divorce among attorneys.

Making a Life, Making a Living: Reclaiming Your Purpose and Passion in Business and in Life.

Mark S. Albion, Warner Books, Inc. December 2000.
A Harvard University business professor and Fortune 500 consultant gave it all up to find what was missing in his life. He and a panel of others discuss their journey to finding a new way of life and career satisfaction. Provides helpful advice for incorporating your personal values into your career.

The Halo Effect: How Volunteering to Help Others Can Lead to a Better Life--And a Better Career.
John Raynolds & Gene Stone. August 1998.

Opportunities abound for attorneys to lend a helping hand. This book encourages people to volunteer and realize the positive effect it has on their careers. In addition to personal satisfaction, volunteer opportunities create new skills, experiences and contacts.

Is it Too Late to Run Away and Join the Circus?: Finding the Life You Really Want.

Marti Diane Smye. Forward by Richard Chagnon. Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. December 2001.  This book is a great guide for assessing what you really want to get out of life. It includes helpful check-lists and self-evaluations. It also offers advice from a leading corporate change consultant on how to reach your life-long goals.

Get a Life Without Sacrificing Your Career: How to Make More Time for What’s Really Important.


Dianna Booher. McGraw-Hill Companies. August 1996.
The author examines ways in which professionals can make room for the things that truly make then happy without sacrificing their careers. The book also examines ways to lose unreasonable feelings of obligation to employers and others.

Beating Job Burnout: How to Turn Your Work into Your Passion.

Paul Stevens. Sarah Kennedy (ed.) NTC Publishing Group. March 1996.
This book’s premise is that job burn-out may be inevitable unless you plan ahead. It provides advice on locating and alleviating the stressful aspects of your career that may induce burnout later.

Balancing Law and Parenthood: Part-Time Careers in the Law.

Kathryn Plonsky. The Graduate Group. January 1999.

Many lawyers feel tension between their family life and career. This book explores the possibility of working part-time as an attorney. Despite its growing popularity, most lawyers falsely assume that part-time work is impossible for them. This book is a great resource for every attorney looking to find more time for parenting.

Stress Management

Our life is frittered away by detail ... Simplify, simplify.

--Henry David Thoreau

Stress Management For Lawyers: How To Increase Personal & Professional Satisfaction In The Law

Amiram Elwork.  Vorkell Group Jan 2, 2007 – A helpful book aimed at helping attorneys manage stress.

Health Check

Martin Cole / Bench & Bar May/June 2007
Identifying and dealing with stress.

"A Confessed 'Wobbler' Muses on Time Management" by Dennis Coyne
Reprinted with permission from Minnesota Lawyer (August 26, 2002)

Psychological Fitness: Dealing With Mental Health Issues by Betty M. Shaw, Senior Assistant Director Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility; Reprinted from Minnesota Lawyer (February 5, 2001)

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work: Simple Ways to Minimize Stress and Conflict While Bringing Out the Best in Yourself and Others.

Richard Carson. Hyperion. November 1998.
A guide to seeing the forest for the trees. This book is especially geared for people with hectic professional lives that too often prevent them from appreciating the more important things in life. The author emphasizes the importance of improving the quality of both your work and personal life.

25 Natural Ways to Manage Stress and Avoid Burnout: A Mind-Body Approach to Health and Well-Being.

James Scala. NTC Publishing Group. November 2000.
A new book that examines methods to relieve stress naturally. Scala’s day-to-day approach is simple and incorporates interests in improved mental and physical health.

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When The World Overwhelms You.

Elaine N. Aron. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group. May 1997.
This book defines a new personality type characterized by shyness and extreme responses to stress and social pressure. The author includes helpful self-assessment tests and suggestions on how to cope with various overwhelming influences. Useful visualization exercises are also provided.

The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself.

Veronique Vienne & Erica Lennard (photographer). Crown Publishing Group. September 1998.
A fun and interesting book that encourages you to do the simple things most of us have forgotten to make time for like napping, taking a walk or a bubble bath. Beautifully illustrated with photographs.

Slowing Down to the Speed of Life: How to Create A More Peaceful, Simpler Life From the Inside Out.

Richard Car/son, & Joseph Bailey. Harper Collins Publishers, Inc. April 1998.

The authors contend that we are too often forced to rush in our lives and in our minds. This book advises on how to slow down rushed thought processes that lead to stress and anxiety. Instead, the authors advocate a more relaxed approach to life that fosters creativity, innovation and positive performance.

Career Transitions | Life and the Law | Stress Management
Student Interests | Ethics and the Law | Spiritual Resources

Student Interests

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher
regard those who think alike than those who think differently.

--Friedrich Nietzche

So You Want to Be a Lawyer?: A Practical Guide to Law as a Career.

LSAC. Crown Publishing. July 2001.
Advice on approaching the legal career before you’re even a law school student. Discusses choosing a school, job hunting and the realistic demands of the legal profession. Published by the producers of the LSAT.

Careers in Law

Gary Munneke. NTC Publishing Group. September 2003.
This book examines the broad range and diverse opportunities of the legal profession. In particular, the author examines the major fields of practice as well as new "boutique" practices emerging in the profession. The book also addresses ethical and lifestyle problems faced by many lawyers today.

Going to Law School?: Everything You Need to Know to Choose and Pursue a Degree in Law.

Harry Castleman. Wiley, John & Sons, Inc. August 1997.
A handy guide to the law school admissions process. Written by an experienced lawyer and recent law school graduate, this book examines every step of law school: admissions, classes and career concerns.

Creating a Satisfying “Second Act” in Your Legal Career

Roy Ginsburg / Bench & Bar November 2007

Ethics and the Law

We must become the change we want to see.

--Mahatma Gandhi

The Ethics of Large Law Firms – Responses and Reflections.

William J. Wernz. The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. Fall 2002

The Honest Hour: The Ethics of Time-Based Billing by Attorneys.

William G. Ross. Carolina Academic Press. August 30, 2009.
An examination of the increasingly controversial "billable hour" and how it leads to inefficiency and fraud in legal practice. The issue is uniformly addressed from the perspective of clients, lawyers, judges and academics who find ethical fault in the billing system.

Competent Counsel

Erwin Cherovsky. Wiley, John & Sons, Inc. October 1992.
An attorney’s look at how attorneys can live up to their clients’ expectations and avoid ethical traps. Includes useful information about billing practices and the problem of adequate attorney-client communication.

Princes of Darkness and Angels of Light: The Soul of the American Lawyer.

David Barnhizer. 14 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 371. Notre Dame Journal of Law and Public Policy.
The author examines how increased litigation and the commercialization of the legal profession is increasingly blamed on attorney greed and lack of ethics. In fact, Barnhizer argues, the adversary system is at the heart of the ethical problems, selfishness and fear which characterize the modern legal experience.

The Future of Callings: An Interdisciplinary Summit on the Public Obligations of Professionals into the Next Millennium: Symposium: A New Professional Identity for Bench & Bar.

Bernard E. Bo/and. 25 Win. Mitchell L. Rev. 117. William Mitchell Law Review 1999.

This law review article examines how recent criticism of lawyers’ "unethical" and "uncivil" behavior is more often than not due to the rigors of the legal profession. Long hours, huge student loans and the stress of the win-or-lose game causes attorneys to prize money and winning over ethics. Boland provides an insightful look at the legal profession and how it must change.

The longest journey is the journey inwards, of him who has chosen his destiny.

-- Dag Hammarskojld

There are numerous spiritual resources to draw upon from many religious and spiritual traditions. These sources can be vitally important as lawyers face the stresses, exigencies, and pressures of their everyday lives. A consistent spiritual practice can help put these pressures in a much broader perspective and provide valuable resources to cope with issues faced by both clients and lawyers.

The Reflective Counselor: Daily Meditations for Lawyers

F. Gregory Coffey / ABA October 25, 2008

From the editorial review: This 370 page meditation-a-day book is designed to help lawyers recover their spiritual strength in their hectic world.

Small Firm Success

Sponsored by Minnesota CLE, this website has resources related to personal productivity, ethics, marketing and technology.

The lexisONE® Alert, a twice-monthly newsletter that helps small firms stay in step with practice developments and on top of trends in the legal profession

 Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers organization in Minnesota. LCL serves as a resource for members of the legal profession and their families. It assists with problems of chemical dependency and related issues. If you have a concern about these matters you can receive free, confidential assistance by contacting LCL at 651-646-5590.

Social Networking for Lawyers

Social networking can be a great source of information and comraderie. 

Listservs The Life and the Law has a listserv [To subscribe, send a plain-text e-mail to, containing two words right at the beginning of the body: subscribe lifeandthelaw -- nothing else]

The Practice Management and Marketing Section also has a very active listserv for solo attorneys:

Check out sections and committees that you are interested in for listservs.  is a professional networking site with opportunities to connect, ask, and answer questions.  The Minnesota Lawyers Group can be found at

My Practice Law  is a networking site for Minnesota Lawyers.  You can share blog posts, pictures, events, and videos.  It is sponsored by the MSBA.


There are many helpful blogs (blawgs – law web logs) out there.  Here are some local ones of general interest: 
The Official Blog of the Minnesota State Bar Association's Computer and Technology Law Section.
A lawyer’s survival guide – much about technology with guest postings about ethics.