Please help attorneys in crisis

Dear Colleagues:

In October, 2021, the NYSBA Task Force on Attorney Well-Being released a far-reaching report on the status of the industry’s collective mental and physical health entitled, “This is Us:  From Striving Alone to Thriving Together”.

The report makes it quite clear that many of our colleagues and fellow New York attorneys are in crisis. This was the case prior to the COVID-19 crisis, but the stress and challenges of two-plus years of the coronavirus pandemic has certainly made an already troubling situation worse. Together, the New York State Bar Association and The New York Bar Foundation are partnering to take action to begin to address these issues.

You can help
Over the next several weeks as part of the Foundation’s annual fundraising meeting campaign, we are asking you to contribute to our grant program to assist our colleagues in need statewide.

These funds will help provide relief to those struggling with a wide variety of mental health and well-being challenges – from physical illness to substance misuse.

Court closings, navigating virtual appearances, changes of work status, isolation, sickness, juggling children's schooling and care, caring for aging and ailing parents – all while trying to maintain our own health - has taken a toll on us all. As lawyers, it is critical that we stay healthy to maintain the public trust and provide legal counsel to our clients in a professional and ethical manner.

The Center for Disease Control data reveals that prior to COVID-19 11% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. As of December 2020 that number had risen to a staggering 42%. And the legal profession is not immune to this phenomenon.  A 2021 ALM study found 70% of practicing attorney respondents said the pandemic has worsened their mental health.

Together we can make a life-changing difference to help our profession not only survive but thrive. 

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