Are you interested in learning more about substance abuse with attorneys? Are you trying to improve your life?
People are feeling tired because of SARS-2, and many people have lost their motivation.
You can’t just work hard, it’s not enough. When we were younger all we had to do was work hard. You just had to show up. As attorneys, you must always perform top of the class.
Substance Abuse With Attorneys – Brian Cuban
This was my favorite talk of Clio Conference 2020. I loved how honest Brian Cuban is and I decided to write this article, to sum up the key points. Brian Cuban is the brother of Mark Cuban, gave a great talk on addiction in the legal industry.
Statistics show that 33.3% of lawyers are alcoholics. Lawyers also have the 4th highest level of suicide.
Some lawyers think that improvement is switching from Grey Goose to Smirnoff because it might feel different.
Brian spoke about how his brother Mark had always been doing big business deals. However, Brian Cuban was shy and struggled. Brian joked that he had “Three failed marriages – 1 more I get a free set of steak knives.”
There was also a lot of fat-shaming at the Cuban house. The mother would get home from selling real estate and would enforce the diet and discipline of the house.
Brian Cuban spoke of his problems with alcohol, cocaine, bulimia, crime, and excessive exercise. I couldn’t believe how honest and amazing at speaking he was. I highly recommend finding some of his talks on YouTube. This is the most powerful conference talk I have ever heard in 16 years of legal conferences. He was so powerful and vulnerable. As someone who deals with divorce all day I don’t know why this is making me so emotional. Thank you so much for sharing your story with Clio Conference. It is powerful and impactful.
Many attorneys are problem drinkers
Attorneys are used to trauma as the norm and they can recognize how many of their clients are living this too. Not to mention attorneys themselves. Heartbreaking and yet hopeful for recovery for all of them! This talk was the most vulnerable I’ve ever a lawyer be. So much respect for this man for owning his past and being vulnerable. His generosity of spirit in doing this helps so many who are suffering in silence. EVERYONE is worthy of love and support, even when we stumble. Addiction is so prevalent in the legal profession and this topic deserves discussion and recognition. If anyone doesn’t hear a little bit of themselves in this, listen harder. We all struggle differently, but we can only hope to have this kind of self-awareness and honesty.
Brian learned to deal with his addiction by realizing that over 50% of the thoughts we have every day are not based on facts. Attorneys need to find ways to deal better with stress. It’s a great idea to practice mindfulness and avoid substances.
Substance Use Abuse With Attorneys
Look at the statistics around the mental health of law students. It’s scary how depression and anxiety run rampant and they take it into practice. This is not an isolated story and the profession doesn’t make it easy to get help without fear of losing your license. The profession pretty much encourages/endorses anxiety-riddled behavior and activity. It’s a shame and it’s not right.
Substance abuse can involve:
How do you push yourself without pushing too hard?
Work-life balance. It’s hard. It’s even harder to run a law practice and push your staff. It’s easy to be warm and show you care as a leader, but it’s hard to be demanding. As a leader, the people you are mentoring are not where they are. You need to build them up.
Learn about the zone of proximal development. You don’t ask a two-year-old to do what a seven-year-old can do. How do you grow their skills by 5%?
The values of a law firm are often found on the walls of the firm. There is real value in having this in stone at the company. One way to build culture is language. You need to repeat certain phrases that become who they are. And as a leader, you need to do that with integrity. Enron put their values on the wall, but they did not live them.
What happens when you lose your motivation?
When you think of success as a journey, that you are never actually done, it’s easier to not burn out and turn to substance abuse. You need to set milestones on your journey that never ends. Be a human being.
Lots of attorneys struggle financially and turn to other ways to cope. When you don’t have money, your focus is on finding the next dollar to cover the most urgent expense. Whether it is personal for a child’s health care or the bill for the deposition transcript you need so you can push a case.
Money problems don’t turn around quickly. How do you maintain grit for the goals of the great, client-centered practice, maintaining a strong face to the public, when you are enduring ongoing financial pressures? Understanding human development (i.e. parenting children) has made many attorneys better with clients.
Open-Ended Questions To Yourself | Substance Abuse With Attorneys
“Happiness is not in the achievement of goals, but in the achieving of goals.” You need to know your outcome. What are the obstacles that are holding you back? Then you need to list it out.
- Trouble sleeping
- Substance abuse
- Too many other things going on
Now that you learned about yourself, you need to go back to your plan. How are you going to beat your obstacles? Some people believe that stress is bad, and they avoid it at all costs.
Others believe that they only perform well when they are stressed. It gives them energy, and they push hard. You can move from believing that stress is terrible, to think that stress can benefit your performance. Others can only perform well with stress when they use drugs or alcohol.
Work on your skills that are positive. For example, friendship is a skill. Not everyone is born good at being a friend. Examples of being a good friend are always being there and remembering birthdays. You can improve at being a friend and you can set times to talk for example. You can open conversations by asking how others are. If there is anything they want to talk about.
In conclusion, substance abuse with attorneys is way too common. Feel free to reach out to us if you want to talk.
Author: Alistair Vigier