Lawyers Taking Care of Ourselves

As attorneys, we are well trained to develop intellectual acuity and “wellness” through years of school and continuing education. However, there are many other facets of wellness that are equally important to lawyers. As attorneys, we are charged with the duty of taking care of our client’s legal issues. This responsibility, compounded by the demands entailed in the care of family and loved ones, often leads us to neglect the care of ourselves. This issue of Contra Costa Lawyer explores wellness for attorneys in various aspects of our lives. It can be easy to forget to give attention to our own physical, mental and financial wellbeing with the pressures of practicing law.

Contributing authors to this edition share how they have found an outlet in craft, art and physical activity to balance their intellectual and professional lives. Mary Grace Guzman shares how she found wellness in an unexpected community of attorneys who knit. Natasha Chee explains the benefits of art therapy and inspires us to explore the creative process. Anina Dalsin provides a wonderful reflection of her walking travels through Spain, describing her spiritual and physical journey. Stu Gilliam, a recently retired attorney, reflects on his 35 years of practice and how he maintained both a lucrative and rewarding practice within the bounds of his personal life challenges. The issue also includes sage advice on financial wellness from Jen Lee and insight on prevention of substance abuse from Oliver Greenwood to help keep us on track within these important facets of our lives.

On a final note, in early 2020, the Solo and Small Firm Section switched from hosting bi-monthly happy hours to sponsoring healthier social activities. Prior to the health mandates, two hiking outings were held with a great turnout of attorneys, judges, their families and canines. The first was around the Lafayette Reservoir and the second outing was in Briones Regional Park with two groups taking different trails of varying difficulty. As vaccines are administered and health mandates fade away, additional hikes, as well as other wellness events, will be planned. The Contra Costa County Bar Association is also establishing a Wellness Committee and if you would like to get involved in planning future wellness activities, please contact Theresa Hurley at or (925) 370-2548.