Lawyer Well-Being Newsletter • NJLAP •
Special 2020 Well-Being Issue #32

For lawyers, Balance  has a special meaning.

The Scales of Justice is an important symbol to Law professionals, representing the opposing sides of a case, weighed out impartially by an often-blindfolded Lady Justice— signifying fairness. But unlike in a legal case, lawyers want their Scales of Life not to tip too much to one side or the other.
NJLAP’s mission is to help lawyers achieve that balance. This newsletter is part of that vision.
What Babies Can Teach Us About Altruism
How volunteering and giving back
can support Lawyer Well-Being

It seems that every day we hear of another study on babies that reveals them to be more than cute and cuddly “tabula rasas.”  For example, while it has been long noted that babies laugh before they can speak, it now appears that baby laughter is part of a survival/social bonding mechanism passed down from ancient humans before there was spoken language.  Another recent discovery is that looking into a baby’s eyes results in a syncing of brain waves between the baby and you. You might think your brain initiates this, but it is actually initiated by the baby – another survival mechanism to heighten the chances the baby will be nourished, cared for, and loved. So without language, or even the ability to hold their heads up straight, babies are already influencing the world around them.  And now, in a study reported in early 2020, it appears that babies can teach us all a lesson on altruism. A review in the Greater Good Magazine states that “a new study suggests that babies will give food to someone in need—even if they are hungry themselves.” This happened both with babies who were modeling older sibling behavior and those who had no such experience. And they shared their food again and again, even when there was no display of gratitude. The conclusion? Human altruism is both “hard-wired and socially reinforced.” 

Read the article:


Since our brain rewards us with feel good endorphins when we express
altruism, kindness and generosity,
we can boost our own well-being by acting like babies!

Lawyers have many ways to contribute through pro-bono work. Below are links to a number of programs and organizations where one can volunteer. Outside the realm of law, attorneys can choose to make donations or volunteer time with community or national programs and agencies whose mission resonates with them. This is especially good for those who want to involve family and friends in the work. While this time of year brings to mind the need for altruism, adding it to your life all year long will give you that constant endorphin reinforcement – and help many others in the process.

A Video on Volunteering from NJLAP's webpage

Why altruism is good for you
Health Benefits of Giving Back:
How Giving Can Benefit You:

5 Benefits to Giving Back:
How volunteering can help your mental health:
How memories of Kindness can make you happy:
How your social life might help you live longer:

New Jersey Organizations Looking for Volunteer Attorneys
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
Legal Services of New Jersey
Pro Bono NJ

Volunteer Associates in Public Service Program at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Law
NJ State Bar Foundation
Northeast NJ Legal Services
Additional Information from the ABA


Noreen Braman
NJLAP Program Communications & Technology Manager

Information and Registration Links
to Upcoming NJLAP Online Presentations

If you missed any of the sessions, or would like to view them again, you can catch the recorded version on NJLAP's YouTube Channel

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As always, our email lists and your correspondence with us, are kept completely confidential. We look forward to hearing from you!

"At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled
by a spark from
another person.

Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."


— Albert Schweitzer

One Constitution Square
New Brunswick, NJ
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