Lawyer Well-Being Newsletter • NJLAP •
Special 2020 Well-Being Issue #31


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.
 
Thanksgiving 2020
Lawyers and the Practice of Gratitude
 
In their extensive research into gratitude, the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley writes that “gratitude is an intrinsic component of the human experience.” In their white paper, The Science of Gratitude, they take a look at gratitude — socially, culturally, emotionally, and historically. The actual definition of gratitude can vary for each individual, but they state it “can be generally distilled to a two-step cognitive process: 1) recognizing that one has obtained a positive outcome and 2) recognizing that there is an external source for this positive outcome.”
 
This year, as Thanksgiving approaches, the idea of expressing gratitude or giving thanks may not come as easily as in previous years.  In fact, the year 2020 has been so difficult on so many levels, that comedian John Oliver actually blew up a huge 2020 sign to express how so many feel about this year. And while that may have been temporarily cathartic, we shouldn’t throw out the idea of spending some time in gratitude activities. According to The Science of Gratitude’s white paper, feeling and expressing gratitude actually activates areas of the brain “involved in feelings of reward and the formation of social bonds.” So, while it might take some extra effort in light of 2020's unsettling atmosphere, adding a gratitude practice to your life can actually benefit your brain health.
 
More information, as well as suggested gratitude activities can be found on the Greater Good Science Center’s website:
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/gratitude/definition
 
Below are some articles about lawyers and gratitude practices.
 https://www.kliebertlaw.com/news/2020/11/8/thoughts-on-gratitude-no-1-make-it-a-year-round-practice
 
https://thenationaltriallawyers.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Lisa-blue-ad.pdf
 
https://appealsplus.com/practicing-gratitude/
 
https://www.law.com/texaslawyer/2019/11/21/attorney-wellness-create-a-gratitude-practice-this-thanksgiving/
 
https://www.massachusettsinjurylawyer-blog.com/thanksgiving-2020/
 
https://theattic.london/2018/11/20/lawyers-make-gratitude-list/
 
https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1158&context=ndjlepp
 
And an article presenting “a feast of Thanksgiving trademarks.”
https://norrismclaughlin.com/mtym/2018/11/21/a-feast-of-thanksgiving-trademarks/
 



Noreen Braman
NJLAP Program Communications & Technology Manager




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"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

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