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Legal Well-Being In Action Podcast Episode Library

           

Season 2

2.5 The Senior Lawyers Division

Join us as we hear from the Senior Lawyers Division about well-being in their area of the legal community. With us this episode is Ms. Annette DeBois, Ms. Jocelyn M. Torres and Mr. Peter Chestnut to speak on the unique issues and ideas they have to support senior lawyers in the later years of practice and in retirement. Our speakers will cover:

  • Physical limitations and other limitations that can affect your practice
  • Practicing less than full time and financial considerations
  • Identity: Who are we outside of work?
  • Boredom: Finding what you love to practice, and life after retirement
  • Programming to support the wellbeing of senior lawyers

Presented by:

  • Annette DeBois graduated from the UNM School of Law in 1982, and immediately joined a small private firm, Paskind Lynch and Dow, where she stayed for 18 years. She then became the staff attorney for the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee and worked in the federal system for 11 years. Her last five years of practice were as an Administrative Hearing Officer for the NM Taxation and Revenue Department. After retiring in 2013, Annette discovered the joys of free time, and takes advantage of that by travelling, volunteer work and enjoying the beautiful NM outdoors.
  • Jocelyn M. Torres, Attorney at Law. Jocelyn is from New Mexico and has been a licensed attorney, litigator, and mediator in this state for forty years. She is also a proficient writer and has conducted extensive legal and mediation training for the ABA, State Bar, and several other organizations. Jocelyn obtained her BA cum laude in Psychology, MA with distinction in Public Administration/Energy Management and Juris Doctorate Degrees from UNM. Jocelyn cofounded the NM Children’s Court Mediation Team in March 2000. She authored/sponsored the NM Safe Haven Act of 2001 and coauthored/cosponsored the NM Mediation Procedures Act of 2007. She retired as a Children’s Court Attorney in June 2017. Jocelyn has chaired the State Bar’s ADR Committee, is chair-elect of the Senior Lawyers Division, and is on the board of the Public Law Section and is a member of the Well-Being Committee. Since retirement, she has also worked with the state Judiciary, Legislature and the City of Albuquerque.
  • Peter Chestnut, Attorney and Counselor at Law. Peter moved to New Mexico after college and became a licensed lawyer over forty-five years ago. Beginning as a sole practitioner, his practice emphasized Indian Affairs and Water Rights. He served as legal counsel for some Pueblo governments and organizations for decades. He sees lawyers as working to help weave the fabric of society. His practice accomplishments include work to re-acquire of some Pueblo ancestral lands, negotiate tribal-state gaming compacts, establish laws, negotiate a Pueblo water rights settlement with multiple governments and many other parties and support Pueblo oversight of federal nuclear waste disposal and monitoring at Los Alamos. His firm has included numerous Pueblo member lawyers for many years, part of his interest in expanding understanding and respect for Pueblo perspective in our larger society. Peter served on both the State Bar Indian Law Section and Senior Lawyers Division boards, and as past Chair. He received the 2021 Attorney Achievement Award from the Indian Law Section. Peter has made numerous CLE presentations on Indian Law and Pueblo water rights, most recently at a regional panel discussing a Pueblo water rights settlement approved by Congress. He earned his B.A. cum laude from Harvard College, and his Juris Doctorate from UNM School of Law.


2.4 New Mexico Office of the Attorney General

Join us as New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas and Caitlin Dillon, a prosecutor in the Special Prosecutions Division for the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, speak to how they serve our community while also addressing a different area of well-being that begins in their office. Mr. Balderas illustrates how empowering his attorneys, paralegals, and staff creates an atmosphere of trust and fosters well-being. In this episode, Caitlin and Mr. Balderas discuss:

  • The Mission of the Office of the Attorney General
  • Defining what winning looks like
  • Replenishing their attorneys and paralegals
  • Maintaining client and attorney expectations
  • Creating safe environments
  • Why are some attorneys feeling so disenchanted with the profession?

Speakers:

  • Caitlin Dillon, prosecutor in the Special Prosecutions Division for the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, and member of the NM Well-Being Committee.
  • Hector Balderas, Attorney General of New Mexico since 2015. Mr. Balderas has been honored for his work to increase safety and prosperity for New Mexico families with a variety of awards, including the prestigious New Frontier Award jointly awarded by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Harvard Institute of Politics. Hector lives in Albuquerque with his wife Denise and is proud of their three children, Hector Reyes Jr., Mariola and Arianna.


2.3 University of New Mexico School of Law - The Ongoing Conversation About Well-Being

Join us as we continue the focus of our legal communities in New Mexico! April’s episode will feature Bonnie Stepleton, Christina Bustamante, and episode host, Mark Blosser as they discuss the University of New Mexico’s School of Law! Our speakers will touch on the importance of well-being while studying law, and acknowledging:

  • Wellness initiatives that are currently in place at UNM SOL
  • What the students and staff are proud of concerning the law school’s area of wellness
  • Areas our speakers think could help improve well-being going forward

Presented by: Bonnie Stepleton, Director of Student and Career Services at the UNM School of Law and a member of the NM Well-Being Committee. Christina Bustamante, first-year law student at UNM School of Law, 1L representative of the Student Bar Association's Well-Being Committee, and the law school representative to the NM Well-Being Committee. Mark Blosser, second-year law student at the University of New Mexico and member of the Student Bar Association's Well-Being Committee.


2.2 Solo and Small Firm Attorneys Pt 2

Our first podcast was a lively discussion between Solo and Small Firms lawyers, Briggs Cheney, Jim Wilkey, and Tina Cruz with the focus being how they believe the community of Solo and Small Firm lawyers are different than other legal communities and the obstacles, real and perceived, that can get in the way of a SSF lawyer making self-care a priority. Our speakers have returned to continue the discussion around ideas they have when it entails being intentional concerning well-being as a legal professional and a human being.

Our speakers highlight that “well-being” encompasses our whole self. This includes emotional, spiritual, social, physical, and intellectual components that makes us the best version of ourselves in any life experience, professional and personal. To be a healthy and “well” human being, one can have an inner stance that is aware of, acknowledges, and takes charge of the relationship between YOU and the conditions of life. As people first, we should aim to be thriving with purpose… or living with intention. Anything less is merely surviving.

Presented by Briggs Cheney, Esq., Dixon•Scholl•Carrillo•P.A., and the Co-Chair to the NMJLAP Committee; Ernestina R. Cruz, Esq., founder of Cruz Law Office, LLC located in Taos and Santa Fe, Past President of the State Bar of New Mexico (2020) and Past Member of the SBNM Well-Being Committee (2020-2021). James Wilkes, Esq., Shareholder, and Director, Dixon•Scholl•Carrillo•P.A.


2.1 Solo and Small Firm Attorneys Pt 1

We’re back for season 2! Join us for our first episode as we focus on legal communities in New Mexico. Our first two podcast episodes will be featuring solo and small firm attorneys!

Briggs Cheney, Tina Cruz, and Jim Wilkey discuss the well-being of solo and small firm attorneys in New Mexico, and the unique challenges that both practitioners can face from their own perspectives. When it comes to ‘well-being’, it can look different for everyone. In this episode, our speakers look to identifying different challenges in the solo and small firm community and talking through what the next steps are.

Presented By: Briggs Cheney, Esq., Dixon•Scholl•Carrillo•P.A., and the Co-Chair to the NMJLAP Committee; Ernestina R. Cruz, Esq., founder of Cruz Law Office, LLC located in Taos and Santa Fe, Past President of the State Bar of New Mexico (2020) and Past Member of the SBNM Well-Being Committee (2020-2021); James Wilkes, Esq., Shareholder, and Director, Dixon•Scholl•Carrillo•P.A.


Season 1

1.11 Compassion Fatigue Part 2 and Lawyer Well-Being

Bill, Rebecca, and Sarah are back for part 2 of Compassion Fatigue! Listen in as our three speakers discuss the practical application of the healthy ways to take care of yourself if you’re experiencing symptoms of compassion fatigue. They will also address overall lawyer well-being and how to engage in self-care in a very demanding profession. In this episode, our speakers will cover:

  • Creating Boundaries in your personal and professional life
  • Realistic ways to apply well-being while practicing law
  • The balance of home and work life
  • Being intentional about wellness
  • Structure and Routine
  • Setting expectations for clients, partners, and family

Presented by: William Slease, Professional Practice Program Director for the State Bar of New Mexico and member of the NM Well-Being Committee; Sarah Armstrong, Armstrong, Roth, Whitley, Johnstone (ARWJ) Family Law, LLC; Rebecca Kitson, Rebecca Kitson Law, PC.


1.10 Lawyering by Video Part 2

Rick and Sean are back! Join us for part 2 the Lawyering by Video; our two returning private practice attorneys discuss how the pandemic has impacted how they practice law in-person and by video. Tune in to hear their personal updates since February, and to further discuss ongoing personal safety, mental health, and the pros and cons of continuing to use video settings in the field of law in a hybrid fashion.

Presented by: Richard Cravens, Cravens Law LLC; Sean Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick Law LLC and NM Well-Being Committee Co-Chair.


1.9 Stigma & Counseling

The most common reason for why people don’t seek counseling and other mental health services is the stigma associated with mental illness and seeking treatment. This stigma is even more pronounced in the legal community. As human beings and legal professionals, we all experience the normal ups and downs of life. In this episode we will discuss stigma and counselling, and will address these four interconnected areas.

  • What does it mean to struggle? How would you know if you or a colleague is struggling?
  • What do you look for in a mental health professional? How does that process work and what are the   benefits?
  • What are the components that would make a healthy law firm or legal organization?
  • Where can you reach out for resources?

Presented by: Pamela Moore, MA, LPCC, Program Director of the State Bar of New Mexico’s Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (NMJLAP), and a member of the NM Well-Being Committee. Dr. Rex Swanda is a Clinical Neuropsychologist who is board-certified through the American Board of Professional Psychology. Dr. Evelyn Sandeen is a licensed psychologist who is board-certified in clinical psychology. She has a private practice in which she specializes in psychotherapy with professional clients, training, and consultation.


1.7 Fear

Fear arises with the threat of harm in a physical, emotional, or psychological manner, whether it’s real or imagined. While fear is most commonly associated with a “negative” emotion, fear actually serves an important role in keeping us safe as it prepares us to cope with potential danger.

Join Pamela Moore and Briggs Cheney as they discuss how fear has played a role in their personal and professional lifestyle. Both speakers share tools and tips on how others can manage the uncomfortable sensation of fear, but also identify where we can learn more about ourselves when we do feel fearful in our day to day encounters.

Presented By: Pamela Moore, MA, LPCC, the Program Director of the State Bar of New Mexico’s Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (NMJLAP), and a member of the NM Well-Being Committee.​ Briggs Cheney, Esq., Dixon•Scholl•Carrillo•P.A., Co-Chair to the NMJLAP Committee.


1.6 Compassion Fatigue

Lawyers, in certain practice areas such as criminal law, family law, immigration law, and juvenile law may be highly susceptible to compassion fatigue. In these practice types, lawyers are required to view crime or accident scenes, listen to victims’ stories and view or read reports of graphic evidence of traumatic victimization. Compassion Fatigue, also called “vicarious traumatization” or secondary traumatization, is the emotional residue or strain of exposure to working with those suffering from the consequences of traumatic events. It differs from burn-out, but can co-exist.

Listen in as Bill Slease, Rebecca Kitson, and Sarah Armstrong discuss their thoughts and experiences with compassion fatigue and offer some tips on how to manage a better sense of well-being in what is seen as some of the more difficult areas of law practice.

Presented by: William Slease, Professional Practice Program Director for the State Bar of New Mexico and member of the NM Well-Being Committee; Sarah Armstrong, Armstrong, Roth, Whitley, Johnstone (ARWJ) Family Law, LLC; Rebecca Kitson, Rebecca Kitson Law, LLC.


1.5 Hobbies- Necessity or Nice to Have?

Having a hobby can bring us joy, enrich our lives, and allow creativity to blossom in our brain, but are they really that important to our overall well-being? Study after study says YES! Hobbies relieve stress by keeping you engaged in an enjoyable activity and challenge your brain and body in a positive way. As the pandemic has changed different aspects of our daily lives, many individuals in our community noted hobbies as a vital energizing boost to their daily routine.

Join our two speakers Ms. Caitlin Dillon and Ms. Denise Torres as they explore the importance of hobbies before and after the pandemic. These two successful lawyers touch on topics such as carving out time for activities you enjoy to improve your mental, emotional, and physical health to achieve an overall state of well-being. A healthy, successful lawyer (human being) combines all aspects of themselves to live a healthy, fulfilled, and well-balanced life.

Presented By: Denise Torres, Law Firm of Denise Torres, LLC, chair of the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission (JPEC), and a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. Caitlin Dillon, prosecutor in the Special Prosecutions Division for the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, and member of the NM Well-Being Committee.


1.4 Sleep-What You Need to Know And More

Sleep is one area of our life that is vitally important. Too little and you can experience brain fog, lack of energy, and an overall state of “blah”, but too much can leave you feeling sluggish and wondering if there is a deeper physical or mental issue at play. Attorneys and other professionals with demanding jobs can be notorious for not allowing themselves enough sleep time. Join Dr. Lee Brown, MD, board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, and Sleep Medicine, and Pam Moore, NMJLAP Director, as they explore the topic of sleep. Some of the areas discussed - how much sleep a person really needs, tips on how to set yourself up for falling to sleep at night, sleep cycles defined, sleep disorders and where to get help.

Presented by: Dr. Lee K. Brown, MD, is a tenured Professor of Internal Medicine and holds a secondary appointment as Professor of Pediatrics at the University Of New Mexico School Of Medicine. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, and Sleep Medicine. His research interests include photo-biological applications to human disease and performance; circadian rhythm disorders; novel treatments for sleep disordered breathing; other sleep disorders; pulmonary and sleep physiology; and pleural disease. Pamela Moore, MA, LPCC, is the Program Director of the State Bar of New Mexico’s Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program (NMJLAP), and a member of the NM Well-Being Committee.


1.3 A Conversation About Well-Being in Law School

What does it mean to be happy, or at least ‘sort of happy’, in law school? What factors do law students have to consider as they navigate what is perceived to be one of the most stressful fields to study and practice? Tune in to hear Annie Swift, a second-year law student at the University of New Mexico and the student representative for the New Mexico State Bar Wellbeing Committee, interview Dr. Katie Young, PhD, J.D., and professor of sociology at UM Amherst. Dr. Young will discuss the findings in her book "How to be (Sort Of) Happy in Law School" as well as illuminating mental, emotional, and physical stressors that law students face.

Presenters: Annie Swift, second-year law student at the University of New Mexico and the student representative for the New Mexico Well-Being Committee; Dr. Katie Young, PhD, J.D., and professor of sociology at UM Amherst.


1.2 Incivility and Well-Being

For our second episode on Legal Well-Being in Action, we are honored to have Justice Chavez and William Slease speak on incivility and well-being! This episode will explore how acts of incivility can affect us physically, emotionally, and mentally. Our expert speakers will also be sharing tips and tools on how to take action toward self-preservation/care if you encounter an act of incivility in your personal or professional life.Tune in to hear their thoughts on how the cost of incivility disrupts our personal being, takes a toll on the clients we serve and/or our staff, and can negatively affect fellow members of the bench and bar.

Presenters: Justice Edward L. Chavez, former Justice and Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court (ret.), and member of the NM Well-Being Judicial Subcommittee; William Slease, Professional Practice Program Director for the State Bar of New Mexico and member of the NM Well-Being Committee.


1.1 Personal Inventory: Lawyering by Video

For this first personal inventory podcast, two private practice attorneys discuss how COVDI9 has impacted how they practice law in-person and by video. Tune in to hear how these two speakers weigh in on personal safety, mental health, and the pros and cons of continuing to use video settings in the field of law even after the pandemic has passed.

Presented byRichard Cravens, Cravens Law LLC; Sean Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick Law LLC and NM Well-Being Committee Co-Chair


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