Lessons learned from a visit to the other side – how not to go there and how to come back if you do
How to start over and reinvent yourself and your career
Resilience II is two hours of a three hour bloc of Continuing Education for both attorneys and paralegals. Initially I started holding seminars with ethics titles such as The Unforgiving Minute, Landmines on the way to the top and how to start over and Back to the Future.
All of these programs basically consisted of my telling my personal story of rising to the top of the legal profession many years ago, in particular as the lead prosecutor in the murder trial of former Green Beret doctor Jeffrey MacDonald, and then going into private law practice, hoping to spend my career there, only to come crashing down years later in a web of mistakes that cost me my right to practice law. Finally, I have told of many of the lessons I learned along this way, and how I started over.
Over the last years, I have learned that what so many people want to know is how to deal with the stress of a very charged legal environment, how to keep from making serious mistakes, what to do if you do make mistakes, and perhaps equally important how to get and keep some degree of passion in what you do, even if that means making a career change.
The program I now offer is a personal study of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Among the topics are:
· Passion in the practice of law
· Legal preparation for the client
· Honest and straightforward advice for the client
· Ethical dealings with other lawyers and the court
· Communicating regularly with the client (returning phone calls)
· Honesty in dealing with money and fees from the client (trust accounts)
· Consequences for everyone for violations
· Treating every client the same
· Starting over and making a change in your career
· Dealing with the stress of your job
· What to do if or when you are confronted with an ethical question in any capacity
Some of the traits I have found to be helpful in surviving adversity and starting over are:
· Telling the truth
· Owning your mistakes
· Thinking outside the box
· Unconditional love and friendship
The goal of the program is to help people think about avoiding career and life changing mistakes, how to make a mid-course correction if you are not happy in what you are doing, how to find passion and become the best and most satisfied attorney and paralegal you can be.
Over the Rainbow
Over the Rainbow is an upbeat and personal look at mental illness in the form of depression. It is a one hour study, usually at the end of Resilience II and concludes the three hour program, most often held in the morning. The previous program on depression was titled Night Falls Fast, an in-depth and personal look at my own struggles with this illness many years ago. Today, I speak not only about the causes of depression, but also how a person can get better…for good.
The practice of law is tough enough without having depression in your life. I talk in detail about what to do if it affects you or someone you know. You can get better!