This is a difficult job we do, and it is easy to get caught up in the everyday problems of legal practice. It's hard to keep one eye on the bigger picture while you deal with difficult cases. There are days when you think it might be easier to do this work with the support of a big firm environment.
Here is an article that provides a counter-balance, and it reminded me why many of us opted out of the big-firm treadmill, preferring to work for clients in a very individual and client-based manner. The article provides a step-by-step guide to being emotional and "authentic". I think this is laughable, because of the inherent contradiction, but it's something that many people working in a law firm could probably relate to this. "[E}motionality is necessary for inspiring others" the article advises. "As soon as you make the transition to manager, rather than avoiding emotion, you should harness it."
"The words you use to express yourself add to the emotional tone. Make an effort to match what you’re saying with the emotions you want to convey. Be careful not to sanitize your language in an effort to make your message more palatable — your message will likely end up sounding vanilla and bland. Pepper your talks with straightforward words that signal the tone you’re trying to set."
Whatever happened to just being yourself? The need to fit in, fit the mold, and never make a mistake is a driving agenda for many young lawyers hoping to make their way up the ladder. The legal profession is not well known for embracing off-beat, quirky individuality. Hey - relax, and be warm and competent - is not something a lot of associates are urged to do.
Does this contribute to the problems with mental health and burnout within the legal profession? I think it might. What do you think?