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Special Wellness Program: Lessons for Lawyers from the Science of Well Being

October 27 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

SVAMC is committed to supporting the wellness of its membership! The objective of this presentation is to help lawyers apply cognitive science to improve their well-being. We will begin with a brief overview of a problem endemic in the legal profession: lawyers continue to struggle with depression, anxiety, suicide, and substance abuse at alarming levels. Research has found that more than one in four lawyers experience depression, and nearly one in five reported anxiety. Between 21 and 31 percent of lawyers, and up to 40 percent of law students, report drinking at a level consistent with an alcohol problem. For many, recent events have compounded that reality, with the COVID-19 pandemic, continued nationwide reckoning with systemic racism and other disturbing geopolitical events further challenging our individual and collective well-being.

While addressing this issue requires both individual and institutional action, this presentation will focus on the practical steps that legal professionals can take to improve well-being, drawing on recent research from cognitive science and beginning with the preface that happiness can be learned and applied. Specifically, we will provide an evidence-based arsenal of practical tools that lawyers can apply in their own lives to improve their well-being. This CLE draws heavily upon a publicly available course taught by Yale professor Dr. Laurie Santos on the Science of Well Being (https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being).


  • Emma C. Ross, J.D./M.D.:  Emma Ross is a partner at Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP. With degrees in both law and medicine, Emma plays a key role in national science teams and trial teams. She represents leading corporations in nationwide high-stakes disputes.
  • Shayna S. Cook, J.D.: Shayna Cook is a partner at Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum LLP in Chicago. As a leading trial lawyer, Shayna represents multinational clients in a variety of company-critical disputes.

Date & Time

October 27, 2022
10:00am Pacific
12:00pm Central
1:00pm Eastern

Registration information to announced soon.


October 27
10:00 am - 11:00 am