For Love Your Lawyer Day, Love Yourself
The first Friday of November marks Love Your Lawyer Day, a day to show a little appreciation for the attorneys of the world. Actually, a little appreciation might be asking a bit too much. When Love Your Lawyer Day was founded 15 years ago, by the legal marketer Nader Anise, the goal was for people to simply refrain from lawyer bashing and anti-esquire jokes for one day.
We'd like to propose something a bit more meaningful. Instead of looking to the public for affirmation, lawyers should use Love Your Lawyer Day to indulge in a bit of much needed self-care.
Love Your Lawyer Day Is Stupid, but It Doesn't Have to Be
Surprisingly, Love Your Lawyer Day hasn't exactly become a marquee holiday. Even Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day gets more respect. There are a few reasons for this. First, saying "don't be make fun of lawyers today" seems to invite just what it seeks to prevent. Second, for most people, lawyers are a necessary evil. No one wants to be charged with a DUI, divorced, or unjustly terminated, after all. Once they've paid their bill, they'd probably rather move on instead of, say, posting praise on Twitter.
Last year, Joe Patrice described the holiday as "the legal profession's latest desperate plea for a symbolic hug from a cold and uncaring public." Not even lawyers love Love Your Lawyer Day.
But the holiday could be more meaningful than a hashtag or a blog post. In an industry that doesn't always treat its members the best, Love Your Lawyer Day could be an occasion for developing some good habits.
Mean Jokes Aren't the Problem
What's wrong with lawyering these days? Let's count the ways. There's insane law school debts and hordes of young, eager, and totally unemployed attorneys.
There's the industry's lack of diversity and the fact that even the highest-paid women earn only a fraction of what their male counterparts do.
There's the endemic alcoholism, with more than one out of five attorneys qualifying as a problem drinker.
There are grueling hourly demands that, coupled with stressful work environments, drive attorneys to burn out, drop out, or worse. The lawyer suicide rate is six times higher than average.
We could go on, but we wouldn't want to depress you.
Today, Focus on Making Positive Changes
For Love Your Lawyer Day, why not do something about these problems listed above? Use today as an excuse to show yourself a bit of love, not to ask for it from others.
Consider reaching out to a treatment or support group if you've been struggling with alcoholism, substance abuse, or depression. Go get a massage if you've been buried under stress for the last month. Better yet, get a therapist. Take your kids to the zoo or reconnect with old friends. Go buy yourself a new car. Read some funny blog posts. Whatever it is that can help you out, do it today.
And don't forget about your colleagues as well. There's no better time than Love Your Lawyer Day to give back to the industry, by becoming a mentor, taking a CLE on diversity, or donating some time or money to a lawyer support group.
After all, we're never going to get the public to stop hating lawyers, so we might at least try to make our own lives better ourselves.
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