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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

DESPERATE MEASURES -  While the overall financial story for the legal industry in 2020 was surprisingly positive, plenty of attorneys around the country took a revenue hit thanks to COVID-19. And, as Law.com’s Charles Toutant reports, some experts are concerned that the strains of struggling to pay bills may push some lawyers over the edge into theft or unethical conduct. With the pandemic now heading into its second year, it’s easy to overlook its cumulative impact on one’s state of mind, said Stacey Dougan, a former Big Law attorney with a masters in mental health counseling who now provides “attorney well-being” services in Atlanta. “When you’re not taking care of yourself, there can be a gradual deterioration of your mental health and your moral compass. Any time judgment is impaired, lawyers are impaired,” said Dougan. Meanwhile, the fear of losing financial stability can have a profound impact on the nervous system, she added: ”It’s stress upon stress upon stress until you start feeling you don’t have other options.”

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