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Law Department Management: Managing Your Employees' Mental Well-Being

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 59 minutes
Recorded Date: May 22, 2019
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2:20 pm - 3:20 pm
  • Defining Lawyer Well-Being
  • Mental Health Lawyer Study
  • Overall Themes
  • Spontaneous Remission
  • Path to Well Being
  • What can GC's do?
  • Creating a healthy workplace
  • Panel discussion
  • Q & A
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: May 22, 2019


It’s not surprising that legal work is an exhausting and mentally-taxing field. There have been many cases of law department employees experiencing mental health-related issues stemming from their job’s emotionally-draining nature, and ultimately leading to them burning out or relying on alcohol or other addictive substances to help alleviate some of the stress. Employers have to play a key role in supporting employees’ mental health, and many organizations are now starting to take notice and institute programs that help their employees manage their emotional, physical and occupational wellbeing.

In this session, GCs and in-house counsel weigh in on the importance of managing stress in a healthy way -- the ability to identify and manage emotions to support mental health, maintaining a proper diet and nutrition, while minimizing the use of addictive substances, and cultivating personal satisfaction, growth and enrichment in work -- and discuss the steps that their organizations are taking to promote a healthy work/life balance and positive mental health.

This program was recorded as part of ALM and Corporate Counsel's 19th Annual SuperConference held on May 22nd, 2019.

Provided By

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Rebecca A. Simon

Lecturer & Co-Director, USC Gould School of Law Peak Performance Program
University of California, Irvine School of Law

Rebecca Ann Simon is a member of the California Bar and currently a Lecturer and USC Gould School of Law and UCI Law School. She co-created a nationally acclaimed Mindfulness, Stress Management, and Peak Performance Program, currently running at USC Gould School of Law. She also teaches her co-created “Self Mastery” Course at UCI Law School with Professor Jarrett Green. She was an Associate Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles from 2014 to 2018. She taught academic skills to law students starting in 2011 and also doctrinal course material. She started the “Mindfulness Mondays” program at Southwestern Law in 2014. In 2018, she began full-time legal industry consultancy work related to wellness. Professor Simon was the Keynote Speaker at “Changing Our Minds: Wellness Developments In The Legal Industry” Symposium held at UCI Law School in March 2019. She will be a featured speaker at the annual NALP Conference in San Diego in April 2019 and also a presenter at the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning at their 2019 Summer Conference in June. She is also honored to be a panelist at ALM’s “SuperConference” in Chicago in May 2019.

Professor Simon holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, a J.D. from Southwestern Law School, and a Certificate in Public Policy from the Pardee RAND Graduate School. From January 2016 to May 2018 Professor Simon was a founding Board member and the first Executive Director of the Mindfulness In Law Society (MILS). MILS is a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting mindfulness and other contemplative practices in all sectors of the legal community to improve wellbeing. From 2015-2018 Professor Simon was the Co-Chair of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Balance Section’s Mindfulness Affinity Group (MAG), bringing together law faculty interested in contemplative practices from all over the country. Professor Simon’s experience with executive coaching, mindfulness, contemplative practices, and Social-Emotional-Learning Education includes: a decade as a practitioner; meditation training retreats at a Silent Stay Center in Northern California (2015-2019); completion of the Executive Mind series courses (I, II, and III) at the Drucker School of Management (2012-2013); serving as a national leader of the Mindfulness Affinity Group for law faculty (2014-2018); a week-long training event with a scholarship at UC-Berkeley (July, 2016), achieving a Certificate from the Greater Good Science Center’s Summer Institute for Educators (2016); teaching “Mindfulness Mondays” at Southwestern Law School (2014-2018), coaching hundreds of students one-on-one for five years, and as a co-founder and co-director of the Mindfulness, Stress Management and Peak Performance Program (2016-to date). Her Peak Performance Program was commended by the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being Report (page 39).

Before teaching and consulting, Professor Simon held leadership positions in various sectors: as Program Director for a nonprofit foundation in Los Angeles; as a Campaign Manager for a Los Angeles City Council candidate; and as a Strategist for a well-known media personality and legal analyst. She has worked in an issue organization in Washington D.C., at the State Capitol in Sacramento, and for the Berkeley City Council, and served as the Chairwoman of the Human Welfare and Community Action Commission of the Berkeley City Council. For thirteen years Professor Simon served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Westside chapter of the National Women's Political Caucus. Following politics and issue-advocacy – related to international policy matters – are her two big passions outside of her teaching and yoga practice. Professor Simon has traveled to Washington DC every year for the last eighteen years in a row to attend the same long-running national policy conference. She is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, a non-partisan international affairs organization focusing on West Coast policy issues.

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Theresa Shea

Vice President & General Counsel
Utz Brand

Member of senior executive team formulating and implementing corporate strategy with $5M P&L ownership of eight -person Legal Department. Responsible for all aspects of corporate governance, M&A, commercial, litigation, regulatory, technology/IP and labor/employment/benefits practice areas as well as ethics & compliance program.

Shea earned her Bachelors of Arts in English and Education and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

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Kim Metrick

VP, Employment Law, Legal Operations & Investigations
Walgreens Boots Alliance

Kim Metrick is Vice President, Employment Law, Legal Operations and Investigations for the Walgreen Company, the nation’s largest drugstore chain with more than 8,000 pharmacies across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kim began her career with Walgreens in 1995 as a Senior Attorney. She has held various management positions throughout her career with Walgreens. In her current role, Kim is responsible for leading a team of employment law and employee benefit attorneys and legal staff professionals engaged in a broad based national employment and accessibility law practice. Together they work with Business Leaders and Human Resources to support employment decisions that reduce risk and drive business objectives. Kim also oversees the Global Legal Operations and Investigations Functions at Walgreens. Prior to joining Walgreens, Kim was an associate with the law firm of Ross and Hardies (now McGuire Woods).

Kim holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Kim is a frequent speaker on employment law topics and is active in various community service organizations. A longtime advocate of diversity within the legal industry, she is the immediate past President of the Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law. Her work to advance women’s initiatives was also recognized by Best Lawyers magazine where she was awarded a Woman of Influence award in 2017. This year, Kim was awarded the 2018 Walgreen Champion of Champions Legal Division Engagement Award, an award that recognizes team members who best demonstrate the Walgreens mission to champion everyone’s right to be happy and healthy. She was the 2018 recipient of the Women’s Bar Foundation Rise Up and Reach Back award for her contributions to the legal profession and efforts to advance women’s initiatives in law.

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Tracy L. Kepler

Risk Control Consulting Director

Tracy L. Kepler is a Risk Control Director for CNA’s Lawyers Insurance Program. In this role, she designs and develops content and distribution of risk control initiatives relevant to the practice of law. Professor Kepler lectures frequently at CNA-sponsored events and at state and local bar associations and national seminars hosted by industry-leading organizations. She also writes articles focusing on law firm risk control and professional responsibility issues.

Prior to joining CNA, Professor Kepler served as the Director of the American Bar Association’s Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR), providing national leadership in developing and interpreting standards and scholarly resources in legal and judicial ethics, professional regulation, professionalism, client protection, professional liability and attorney well-being. From 2014-2016, Professor Kepler served as an Associate Solicitor in the Office of General Counsel for the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), where she concentrated her practice in the investigation, prosecution and appeal of patent/trademark practitioner disciplinary matters before the Agency, U.S. District Courts and Federal Circuit, provided policy advice on ethics and discipline related matters to senior management, and drafted and revised Agency regulations. From 2000-2014, she served as Senior Litigation Counsel for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC), where she investigated and prosecuted cases of attorney misconduct.

Professor Kepler has served in various capacities, including as President, on the Board of the National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC), a non-profit organization of legal professionals whose members enforce ethics rules that regulate the professional conduct of lawyers who practice law in the United States and abroad. Professor Kepler is an Adjunct Professor at American University’s Washington College of Law, Georgetown University Law Center and Loyola School of Law (Chicago) teaching Legal Ethics. Committed to the promotion and encouragement of professional responsibility and attorney well-being throughout her career, Professor Kepler has served on the ABA’s Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs, where she was a Commission member, a member of its Advisory Committee, the Chair of its Education and Senior Lawyer Committees, and also a member of its National Conference Planning Committee. She is a member of the National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being and an author of its Well-Being Report. She is also an Advisory Board Member of the Mindfulness in Law Society. She is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and received her law degree from New England School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts.

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