We’ve collected some resources helpful to BC Lawyers during this time. Check back often for updates.

If you know of useful resources for lawyers, or have a suggestion that we should develop, contact us at feedback@cbabc.org.

Wellness Supports


CBABC Wellness
Our Wellness page has resources to promote your physical and mental health during stressful times.

OBA Mindful Lawyer Series
The OBA’s Mindful Lawyer series of 19 modules includes topics such as Support Networks for Lawyers Who Work Alone, Managing Stress with Proper Nutrition, and Avoiding Burnout. Complimentary access for CBA members.

Lawyers Assistance Program
The Lawyers Assistance Program of BC (LAPBC) provides confidential outreach, education, support, and referrals to lawyers and other members of the legal community. Call 1.888.685.2171 or 604.685.2171 - available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

REMOTE WORKING TIPS

Here are some quick tips for maintaining productivity and balance while working from home from fellow OBA member Erin Cowling, a freelance lawyer and Founder of Flex Legal Network.

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Try to physically separate “home” from “work”. To find the best dedicated workspace for you, think about how you like to work. Do you need complete silence? Find a quiet corner of the house or apartment and put on your headphones (especially if others are at home too). Or, maybe you need white noise in the background? Perhaps you need to be in a room with a TV on in the background or a radio or the window open, etc. Find a place that works for you (I don’t recommend a bed or couch; they can make you drowsy) and use that place as your dedicated workspace.

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Do you normally arrive at work at 9am? Then open your laptop and start your day at 9am. Keep your end of day consistent with your usually end of day too. When working from home you may find that “work life” blends into “home life”. To avoid this, set a work schedule and stick with it. Take a lunch break away from your dedicated workspace, eat healthy food and step outside for a bit. This helps to clear your head. 

Schedule “check-ins” with your associates, partners, law clerks, or others who also work on your files. Either daily or twice a day or weekly - whatever makes sense for you. These “check-ins” would normally take place in the office in the form of office chats or afternoon coffee breaks or running into each other in the hall. Having scheduled “check-ins” help with understanding timelines and progress on files and answer any questions that come up. 

It can be tempting to not stick to a schedule while you are working from home and just “wing it” but a schedule keeps you focused and on track to get your work done.

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Hopefully, most firms have the technology in place for you to access your files, communicate with opposing counsel and your clients, etc. If not, you need to invest in the technology now. Also, use video conferencing programs (like Zoom or Microsoft Teams) rather than phone calls to stay connected. When you are on a video call you can read human social cues better, see other’s reactions to what your are saying, and it’s always nice to see a smiling face, rather than just a voice floating down the line. (It may also help you get out of your pajamas every morning).

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If you have children at home over the next few weeks, some of these tips might not work and life may be a little more challenging. Depending on their age, it’s helpful to set them up with a daily schedule as well, which includes “Mommy/Daddy Work Time”. When I work from home and the kids are home, they know not to bother me during my work hours unless it is an emergency. I set scheduled breaks to check in with them and deal with any issues that have come up. It helps when I have snacks handy and in reach for children (pre-cut apples, carrots, granola bars - already opened, etc.)

If you have very young children, you may have to work in the same room and keep an eye on them. Or, unfortunately you may be working the night shift to make up for lost time during the day. In order to avoid this, perhaps a little guilt-free extra TV and electronics time may be in order over the coming weeks!

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As an introvert, working from home can be heaven for me. I get exhausted if I have too many in-person meetings or networking events, etc. However, even introverts get lonely sometimes. This means extroverts may suffer even more being isolated. Loneliness and stress and anxiety can creep up on lawyers working from home. While it is important to keep up social distancing, we can still check in with friends and colleagues and loved ones over the phone, by texting, video conferencing, etc. The OBA makes it easy for you to stay engaged through LinkedIn groups, online webcasts, and section meetings.

Also, make sure you set aside some time to read a great book or go for a walk or sit on your deck and enjoy the sunshine. While we may be avoiding the gym right now, we can still set aside some time to exercise at home or in our backyards. Try to keep up all the little self-care steps your normally take.