Being a lawyer is stressful. Many struggle to balance their physical health and wellbeing with the demands of their profession. On Balance, premiering this week on Legal Talk Network, delivers useful and entertaining ideas on managing life as a lawyer. To hear more about the show and what inspired its creation, tune in as the State Bar of Michigan’s executive director Janet Welch introduces hosts Tish Vincent and JoAnn Hathaway. Stay till the end for a sneak peek at the bonus content and some of the notable guests featured in the early podcasts.
State Bar of Michigan: On Balance Podcast
Teaser: Introducing the State Bar of Michigan’s “On Balance” Podcast
Janet Welch: Hi everybody. I am Janet Welch. I am the Executive Director with the State Bar of Michigan and I am very pleased to have played a small role in the development of this podcast, On Balance.
The podcast is actually the brainchild of two State Bar of Michigan staff; Tish Vincent, who is a clinical therapist and an attorney, whose work is primarily in the field of attorney wellness, and JoAnn Hathaway, who is an expert in law practice management.
So Tish and JoAnn, I would like to ask you to introduce yourselves and to say a little bit about how this really exciting collaboration came into being.
Tish Vincent: Well, thank you Janet for that introduction. I am Tish Vincent and my work with lawyers who are struggling with wellness issues is a passionate interest of mine, and as we work with these individuals, we are trying to help them not just get better emotionally, not just get into a therapist and do what they need to do, but also be able to practice professionally in a very successful way. And I have found that we reach a boundary in the Lawyers Assistance Program and that at that point JoAnn Hathaway is here in the building with us and has an amazing set of resources and knowledge to bring to bear and so we have worked together with a number of cases and it’s been very productive.
JoAnn Hathaway: Thanks for that Tish. Hi everyone. This is JoAnn Hathaway. I would mirror what Tish says from a practice management perspective. I know when speaking with our membership and consulting in their law practices I have found that her program and what it offers could help them greatly with implementing the practice management component of their practice and moving forward with a very successful and thriving practice.
So once we came to these realizations at how helpful our programs could be working together with a blended approach, we had a brainstorm that we should approach Janet Welch and see if she thought a podcast on balance would be a good idea.
Tish Vincent: Well, we know that lawyers are very, very busy. Their time demands are extreme. So how can we get as much information out to them as quickly and as easily as possible, and in this day and age a podcast is an easy way. So we started putting our mind to that, how could we do that and Janet had much more knowledge of the resources that were out there to make a podcast happen.
Janet Welch: You are probably giving me more credit than I deserve for that Tish, but I do understand the value of podcasts, especially to our younger members. I have a son who is a practicing attorney and his favorite way of satisfying his mandatory CLE requirement is to take a course where he can listen to a podcast that he gets CLE credit for while he is exercising.
So when you brought me the idea, along with JoAnn, about the podcast I thought this is a terrific way to deliver content to our members that was really valuable.
And we struggled for a little while about what we thought the podcast should be called and we really focused in on the value that it would bring to our members in achieving balance, both satisfaction in their lives and excellence in their practices. Since that time the podcast has spread into other areas. We have identified interesting topics that go beyond the idea of merging wellness and practice.
JoAnn Hathaway: So I think it’s a good time for us now to tell everyone what our podcast is going to be about and how it’s going to be formatted and featured.
We are aiming at about 20-30 minutes for each podcast every month and we are hoping during that time we are going to be able to bring several great messages to our membership. We are going to have all sorts of guests, sometimes a panel, sometimes just one thought leader in either wellness or practice management, and we are also looking forward to some members and also national individuals who have struggled and have hopefully been benefited by such an approach as we are looking forward to delivering.
Tish Vincent: Yes. And we both talked to a number of people who are eager to share their thoughts on the program, they are going to share takeaways that people can learn quickly, something that will make a difference in their life and bring more balance between their personal wellness and their professional competence.
JoAnn Hathaway: And we are really hoping to bring this to a wide range of attorneys and staff, not just those in small firms or large firms or certain types of practices, but something that’s practical and that can be applied to everyone for the most part.
Janet Welch: So JoAnn and Tish, as brand-new podcasters you have already entered into some exciting territory with your beginning launch episodes, so can you tell us a little bit about those episodes.
JoAnn Hathaway: Sure Janet. We were really excited because the Legal Talk Network team joined us at our next conference in Detroit this year at Cobo Hall and we had nine interviews and the first was with ABC’s Dan Abrams, who was our Keynote Speaker. Dan introduced the intersection between lawyers and the media.
We also heard from wrongfully convicted Dennis Tomasik and his team of attorneys. He actually spent nine years in prison and was thereafter exonerated, so that was quite an interesting interview.
And we also heard from two Michigan Supreme Court Justices, Justice McCormack and Justice Wilder. So that’s just a bit of the content that we have coming to you from our next conference.
Tish Vincent: Yes. And at the State Bar of Michigan Annual Meeting in 2016, we interviewed four On Balance guests; we interviewed Janet Welch and we also interviewed Rob Mathis, who is our Pro Bono Service & Justice Initiatives Counsel; Cynthia Sharp, an Attorney Business Coach; and Lori Buiteweg, the past President of the State Bar of Michigan. So those podcasts are going to be available as bonus content and you can listen in.
JoAnn Hathaway: And soon then with our next podcast we will be starting on target with those topics for On Balance Wellness and Practice Management.
Tish Vincent: Yes. And we have a number of individuals, a number of guests that are already lined up. We will be hearing from attorneys who have transformed their life from under-functioning to being competent and feeling positive about their personal and professional lives. We will also be hearing from experts nationally and locally on practice management and wellness issues.
Janet Welch: It’s going to be well worth listening to.
Tish Vincent: So tune into Episode 1, ABC’s Dan Abrams discussing the intersection between lawyers and the media.