Effective and Ethical Management of Work-Related Stress for Attorneys

(955 Ratings)

Produced on: June 21, 2018

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 65 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Work-related stress is a daily feature in the life of a lawyer, especially a young lawyer. Poorly managed, stress may adversely affect you professionally and ethically, as well as personally. Yet, many believe that stress is more akin to an “occupational hazard” to be survived rather than something that not only can be actively managed, but can, in fact, become growth enhancing.

In this program, Joel G. Kosman, a lawyer and psychotherapist working primarily with lawyers, examines the many professional and ethical implications of poorly managed work-related stress, including a close look at a recent study published by the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and a review of the relevant ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Designed with the circumstances of more junior lawyers particularly in mind, Mr. Kosman provides key insights into the “stressed out” brain and details a concrete, individualized path to follow to improve how attorneys respond to work-related stress. Step-by-step, he shows you how to develop a deeper understanding of your “stress cycles” and how to use that understanding to alter your behavior and thinking to promote a healthier response to the intense challenges of being a lawyer.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Examine the professional and ethical implications of poorly managed work-related stress, with a particular focus on junior attorneys
  2. Develop a deeper understanding of your own “stress response,” and acquire a systematic method to effectively manage your work-related stress
  3. Implement general strategies to respond in a healthy manner to the intense challenges of being a lawyer

This webinar is for educational and informational purposes only, it does not constitute medical or mental health advice, and is not a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, mental-health professional, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. 


Joel Kosman

Kosman Therapy

Joel Kosman graduated from Swarthmore College, and, after a year in banking, enrolled at the New York University School of Law.  For the next 20 years, he practiced law.  He has worked at a Big Law firm, a small "boutique" law firm and as an Assistant District Attorney for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.  He has also clerked for a federal judge in the Southern District of New York.  In addition, he’s taught at NYU, New York Law School, and Columbia Law School.

There came a time when Joel decided that he needed to change careers -- to find something that better matched his goals and aspirations at that stage in my life.  So he enrolled at the New York University School of Social Work. Since then, as a mental health clinician, he’s worked at a psychiatric unit at St. Vincent's Hospital, with the New York University Counseling and Wellness Service, and with the Psychotherapy Center for Gender and Sexuality.  He’s had specialized training in psychodynamic psychotherapy, couples therapy, and the treatment of eating disorders. 

Currently, in his private psychotherapy practice, he works principally with lawyers and young professionals.  He also has significant experience counseling law school students.  Among many other areas, he has worked with his clients to address issues surrounding stress, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, work/academic performance, procrastination, time management, and a further variety of life and identity issues. 

Throughout Joel’s own working life, he has experienced successes and setbacks, victories and losses, stress, anxiety, change, insecurity, indecision, depression, emotional paralysis, and more. You name it - he’s pretty much ridden the highs and lows.  


Natalie M.

Excellent work thank you!

Elisa A.

Very practical advice on a most important topic. The seminar was presented in an empathetic way. Well done.

Lisa C.

Very timely presentation and useful info

Ann W.

This is a worthwhile discussion and I would highly recommend this seminar to all practitioners.

Deborah R.

Good info

Sophia V.

Outstanding program and outstanding faculty. Thank you!

Andrew L.

Excellent program and presenter.

Joseph D.

Great topic. Great presentation.

Ann W.

Very practical course. Liked the fact that used examples to demonstrate techniques presented to deal with stress.

Jayme M.

This was excellent.

Natascia A.

thank you

Nicholas P.

Exceeded Expectations!!

Gail G.

Great presentation. Wish I had this available 30 years ago.

Andrew M.

Provided a practical tool!

Jennifer S.

Very Interesting!!

James B.

This, or this subject, should be mandatory for all lawyers.

Susan E.

Very good presentation with useful tips that can be implemented right away.

Denise G.

Helpful information.

Tanya C.

very good

Doreen M.

I found the strategies discussed very pertinent and helpful! I will likely listen to this program again.

John M.

well done

Micheal D.

Really good tips and strategies for attorneys at all levels.

Rebekah D.

Thank you

Stephanie S.

very informative.

Kenneth K.

enjoyed the speakers style

James S.

This program dealt with an important topic in a sympathetic but empowering way.

Carolynne K.


Jane O.

Very helpful

Sarah G.

Valuable information. Well done.

Linda C.

this lecture was great, very helpful about how to deal with stress in all aspects of life, not only that caused by the legal profession

Francis B.

Over the years, I've listened to many talks that were supposed to help attorneys deal with stress. This may be the first with actionable suggestions. Great job. I'd like to hear more by this speaker.

Carol T.

Excellent course

Bridget C.

Excellent lecture. Very important.

richard b.

Simply fantastic and I speak as a former mental health practitioner

Theodore K.


Gabrielle Z.

beneficial for new lawyers

Sarah M.

Written notes very helpful.

Bruce M.

Great presenter and important topic. I plan on watching this seminar several times to more fully digest the speaker's advise. I would definitely welcome more seminars relating to addressing/managing stress.

Iris G.

Excellent material. The examples were great.

Kali P.

This is one of the best CLE programs I have taken--it was engaging, informative and productive. I particularly appreciated the instructor's compassion and realistic approach.

Kirsten B.


William K.

Very important course looking at the issue wholistically

David S.

Additional programs on this topic are encouraged.

Chris R.

I cannot get enough of this program and only was sorry that it was only an hour because it felt like we just scratched the surface.

Rachel J.

Soothing voice; appreciate the practical concrete suggestions, particularly the awareness log

Michael B.

this course was the best course i've taken on this subject matter ever!!!

Kenneth P.

This was an outstanding program, with excellent practical and intellectual insights.

Cynthia K.

Excellent! I'm so glad Lawline added this to your offered courses. It's very important but the law profession has always ignored the stress and anxiety aspects of practice and encouraged a "toughen up" mentality. Please add another course or 2 like this one.

Virginia J.

An important topic! Thanks for addressing the issue,

Joseph M.

The presenter was knowledgeable and caring.

Shannon G.

Appreciate the clear explanation of stress vs. anxiety.

Mark P.


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