For many, 2020 has been a year short on things to celebrate. Within the legal profession, Love Your Lawyer Day is an opportunity for positivity.
First, some backstory: Love Your Lawyer Day was started in 2001 by an attorney named Nader Anise. He had seen a lot of misbehaving attorneys in fiction and had heard plenty of bad lawyer jokes, and was starting to think these portrayals were becoming a little too accepted as reality. So, he set out to have the first Friday in November acknowledged as a day to recognize the good work all lawyers do in their communities. The American Bar Association formally recognized Love Your Lawyer Day in 2015, and each year since, it’s grown in popularity as a way to highlight all the good things about lawyers and the field of law.
Fast forward to today, when many lawyers find themselves isolated from their peers due to remote work environments, and still face all the usual challenges of life at a small firm or in solo practice—unpredictable business flow, rising stress levels, and the looming specter of burnout. A celebration isn’t a magical cure-all for anything, but in this context, a day to focus on the great many good things about the legal profession might be a much-needed morale boost.
Love Your Lawyer Day isn’t officially until November 6 this year, but there’s no reason to wait until then to think about how you will observe it. Here are a few ideas to jump-start your thinking:
- Share your experience: One aim of Love Your Lawyer Day is to increase the general public’s understanding of who lawyers really are and what their work is like. Write a LinkedIn post or a series of Tweets sharing your experience as an attorney. Talk about whatever feels natural to you, but you could think about commenting on what has gone as expected and what hasn’t, if you’d do anything differently earlier in your career, or what your favorite part of being a lawyer is. Genuine and thoughtful insight into what your day-to-day job is like is very in keeping with the spirit of Love Your Lawyer Day.
- Take some time for self-reflection: Celebrating doesn’t have to be public. You could take some time to think about how your career has unfolded and what (if anything) you hope to change in the future. You could brainstorm goals for the coming year and jot down a loose plan for how to meet them. You could use FindLaw’s complimentary 2021 legal planner as a way to do some guided thinking. The point is, a quiet period of self-reflection can be a form of celebration as much as anything else.
- Revisit a classic: Not all portrayals of lawyers in fiction are bad. One way to celebrate your profession is to get back in touch with an artistic work that represents attorneys and the field of law in a positive light. You could read or re-read “To Kill a Mockingbird” or “The Caine Mutiny.” If you’re still in touch with any friends from law school, you could get together to watch “Inherit the Wind,” “My Cousin Vinny” or even “Legally Blonde.” However, this year it is probably best to consider hosting this gathering via Zoom.
- Volunteer: In order for people to understand who lawyers are and what kind of work they do, they need to see them. Volunteering in your community gives people a good example on which they can base positive impressions. Not only does volunteering burnish the profession’s image and enhance your own reputation, it benefits the community as a whole, too.
- Celebrate with FindLaw: On Oct. 28, FindLaw will get a jump on Love Your Lawyer Day (which isn’t until Friday, Nov. 6) with “Leadership, Motivation, and Resiliency: Focusing on Yourself this Love Your Lawyer Day,” a presentation by motivational speaker Brett Culp. His specialty is encouraging people to embrace their passions and provide “everyday leadership” in their communities.
- Polish up your public-facing image: When was the last time you added to your website bio, changed your LinkedIn profile, or posted to social media? Ideally, you’d be doing this regularly, but work matters often get in the way. One goal of Love Your Lawyer Day is to enhance the image of practicing attorneys, so it’s an excellent occasion to spiff up the parts of your brand the public can see.
Regardless of how you decide to spend Love Your Lawyer Day, it’s important to remember that the role lawyers play helps our society uphold the principles of fairness and justice. Whether you celebrate with others or by yourself, that’s an important point to remember.
And don’t forget to register today for FindLaw’s Oct. 28 webcast, “Leadership, Motivation, and Resiliency: Focusing on Yourself this Love Your Lawyer Day.” The first 100 registrants will receive a free Love Your Lawyer Day t-shirt.
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