Disability Access in the Practice of Law – Begin Making Your Law Firms More Accessible for Disabled Employees and Clients with this Simple Checklist

Derek, a white man with blond hair, stands before a sunny window and wears a black suit and gray plaid tie over a white shirt.By Derek J. Dittmar

You may be unintentionally excluding a quarter of your clients and coworkers.

Twenty-six percent of adults living in the United States live with some sort of disability. However, fewer than one percent of American attorneys report having a disability, which can include sensory, physical, emotional, cognitive, and psychological conditions, many of which are not immediately perceivable by the public. It is unsurprising that most legal providers do not know how to make their services, offices, and products accessible to persons with disabilities (PWDs). When our profession is not conducted with a focus on accessibility for clients, and when we lack disabled coworkers to provide their lived and learned expertise, we are giving up, or greatly limiting, the chance to work for, and with, PWDs. Obviously, law schools have a vital role to play in expanding opportunities in the practice of law for PWDs, but that is the subject of a different post. Today, I am going to focus on why ensuring accessibility is both a legal and ethical obligation for attorneys and firms, in addition to simply being good business sense. Read more

Micro Mindfulness For Modern Lawyers

By Colleen L. Byers

We don’t need anything else to add to our to-do list. We don’t need to overhaul our entire practice. Instead, we can do one little thing that could make a big, positive impact through a practice called micro mindfulness.

Micro mindfulness is a practice of interspersing small doses (think less than 0.1 of your time) of attention to the present moment a few times throughout the day. It’s as simple as adding just a pinch of salt to enhance your meal. As my late grandmother used to say, “A little bit will do ya.”

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An Aspirational Statement of Equality and Civility

By Adam G. Linett

The North Wind and the Sun got into a dispute about which one was stronger. To put the issue to a test, they decided that whoever sooner made a traveler take off his cloak would be the more powerful and win the argument.

The Wind blew with all its might, but the stronger he blew, the closer the traveler wrapped the cloak around him. Then, the Sun came out and, as it gently shone brighter and brighter, the traveler sat down and, overcome with heat, cast his cloak to the ground.

So goes one of Aesop’s fables, and the lesson taught some thousands of years ago is that persuasion is better than force, and that to be effective in winning an argument, one must consider how to argue, rather than to just rely on blunt force.

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