Your Body Holds the Secrets to Avoiding Burnout

By Alicia J. Journey

In a new landscape that is changing every minute, we are being forced to keep up, stay hypervigilant and quickly adapt. This is all a perfect recipe for burnout if we don’t become aware of the signs and symptoms before it’s too late. It can be tempting just to focus on what we can control, which for many of us is our work, and to pour ourselves into it without processing our mental and emotional stress. This can work in the short term, but in the long term, it is a recipe for burnout. If we do not heed the warning signs that our mind, body and emotions are sending us, we risk another pandemic, mass burnout.

I know the journey to burnout out well, but I am thankful that I also know the journey back. And I am here to tell you there is hope and another way not just to survive but to thrive. In 2013, I had just gone through a divorce and had a 2-year-old and a 7-year-old at home. I had just left my job as a prosecutor and opened my own law practice. I have epilepsy, and my seizures became more and more frequent, but I chalked that up to giving birth and hormones. And then, I started having panic attacks. I had no idea what they were. I truly thought I was going to die. Up until that point, I had nerves of steel. I could walk into a courtroom, look a murderer in the eye, and dismantle him on cross-examination. I could walk into a prison armed only with my skirt, high heels and a notepad without even flinching. Nothing had ever fazed me, but now, I was debilitated by panic attacks. I felt weak and stupid.

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2020 Pro Bono Awards Announced

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The winners of the North Carolina Bar Association’s 2020 Pro Bono Awards have been selected. The recipients were chosen by members of the NCBA Pro Bono Committee, chaired by Emily Moseley and Jennifer Mencarini.

Congratulations to each recipient and their nominators, who provided the background and biographical information included below for each honoree.

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2020 Legal Legends of Color Honorees Announced

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By Sharita M. Whitaker

The word “change” has various definitions, but my favorite expression of change is “to shift; to undergo transformation or transition.” We can certainly say that “change” is inevitable in all aspects of our lives. Thus far in 2020 alone, we have witnessed how COVID-19 and other events have caused many of us to adjust when, how, and where we work and interact with others. Also, the NCBA has had to shift its 2020 Annual Meeting in Charlotte to an online, virtual program. But “change” presents us with an opportunity to reflect on and learn from our experiences and the experiences of others in order for each of us to evolve for the better.

Although we are unable to celebrate together at the Annual Meeting in Charlotte, and we are adjusting to the change by celebrating in other (virtual) ways, we are proud to announce our 2020 Legal Legends of Color honorees: Judge Yvonne Mims Evans, Senator Dan T. Blue Jr., Attorney Anthony Fox, Professor George R. Johnson Jr., and the late Attorney J. Kenneth Lee. In order to be named a Legal Legend of Color, such person must be (1) a lawyer of color practicing (or one who has practiced most recently) in North Carolina for at least 15 years, (2) have had a legal career with a significant impact in North Carolina, (3) have demonstrated a high level of service to his/her local community and/or on an statewide basis, and (4) be a member in good standing of the North Carolina State Bar (active or inactive). These five attorneys have more than satisfied the criteria for being named a Legal Legend of Color, and, further, they have all effected significant positive change in the North Carolina legal community and beyond. We are honored to share snippets of their distinguished careers with you:

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