Lawyers weigh in: Why is there a depression epidemic in the profession?–ABA Journal


Through my job as director of content at Rocket Matter, I’ve learned a lot about this profession. One thing that has really stood out to me is how many lawyers are suffering.

Our website recently ran a five-part series on depression, substance abuse and wellness in the legal industry. The statistics are staggering: Lawyers are 3.6 times as likely to be depressed as people in other jobs, while the landmark 2016 American Bar Association and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation study found that 28 percent of licensed, employed lawyers suffer with depression. The study also showed that 19 percent have symptoms of anxiety and 21 percent are problem drinkers.

Many organizations are trying to help fight this epidemic. For instance, we’re hosting our first Legal Wellness Retreat in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts on July 18 to July 20. Also, the ABA provides a very comprehensive list of helpful resources for lawyersjudges and law students, along with links to lawyer assistance programsthroughout the country.

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 Reversing the determination that a New Jersey law repealing prohibitions on sports gambling violated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, making it unlawful for a State or its subdivisions to sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize betting on sports because by permitting sports betting the State was authorizing sports betting under the statute as PASPA was held to violate the anticommandeering rule stating that Congress cannot commandeer the legislative process of States by directly compelling them to enact and enforce a federal regulatory program.

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Many tax-exempt organizations must file information returns by May 15| Internal Revenue Service

The May 15 filing deadline for Form 990-series information returns is fast approaching. Form 990-series information returns and notices are normally due on the fifteenth day of the fifth month after an organization’s tax-year ends. Many organizations use the calendar year as their tax year, making May 15, 2018, the deadline to file for 2017.

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Russians’ Biggest Facebook Ad Promoted ‘Blue Lives Matter’


A Kremlin-backed propaganda campaign designed to sow chaos in the U.S. electorate had its biggest hit with an ad ostensibly backing American law enforcement.


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Statement on NY Court of Appeals Decision in Chimpanzee Rights Cases–Nonhuman Rights Project

Chimpanzee. Taken at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Chimpanzee. Taken at the Los Angeles Zoo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May 8, 2018–New York, NY–Today, Eugene M. Fahey–an Associate Judge on New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals–issued an opinion that is already being seen as an historic mark of progress in the fight to secure fundamental legal rights for nonhuman animals.

Without giving a ground for its action, the Court of Appeals as a whole again refused to hear our motion for further review of a lower court decision on behalf of chimpanzees Tommy and Kiko. This in itself is not significant insofar as the Court of Appeals rejects the vast majority of motions it receives for permission to appeal.

But Judge Fahey’s concurring opinion makes clear that the decision not to hear Tommy and Kiko’s cases was not made on the merits of the NhRP’s claim.


Here are three remarkable excerpts from the opinion:

“In elevating our species, we should not lower the status of other highly intelligent species.”


“To treat a chimpanzee as if he or she had no right to liberty protected by habeas corpus is to regard the chimpanzee as entirely lacking independent worth, as a mere resource for human use, a thing the value of which consists exclusively in its usefulness to others. Instead, we should consider whether a chimpanzee is an individual with inherent value who has the right to be treated with respect.”


“In the interval since we first denied leave to the Nonhuman Rights Project, I have struggled with whether this was the right decision. Although I concur in the Court’s decision to deny leave to appeal now, I continue to question whether the Court was right to deny leave in the first instance. The issue whether a nonhuman animal has a fundamental right to liberty protected by the writ of habeas corpus is profound and far-reaching. It speaks to our relationship with all the life around us. Ultimately, we will not be able to ignore it. While it may be arguable that a chimpanzee is not a ‘person,’ there is no doubt that it is not merely a thing.”


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Teaching Law & Religion | a project of Politics of Religion at Home and Abroad, funded by the Luce Foundation

For researchers, instructors, and policymakers at the intersection of religion and law, the Teaching Law & Religion Case Study Archive is a helpful collection of open-access resources related to the topic. This resource list is compiled by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, a religious studies professor at Indiana University and Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, a political science professor at Northwestern University. The archive also features the work of a number of scholars. As of this write-up, the case studies portion of the archive features nine different case studies from around the globe, each containing a synopsis and a number of related readings that provide additional context and analysis. For instance, one case study discusses South Africa’s Muslim Marriage Bill, which was introduced in 2010 and, if passed, would provide legal recognition for Muslim marriages. Another case study involves the 2009 court case R(E) v. The Governing Body of JFS, in which the UK Supreme Court assessed the legality of the admissions policy at a Jewish school. In addition to the case studies collection, this resource contains a collection of college-level syllabi and an extensive bibliography for those interested in further research. [MMB]

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