Magically, Dr. Shawn Healy of LCL-Massachusetts and I weave together Muggsy Bogues, the itty-bitty shitty committee
Shawn Healy Episode Summary
JDHD | A Podcast for Lawyers with ADHD
Muggsy Bogues, the #IBSC, and Practical Tips for Lawyers with ADHD with Shawn Healy, PhD
Shawn Healy Episode Summary
Magically, Dr. Shawn Healy of LCL-Massachusetts and I weave together Muggsy Bogues, the itty-bitty shitty committee, the evil New York Yankees, and spot-on practical tips for lawyers with ADHD.
Dr. Healy is charming, insightful, calming, and brilliant, and he talked for more than an hour about how to make meaningful progress building a better life and a better law practice as a lawyer with ADHD.
Shawn Healy Episode Notes
Learn More about Shawn Healy
Dr. Shawn Healy is Clinical Psychologist and a member of the clinical staff at Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers in Massachusetts (“LCL-Massachusetts”) where he provides individual clinical consultations, groups, and workshops to law students, lawyers, and judges. He regularly presents and publishes on all manner of mental health topics germane to the legal community. Over the past year, Dr. Healy has run several workshops on Practicing Law with ADHD and runs an ongoing monthly support group for law students and lawyers with ADHD. Dr. Healy is also the coauthor of the book The Full Weight of the Law: How Legal Professionals Can Recognize and Rebound from Depression (ABA Publication, 2017).
Two Quotes from Shawn Healy
“ADHD and ADD can look like something as simple as difficulty reading material and focusing on it. It can be something as difficult as having their mind wander during classes, during meetings, trying to get stuff done and struggling to focus enough to get important stuff done, feeling the pressure of a deadline bearing down, but just feeling totally powerless in their ability to focus and get the work product done.”
“Everybody needs to feel like they have some control over when they work and when they stop working…”
Shawn Healy Show Links
- The Full Weight of the Law: How Legal Professionals Can Recognize and Rebound from Depression, by Jeffrey Fortgang and Shawn Healy
- LCL-MA ADHD Resources
- David & Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell
- The Small Firm Roadmap, by Aaron Street, Sam Glover, Stephanie Everett, and Marshall Lichty
- Quiet, by Susan Cain
- Spark, by John Ratey, MD
- Acuity Scheduling
- Transforming ADHD, by Greg Crosby and Tonya Lippert
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Shawn Healy Interview Transcript
“ADHD and ADD can look like something as simple as difficulty reading material and focusing on it. It can be something as difficult as having their mind wander during classes, during meetings, trying to get stuff done and struggling to focus enough to get important stuff done, feeling the pressure of a deadline bearing down, but just feeling totally powerless in their ability to focus and get the work product done.“
Shawn Healy, PhD
Shawn Healy, PhD: I run a monthly support group for lawyers and law students with ADHD. And one of the most common comments that I get in that group is, it’s so good to talk to other people openly about this
Marshall Lichty: I am Marshall, I’m a lawyer, and I’ve got ADHD. I am so excited that you’re here. If you’re new here, hello and welcome. I’m really excited to have you. Please don’t be intimidated. We’re just getting started with this thing and so we we aren’t deep in the weeds. We’re still talking about a lot of stuff that is really applicable for people who have just discovered their ADHD or who are curious about it. So stick around.
Marshall Lichty: Usually we talk a lot about ADHD and lawyers here, but there are exceptions to everything. And so despite it being negative one degree Fahrenheit outside in Minneapolis right now, spring is in the air, pitchers and catchers report to MLB spring training in just a couple of days, and my beloved Minnesota Twins had a magnificent year last year. They were also eviscerated by the New York Yankees in the playoffs as usual and when I recorded this episode with my amazing guests from Boston, we spent a little time talking about the stupid Yankees, the Red Sox, the Twins, and a mutual disaffection.
Marshall Lichty: We talked about a lot more than that though. And you know, in his wisdom, my guest took the time to talk about the emotional side of ADHD and how our self-perception plays a role in how we experience it. Notably, I started with a brand new therapist last week and I am excited that she’s going to help me with my own ADHD-fueled emotional dysregulation, which my wife Katie calls the “itty bitty shitty committee.” My guest and I talk about Muggsy Bogues and failure and the inevitability of fame and fortune in podcasting and deliciously practical tips for lawyers with ADHD. This interview is with a man who is a foot soldier in our profession’s nascent battle against ADHD and its most profound downsides and an evangelist for ADHD and its most profound benefits.
Marshall Lichty: He’s a doctor of psychology, the author of a book on lawyers with depression and a leader in the field of lawyer wellness and a magnificent interview. Please stick around for my conversation with Dr. Shawn Healy. Here it comes.
Marshall Lichty: Dr. Shawn Healy, thank you so much for being with me this morning.
Shawn Healy, PhD: My thanks for having me.
Marshall Lichty: I hope that you as a resident of the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts, you know, in close proximity to the state of New York are prepared to tell everyone from New York that the Minnesota Twins are a better team. And that when the playoffs start very shortly that everyone should cheer for the Twins and despise the Yankees as per usual. So once, once you have corralled all of your troops to do that, I think we can get down to business. Sound fair?
Shawn Healy, PhD: That sounds fair. I think in general, the people that I surround myself with would be in favor of any team, particularly the Twins, beating the Yankees. But you know, that’s neither here nor there.
Marshall Lichty: It isn’t. And I notice you very politically avoided the word “loathsome” Yankees. So thank you for doing that. I don’t want to alienate any of the audience out here.
Shawn Healy, PhD: That’s important.
Marshall Lichty: Doctor, I want to talk about ADHD and you are in a great and unique position to do that. So where I want to start is what, what does ADHD look like and feel like in our profession?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Well, it really depends. There’s a pretty wide variety of presentations. So I’ve talked with many law students and many lawyers who experience a variety of symptoms and experiences related to ADHD and ADD. It can look like something as simple as just a difficulty focusing, a difficulty reading the material that’s in front of them and focused on it. It can be something as difficult as having their mind wander during classes, during meetings, trying to get stuff done and just struggling to focus enough to get important stuff done, feeling the pressure of a deadline bearing down, but just feeling totally powerless in their ability to focus and get the work product done.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Even if the work product isn’t terribly difficult. It’s not that they feel like they can’t do it, they can’t produce the work, but oftentimes it’s something is in the way… Something is preventing them from being able to use their abilities to complete it. And that’s the ongoing frustration that they’re experiencing. Like, why can’t I just do this? Other people are doing it. Why can’t I just do it?
Marshall Lichty: So by way of background, you and the Massachusetts Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers recognized a problem and an opportunity out there for lawyers and judges and law students. And you’ve created some workshops—I understand three-hour workshops and then also an ongoing monthly support group. And what I’m really interested in hearing about is, I mean, a.) kudos and congratulations and thank you; and b.) when people show up in those consultations, tell me what they sound like? You sit down with somebody and they say, “you know what doctor, I’ve got this thing”. Are they coming from a place of a super rational approach and they’ve been thinking about this very linearly and taking the time to think through all of its implications? Or do they come to you literally at the end of their rope? Or something in between?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Everything in between. I have had people come to me and it’s a relief for them to get a diagnosis and say, “this explains it. I’ve been struggling with this and this and this and, and now I have a way to explain it and now it makes more sense.” And then I’ve had other people who it’s both enlightening and also devastating to hear that they may or may not have ADHD. Some people get diagnosed quite late in life or as an adult. So they’ve already been through school, college, law school, they’ve been practicing. And then they get this diagnosis and they look back at their life and they wonder, “how much of how I understand myself has been misinformed? I always thought I was bad at this task or I just couldn’t do X, Y, and Z. And now I’ve got this diagnosis.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: “And I’m wondering I had known earlier, would I see myself differently? You know would I have more confidence if I had known that it was ADHD, that was the issue and not some character flaw?”
Shawn Healy, PhD: Or, you know, the messages that they got growing up is, “why can’t you do this? Why can’t you sit still? Why can’t you focus, you know, are you flaky, are you, are you whatever.” And, and that really goes to the core of how they understand themselves and see themselves. And that that can have a lifelong effect. Even after they get, you know, a different perspective, they get a diagnosis, they, they start to understand those struggles differently. It’s still really hard to shed that identity that, “Oh, I was told for so long that this is why I struggle.” And if they’ve internalized that, it’s hard to then categorize that as a struggle with ADHD and here’s the explanation and here’s some things you can do about it. But the diagnosis can be both helpful and sort of alarming in some ways.
Marshall Lichty: Yeah. That, that is consistent with my experience. For sure. I, when I was diagnosed, I remember having this sense of relief and a sense of an explanation for some of the struggles and some of the patterns that I had noticed in myself and sort of that discrepancy between what I thought I could do and what my track record actually proved that I could do, which tended to be a bit more discrepant than I would have preferred. But also that lens in saying “now that I have these tactics and tools and I use, I take medication and I have an ADHD coach and I’m in an ADHD group and you know, I have, I’ve built scaffolding around my experience,” but there is definitely still an in, you know, an emotional and psychological part of this that is not about tactics.
Marshall Lichty: It’s not about minimizing my practical weaknesses that result from ADHD. It is literally about working through 42 some odd years of that sense, that sensibility of that delta and that discrepancy and that shame and the voice that is in my head that is… it is imposter syndrome, but it’s imposter syndrome on steroids. It’s super imposter syndrome. My wife calls it the “itty bitty shitty committee” because I’ve now gotten to the point where I’m comfortable telling her some of the voices that are going on in my head. She’s like, “where is the evidence for that?” I’m like, “it’s all right here. They’re telling me, you know, the committee is in session and they are telling me just how shitty I am.” So that part, the approaching it from tactics and what can we can do is definitely part of it. But there’s also that emotional part that I think you’re touching on there.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Absolutely. And so it goes to the experience that many people with ADHD have, which is like the comorbidity with depression, with anxiety, right?
Shawn Healy, PhD: So it’s really common for an attorney to come in to seek some sort of help. Usually to get some information, maybe a referral to a therapist and their presenting problem might be that they think that they’re depressed. And through talking it out, we might discover that actually the depression might be a an effect of their struggle with ADHD.
Marshall Lichty: And not a cause.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Exactly. It’s that they’ve been struggling to overcome something that’s been difficult. They don’t know why they can’t. And then they internalize that experience as a failure, as shame, as, “I’m told I should be able to do this” and then the “shoulds” start going around around in your head. You know, “I should be better at this. I shouldn’t need to get help. Everybody else around me isn’t getting help for this.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: And lawyers in particular, I think they’re a group of people that have a heightened sense of hiding their weaknesses. Because of the field being adversarial at times. The messages that they get in terms of “reputation is king” and “you need to work really hard to get a good reputation and you can lose it in a day” so that there’s definitely a lot of pressure to have a reputation of competence.
Shawn Healy, PhD: There’s lots of pressure not admit weakness, to not reveal to somebody else that you have a flaw because that’s going to be exploited in some way. So that I think is true of the legal community in general.
Shawn Healy, PhD: And then you have on top of that, what we’re talking about, these personal things, long-standing patterns of struggle and then that shame and embarrassment and fear that if someone else finds out that’s going to disrupt my career or it’s going to affect my reputation or my identity as a competent professional.
Shawn Healy, PhD: And so oftentimes people will put it off. It’s just like, “I figured out how to survive this long, I’m going to figure it out going forward.” And so it’s very common for people to come talk to us, talk to me in particular, after many, many years of struggling as opposed to going to get help proactively or at the first signs, it’s more like “I’ve tried a hundred things and it hasn’t worked and now I’m willing to sort of talk to somebody about it,” which I understand because of that pressure.
Shawn Healy, PhD: But also it makes me sad when I hear that. It’s like, “Yeah, there are helpful things that you could could’ve been benefiting from earlier.” And it’s too bad that there is that level of shame or resistance to getting help because you know, it’s vulnerable to do that. It takes strength. So to sort of recognize a need and to get help and oftentimes there’s that vulnerability of doing that, not knowing what’s going to happen.
Marshall Lichty: Yeah. And I think in the absence of leadership from other folks in the profession about the idea of having some vulnerability and sharing flaws and trying to put perfectionism to bed forever and ever and the “shoulds” and the, “I wish I had…”
Marshall Lichty: Having some leadership from people who talk about that and say, “listen, you know, the fact of the matter is you have tried for a long time to do this and it is either going to continue down that path, potentially resulting in anxiety or depression or self-medication with alcohol or drugs or anger or relationship difficulties or just leaving for a different job because of the flight or flight mechanism or you know, whatever it is. You are at risk of not fixing the problem if you just persist.”
Marshall Lichty: And the idea that starting to build the scaffolding around your career and around your mental health before you need it, before you get to a point where there is an ethics investigation into your performance and your treatment of the client, those are the times to sort out the things that you’re struggling with or challenged by.
Marshall Lichty: Seeing some leadership from people saying, “I had this thing, I did some awareness and research and looked to some outside resources. And now things are different for me…” I think is a really lovely message. And I assume that you’ve heard a bit of a refrain from people saying, “man, I wish I would’ve come to you X number of years ago. Because while this is enlightening and yes, it’s hard and yes, it’s brutal. But man, I wish I was talking about this a long time ago.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: Yeah, absolutely. That’s one of the more common things we hear and it makes sense, right? Because most people who have found that they are competent in different areas, they’re problem solvers, right?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Everyone has struggles, right? And so we’re, we’re trying to figure out how best to move past our struggles. And so if you have success in that, then you’re going to keep doing that, right? If you’ve had success asking for help, then you’re probably going to do that more often.
Shawn Healy, PhD: But many people have just relied on themselves to figure it out, to come up with work-arounds and that has worked to a certain extent. And then they get to a point where oftentimes it stops working. But they’ll keep trying anyway because that’s the pattern that they’re comfortable with. And I guess the more of a crisis point and that’s when they reach out to us often.
Marshall Lichty: Let’s talk about another angle that came really clear to me when I was in a conversation with a professional who is literally toward the top of her career. And she is a person who has been “out of the closet” in other parts of her life. And it was not relevant to our conversation, but I knew that about this person and it’s part of our relationship, my awareness. It’s part of her identity.
Marshall Lichty: And we had a conversation on the very tactical and practical elements of ADHD in schools and she had a two hour conversation with me about how awareness is powerful and how a podcast like this and a community like this can be powerful for people who are trying to sort through it.
Marshall Lichty: And we got to the end of the meeting and she’s walking me out to the car and she says to me, “Marshall, I’m not out of the closet.” And I was like, “Well, excuse me ma’am. That is wrong. You are out of the closet.”
Marshall Lichty: “No, no, no, no, no, no, no.” We just had a two hour conversation about this and she said, “I’m not out. I just got diagnosed and I can’t tell people about it. I am at risk because I need people to trust me. I need people to know me. I need people to think that I am competent and that I am capable of handling things.”
Marshall Lichty: And so I use that as a cue really to talk a little bit about… Why are lawyers struggling so much to show vulnerability? Is there any merit to the idea that telling the world that you have ADHD is going to, for example, limit your ability to get your law license or limit your ability to practice law somewhere or you know, is immediately going to be a literal scarlet A that you have to carry around with you and tell everyone you have this challenge?
Shawn Healy, PhD: I think one of the most powerful things I’ve seen both in my professional life, but also just personally, is when a a role model or an ally validates your experiences. Right? When someone says, “I’ve struggled with this or this is what I do to handle these situations.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: When someone hears that, “Oh, I’m not alone, I’m not the only one struggling with this and I can see somebody else who’s able to to handle it, I can see someone else succeed.” That that helps tremendously. When you mentioned that, one of the things that we do here at LCL in Massachusetts is that I run a monthly support group for lawyers and law students with ADHD. And one of the most common comments that I get in that group is it’s so good to talk to other people openly about this because “you all get it.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: Because oftentimes it’s the experience of, of lawyers with ADHD where they’re hiding it at work or they don’t want to let people know because they don’t know how people are viewing them as a result of disclosing that they have ADHD or ADD.
Shawn Healy, PhD: And so there’s lots of fear and some of that is justified. Because you don’t know how other people are going to view you. You have no control over that. So what I often recommend people do is sort of get comfortable as much as you can. This sort of owning it yourself. Like this is a part of who I am and not to disclose it as a weakness, but to talk about this is my experience, this is what I do to, to adjust or this is what’s helpful to me.
Shawn Healy, PhD: So for example, like one of the things I have outside my office door is this white noise machine and when I click it on, it just makes some white noise. And basically it’s like an additional sound buffer so that people feel like this is a confidential space. I can’t hear what’s going on out in the hallway. They can’t hear what’s going on in my office.
Shawn Healy, PhD: And so that that technique of having some background noise to drown out other distractions is a commonly-used technique for people with ADHD. Not all, because for some people that’s actually more distracting, but for some, having that sort of residual noise to drown out other noise is helpful.
Shawn Healy, PhD: But I’ve talked to some lawyers with ADHD who would feel strange using that technique because what if somebody asked why are they doing it? And so I would often in those situations just talk about my experience using it. “This is helpful in these ways.” And it doesn’t matter if I have ADHD or not, that’s a helpful technique to drown out noise.
Shawn Healy, PhD: But the point of that story is that many people have this fear that “if I disclose what’s helpful to me, if I disclose what I’m not good at or what I struggle with, that’s then gonna reflect poorly on me.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: When in reality it’s really about how do you present it? If you own it as, “this isn’t a weakness, this is part of who I am.” And it’s a lot harder for people to see that as a weakness.
Shawn Healy, PhD: There’s lots of stories of very successful people who have disabilities. Or what we would commonly describe as a disability. I mentioned to you Marshall before the podcast that I’m a fan of Malcolm Gladwell. So, reading one of his books right now, I’ve read a bunch of them and I plan to read all of them because I like Malcolm Gladwell. So the book I’m reading now is “David and Goliath,” and the point of the book is all about our perceptions of what an advantage is and what a disadvantage is and how oftentimes that’s just not accurate at all.
Shawn Healy, PhD: One of the examples that he talks at length about in the book is dyslexia and how we have this idea of dyslexia as something that you wouldn’t wish on your child. No one would wish your kid to have dyslexia. Then he poses the question, “but would you?” Because he then lists off all these examples of how dyslexia has prepared certain people to succeed.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Tons of entrepreneurs have dyslexia (and ADHD). And so I think it’s helpful to not only be aware of examples like that, but to also think about… These stories aren’t just one-offs. It’s not just, “Oh, somebody with ADHD managed to succeed in this field and therefore there’s a glimmer of hope.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: It’s actually helpful to look at what my experiences of ADHD are, what my strengths and weaknesses are, and how do I adjust to those?
Shawn Healy, PhD: How do I use my strengths? How do I compensate for weaknesses? This is true of anybody, but particularly when it’s something clear. The more aware you are of what you struggle with and what you’re good at, the better prepared you are to use those abilities to compensate, to succeed in some areas, to look for help in other areas so that it’s not about trying to cover up ADHD.
Shawn Healy, PhD: It is not, or hide it, or sort of compensate for it so that you’re at the same level as somebody else. It’s really about valuing what your abilities are and using them to your advantage. Because people with ADHD most of the time that at least the people that I’m talking to, most of the time, they see it as something that they struggle with. Something that needs a fix. It needs some solutions.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Rarely, but not, not totally absent, but rarely, people talk about the advantages of ADHD and how because of ADHD, they’re able to do things that other people struggle to do. And so that’s often my encouragement to people is to think holistically about your experience with ADHD.
Shawn Healy, PhD: One thing that I… One seed that I plant in people’s heads often is most people’s struggles with ADHD have a lot to do with how your natural inclinations or abilities don’t line up with your environment. The expectations of that environment, whether that’s the physical environment, the demands of the work… And so if you see it as a mismatch, that’s different than seeing yourself as lacking in some core way so that you can’t succeed or you can’t accomplish what you want. If you see it as a mismatch, if those expectations weren’t there, if you didn’t have a deadline bearing down on you or if you didn’t have the requirement of needing to sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day, right?
Shawn Healy, PhD: And you’re not allowed to walk outside, those expectations are going to affect you differently than someone who’s more comfortable in that setting. Someone who’s like, “I don’t want to go outside, you know, I like sitting in front of a computer for eight hours.” So all that to say the more awareness you have of how you respond to your environment and where there’s a mismatch, then you can start to think creatively about how to use your strengths to your advantage and how to look for workarounds or strategies to help with the disadvantages or the weaknesses because everybody has those no matter what their environment.
Marshall Lichty: I’m going to come back to this, but we’re going to talk about Muggsy Bogues in just a second. I suppose you could talk about Allen Iverson or some really short quarterback in the National Football League or…
Shawn Healy, PhD: I could, I could, I could, but I’m not going to because I don’t want to intimidate you with my knowledge…
Marshall Lichty: Of sports ball?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Of sports ball.
Marshall Lichty: Great! I’m glad that we’re avoiding that. But I do want to talk about something that we both know a bit about before we talk about Muggsy Bogues. And that is writing books. You have written a book, you are the author of a book primarily on depression in our profession, The Full Weight of the Law: How Legal Professionals Can Recognize and Rebound from Depression. That’ll be in the show notes. You’ll have a link to it, but we’re not going to talk about your book right now.
Marshall Lichty: We’re gonna talk about my book. I wrote a book called the Small Firm Roadmap with some of the brilliant minds at Lawyerist.com. And in the Small Firm Roadmap, and elsewhere on Lawyerist, we talk a lot about the right butt and the right seat, right? The whole point of building an organization that is ready to attack the world and put all of its resources—human and otherwise—to use in the most powerful way, is to make sure that it is all allocated in the right spot, including the right button in the right seat.
Marshall Lichty: Literally the role of a CEO or the person who is in charge of running a law firm or an organization is to make sure that the people that they have, that they hired because they are exceptional talents, are sitting in the right job. And the only way to do that is to make sure that they’re not spending their time on things that they’re bad at and that they’re just spending a lot of their time on the things that are enlivening to them, that give them energy, that they can really be their best selves in.
Marshall Lichty: And because we’re all different people, there are people who are their best selves when they’re doing a tremendous amount of legal research and diving into the most nuanced arguments about the commerce clause or whatever it is.
Marshall Lichty: And there are others who are still just as much of a lawyer who want nothing to do with that and should spend zero minutes doing it and instead should be making that argument to the court, a trial court. Or maybe it’s a different skill set and you should be an appellate lawyer or maybe it’s a different skill set and you should be a contract lawyer or and so on and so on and so on. And in my view, one of the real opportunities that law firms and legal organizations have is digging into this latent talent pool of lawyers with ADHD and pulling out some of those things that have been bred out of lawyers systematically for a very long time:
Marshall Lichty: Creativity, entrepreneurship, a 30,000 foot view of the services we provide or our role in making the world a better place. The entrepreneurship to tackle problems like access to justice or to tackle problems like the changing models in the legal profession and pricing models and how do we deliver better service for less money in a, in a way that is reflective of the current environment, apps and instant information. And instant responsiveness and all of these things. Lawyers doing it the conservative way have spent a long time making a lot of money and building very big successful businesses on that model, and this is not to say that that model is necessarily broken—I think you could make an argument that it is—but I don’t even have to make that argument for my point to be made, which is infusing your law firm or your organization with talent from people who recognize what they’re good at and what they’re bad at is a net gain for your organization.
Marshall Lichty: If we can help Marshall not do written discovery ever again, that will be good because he’s bad at it and inefficient at it. He gets bored. It takes him too long, he makes mistakes, and if he can stand up in front of a court and make an argument, we are in a different place. He is at his best. It’s his Superbowl, he’s enjoying himself, he’s competent or appreciates his competence and those two things do not have to go hand in hand. They traditionally do in law firms, but figuring out ways to maximize strengths and minimize weaknesses is is a tremendous opportunity. And that’s what you’re getting at. That’s why I really appreciate that reflection.
Marshall Lichty: So, tell me about Muggsy Bogues.
Shawn Healy, PhD: So Mugsy is one of those players who is famous because he’s unusual. He stands out because he is a short individual.
Marshall Lichty: Not “kind of” short.
Shawn Healy, PhD: That’s true. I was going to say by NBA standards, but I think by, by standard standards, if that’s a thing.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Muggsy is a short guy. I forgot exactly how tall he is…
Marshall Lichty: I’m pretty sure he’s five foot three. He is old now… And we’ve dated ourselves rather significantly here.
Shawn Healy, PhD: This is true. So, Mugsy is considerably shorter than everybody else that he played against. And obviously, if you’re looking to succeed in the NBA, you would look to those who have already done so, and you try to mimic what they’ve done to succeed. And one of the things that people who have succeeded in the NBA have is determination, like, not willing to give up to, to keep trying in the face of failure.
Shawn Healy, PhD: And that’s something that Mugsy definitely had. Since he didn’t have the vertical advantage, the height, to compete in the same way as his counterparts did. He had to figure out a way that he could compete that was different, that used his strengths and that he didn’t have to rely on his weaknesses or to try to compensate for weakness. So Mugsy didn’t try to wear platform shoes to gain height. That would’ve been an interesting if he had though. But Mugsy figured out a way to play where basically he, on a certain level, he changed the rules. Right. when you feel like this is how it’s done, right. So how has basketball played? Oh, it’s done by keeping the ball, you know, at the arms length away from your opponents who also have long arms and you and you don’t if that’s the way you play the game, then obviously someone of Mugsy’s stature would not be playing the game.
Shawn Healy, PhD: But if you have a sense that—as Mugsy did—”I have strengths in different areas. I have a strength where my, my opponents lack ability so I can actually play differently and succeed.” And the only way that you’re able to do that in basketball or in life is you have to have that awareness of, “Oh, here’s, here’s where I shine. I’m good at this. I’m naturally good at this, or I have a natural interest in it. Or like it peaks joy, it peaks interest in me and therefore, you know, I’m going to pursue that. And here’s another area where I just, I don’t have that for whatever reason. And somebody might want me to have that, but I don’t.” And if you feel like “I should have that,” then then you’re, you’re more likely to feel bad about it. You feel shame, feel like you need to either hide it or to compensate in some way, but sort of the more honest you can be with yourself about “here’s where I shine, here’s where I don’t,” and then figure out a way to use your advantages or your strengths to help you succeed.
Shawn Healy, PhD: That’s a creative way of looking at a situation. And I think thinking creatively is not only an advantage of those with, with ADHD and ADD. But I think it’s a requirement in the changing legal field. You mentioned that, you know, they’re thinking conservatively about success in the field of law. You know, big firms, they do things a certain way, right? And we’re all trapped by that rationale of “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Right? So if that’s worked in the past, if, that structure has allowed that law firm to succeed, well that must be the right structure to practice law. And the reality is… Things change, right? And the more creative you can think about something, you’re going to be able to handle new problems that come up because that structure that’s been around for a while, it was never designed to handle new problems or every problem.
Shawn Healy, PhD: And so oftentimes what happens is we get stuck in this, well, this is how we’ve always done it, a frame of mind and we don’t critically evaluate why we do what we do or if there’s a better way. And so when you infuse some creativity into that, that’s usually where entrepreneurs come up with, with great ideas or, you know, changes in the way that law is practiced are born out of that creativity.
Marshall Lichty: I agree. I am, I’m now very excited to talk about your book. I know that you wrote a book and I know that you’ve done a lot of work certainly in your early career, but even, you know, even even now and, and in your later career, but the lens was through depression, which I think in the context of this conversation is a different beast. Largely because there usually aren’t so many good things or even colorably good things that come out of depression.
Marshall Lichty: Depression is sort of a brutal pathology regardless of how you look at it. And in, in a lot of ways, I think ADHD is different than that. But I also think that there is there are a fair number of similarities. And so if you could for just a minute talk about maybe not depression, although we know that depression is comorbid with ADHD and it shows up as a, you know, as a friend or neighbor to ADHD very, very often. Tell me just a couple of things about how, or someone who is looking to solve one of these challenges that they might have or have a, have an ambient awareness of a struggle that they’re having and they’re beginning down the path, whether it’s ADHD or depression. What do you recommend to people in terms of learning about it, developing that awareness, and then what do you, what do you do with that awareness? What’s next?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Yeah. So as you mentioned I coauthored a book with my colleague, Dr. Fortgang here at LCL, on depression primarily. But yeah, I think there’s, there’s a lot of overlap. I would actually say that, that there are positive experiences to depression as well. That actually reminded me of, I don’t know if you’ve seen that animated movie. I think it’s “Inside Out.” Is that Pixar?
Marshall Lichty: I have. Yeah. Yeah.
Shawn Healy, PhD: So, I was encouraged by that movie because they really took the time to talk about how all of our emotions are important, including sadness, right? Including feeling down and feeling discouraged. So to your point, I think when we look at our experiences, whether it’s depression or ADHD or what have you, if we can, if we can take a nonjudgmental view of what we’re experiencing and we will be more open to experiencing the positive effects of it as well.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Most people, when they’re thinking about their lives, they wouldn’t sort of wish that they’d have struggles of any kind. Like when we’re thinking about our futures, oftentimes we don’t plan out our futures in terms of like “What are my struggles going to be for the next five years, right?” People like to fantasize about successes. They like to fantasize about, you know, growth and happiness, right?
Marshall Lichty: And a seamless path to get there.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Exactly. It’s like this is where I see myself in 10 years. I’m uber rich and totally happy every day. But the reality is we actually need obstacles to grow. We actually need struggle to grow, to develop. Every single thing we’ve ever learned in our lives has been due to repeated failures. And if you just look at something as simple as walking, talking, riding a bike… we fail, fail, fail, fail, fail until we stop failing.
Shawn Healy, PhD: And that’s the only way that we learned how to do it. And for whatever reason, the idea that failure is bad, so it gets beaten out of us or shamed out of us over the years and we feel like we should achieve this point in life where we’re no longer struggling.
Shawn Healy, PhD: But in fact, that’s, that’s not reality. That’s not helpful. That’s not healthy. So if you, if you can look at your experiences non-judgmentally as like, “well, this is, this is my experience. You know, I struggle with this. There are times when I’m discouraged or down or, you know, it’s hard for me to be motivated. It’s hard for me to get out of bed. It’s hard for me to have a positive outlook.” And instead of seeing those struggles as something to get rid of, sort of accept the fact that those are reality at times.
Shawn Healy, PhD: What can you gain from them? How are those experiences shaping you for the future? Making you better? So, I know it’s a, it’s easy for me to say that. It’s hard to actually put that into practice when you’re in the throes of depression or when you’re struggling with ADHD and you’re struggling to complete something or to have success in your life in some way.
Shawn Healy, PhD: It’s hard to look at things non-judgmentally. But as I practice, that can be really helpful. Because when you’re able to do that, when you’re able to practice that viewpoint, you can then see how sometimes what seems like a weight or a disadvantage might not be completely. You might be open to different options or alternatives. You might be more creative in thinking about solutions.
Marshall Lichty: I love this in the context of ADHD. And certainly I’m due for an education in depression. I love the way that you framed that. And I like the idea of even depression having value in it.
Marshall Lichty: I’m reflecting on the book “Quiet,” by Susan Cain, which is one of my very recent favorites because it talks a lot about that. It talks about introverts and how introversion can be, it can be a challenge because our world is built around extroverts. And leaders are extroverts, and school is built for extroverts, and business is built for extroverts and entrepreneurship is built for extroverts. TED Talks are built for extroverts. And here comes Susan Cain marching up there and giving a TED Talk that knocked my socks off and wrote a book that knocked my socks off. That as an introvert, “here are my strengths and this is my awareness of myself. Not only is it important for me to know that and to own it, it’s important for me to talk about.”
Marshall Lichty: “And it’s important for my organization to recognize this latent talent that, you know, by letting extroverts run all of the things, the conferences, the meetings, the, you know, the ideas and the product development that you are missing out on valuable skills and balances that I bring to relationships.”
Marshall Lichty: And I love the idea of “Quiet” as a lens through which to view ADHD or depression or, you know, some of these other, is it a super power or is it not a super power? And and, and so I love, I love that.
Marshall Lichty: Tell me, tell me just a little bit about accepting the fact that there is a struggle, accepting the fact that between somewhere between 4% and 13% of lawyers have ADHD, tell me what else you can do? What are some things that make sense for folks who have been diagnosed or who have an inkling that they have ADHD? What are some things that they can do practically to change their experience or start start building some of that scaffolding?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Practically speaking, what do you? How do you respond when you’re first diagnosed or you realize that the things that you’ve been struggling with, there’s a sort of a common experience and a common name to explain that experience.
Shawn Healy, PhD: So typically what I do is I encourage people to take an individual approach, right? There’s not a cookie cutter response or treatment or support that’s going to work for everybody, right? If there was, we’d be really boring people. But the fact is, everybody’s different. Your experience with ADHD is going to be different than somebody else.
Shawn Healy, PhD: There is definitely that commonality at certain levels among people with ADHD. So talking to other people and hearing what they’ve done, what works for them, what doesn’t work for them can be really helpful. At the same time encourage people not to see that as an opportunity to mimic what somebody else has done as a way of achieving success in some area. Because like you said, Marshall, you have an ADHD coach, a support group, medication… Other people try different things.
Marshall Lichty: A very therapeutic podcast where I get to talk about this all day, every day with experts who help me sort through.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Exactly. So everyone should do that. Everyone should make their own podcast.
Marshall Lichty: Launch a podcast. I can’t say enough about that. Lawyers pay attention. Launch a podcast.
Shawn Healy, PhD: That’s right. Fame and fortune is going to come your way.
Shawn Healy, PhD: I encourage people to think about what areas in their life they’re struggling with, whether it’s focusing their attention, if it’s communication, if they’re seeing negative effects of ADHD within their relationships… Start with an area of your life that is causing some significant concern. Because if you can make gains in those areas, then you’re going to feel rippling effects. The ripple effects of, you know, you’re gonna feel better and feel more encouraged.
Shawn Healy, PhD: I also recommend people start small. So start with where you are and try to make small changes because optimism is great. But if you think that “I’m here on the timeline and what I really want to do is jump to 10 years of progress by tomorrow,” that’s going to be a, a poor plan. You’re going to get discouraged, you’re gonna feel worse.
Marshall Lichty: So tell me some of those real tactics. Tell me about, what are some of those small wins? For example you know, my therapist says, “listen, it is almost not even worth me talking to you if you’re not getting exercise every day. So you’ve got to get your ass out and get exercise.” That is a thing that I think whether you have anxiety or depression or ADHD or a couple extra pounds or whatever, prioritizing exercise for example, can be one of the spaces to make real progress very quickly. Are there some other ones like that, that you say, this might be a good building block to start with?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Yeah. Oftentimes the things that are going to be helpful, they are going to be helpful for everybody, whether you have ADHD or not. But the impact of those things is probably going to be magnified for someone with ADHD. So exercise is a great example, right? Everyone can benefit from exercise. Exercise is going to help people with depression, anxiety, ADHD, problem-solving. If you’re stuck, you know, trying to figure something out, going out and doing something physical can activate your brain in different ways can help you problem solve.
Marshall Lichty: And if you want to hear more about that, there’s a great book called “Spark,” by John Ratey that talks about physiological and biological evidence that exercise actually has meaningful and powerful impacts on our performance, on our attention, on a variety of other things.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Yeah, that’s a good resource. So other things would be if you’re struggling with distraction like a lot of lawyers they’re, they’re trying to multitask, they’re trying to do various things, respond to the phone, respond to email while they’re, you know, writing a imotion or doing some legal research while their doors open.
Shawn Healy, PhD: So people are coming in, they’re distracting. So it’s something practical. It would be just to focus on reducing the distractions that are within your control. So there’s things in your physical environment, your external environment that you have control over and others that you don’t. So focus on the things that you actually have control over.
Marshall Lichty: Such as?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Such as turning your phone off.
Marshall Lichty: Like, literally, off?
Shawn Healy, PhD: I, I would suggest, and it’s going to depend on your situation. Most people I talk to have this sense that they need their phone on because “What if an emergency happened?” And that’s a reality for anybody, right? An emergency could happen, but we often think of it in terms of our jobs. An emergency could happen at my job and I would often ask, “What kind of emergency would happen at your job?” And usually it’s someone’s trying to get in touch with me. They want a response. Whether that’s through email or phone…
Marshall Lichty: A new dream client, the one that I’m literally going to retire on.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Yup, exactly. And so I would often challenge people with a question like, “Well, where do you work? Is it an ER?” Because if you don’t work in an ER, most things that people call you about, they’re not emergencies. Those are not actual crises. But we might feel that pressure like, “I’m supposed to respond. I’m supposed to take the call.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: But the reality is oftentimes you’re not taking that call if you’re meeting with somebody, right? If you’re in court, you’re not answering your phone. So there are times when we feel justified in putting things down and shutting things off. But then if we’re not in that environment where we feel justified, we feel like we can’t. But actually we can.
Shawn Healy, PhD: So whether that’s turning your phone on vibrate, shutting your phone off for a certain amount of time, using your calendar to schedule a block of time to shut off your phone, shut off your email, and just focus on a particular piece of work. That’s a technique, blocking time and using your calendar, shutting your email off. That’s one of the most common distractions is email popups like, Hey, someone emailed you. Oh yeah, I’m popular. And so then you go to check
Marshall Lichty: Dopamine hit and off we go on the ADHD hamster wheel.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Exactly. And then if you respond to that pop up to see who emailed, what did they email you, what do I have to do about this email? On average you’re losing around 15 minutes. So then after you either email them back or figure out what to do with that email or delete it, you have to try to get back to where you were and catch up to the point where you left off in your work.
Shawn Healy, PhD: And not to mention other distractions where if I open my email again, like, “Oh, maybe I’m going to go read another email or shoot off another email to somebody else who I didn’t intend to do that right now.” And so that’s a huge distraction of time. You know, shutting your email off, scheduling time in your calendar to check email throughout the day. But not feeling like you have to have it up all the time. Because again, that’s just a constant distraction.
Marshall Lichty: I love that one, doctor. I moved to a schedule where I check my email twice a day during the work day and it made a huge difference. The other time blocking that I do now is phone calls. I use an automatic scheduling tool called Acuity—there are many like it—but using my scheduling tool, I literally tell people, “listen, here are the times that I have available to have phone calls. Book in, tell me what the topic is, and then we will sit and talk about it. If I can respond to it by email beforehand and solve your problem, great. And if not, by the time we get on the phone, it’s going to be very efficient in a block of time that I have set out for that purpose.”
Marshall Lichty: It won’t be pulling me from other work that I’m trying to do: deep work, focus work, et cetera. Creative work. It is literally sort of the blocking and tackling of just maintaining relationships and doing business work, but in a way that is done with my priorities in mind. And I can tell you, emailing back and forth is so far down my list of priorities that I I care not to mention it. And old me spent a massive amount of time emailing every day and taking “emergency” phone calls and doing things of the like.
Marshall Lichty: In the interest of time. I want to have you pound through a couple more and I’m just going to cue a couple of them. One of them is kind of related to using your calendar and blocking time. It’s the conflicting advice of “use technology,” but “don’t use technology.”
Marshall Lichty: Because you know, for us that’s a rabbit hole that can destroy everything and also there is useful technology that we can use to build that scaffolding and that infrastructure.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Yes. I would say technology is a powerful tool and if you know how to use it, you can wield that tool to your advantage. If you don’t know how to use it, then you can accidentally saw off your finger and regret it later.
Shawn Healy, PhD: Technology can be great, using a scheduler, blocking off time, things like that. Because we have access 24 seven to our information and our technology. That can be a disadvantage if we never shut it off. If we don’t have a boundary that we set with our technology, then it becomes a disadvantage. Then it becomes something that steals our rest, our sleep, our peace. Just because you can work more efficiently, 24/7 does not mean you should work 24/7. Everybody needs to feel like they have some control over when they work and when they stop working and if it doesn’t feel like I have any endpoint, if it doesn’t feel like I can shut things off, then now technology is a deficit.
Marshall Lichty: There are two things there that I love. One of them is being proactive about shutting off technology or using it only when appropriate. The other one that I love is this idea of building margin and using tools and technology to give yourself space to not use technology or to not work or to not do that thing. And one thing that, in my experience with ADHD and a lot of folks that I have talked to, their experience is just this life of hyper inflammation. It is like your body is under siege because you’re always reacting to something. Everything is an emergency. Everything needs to get done because you’ve procrastinated or failed to start, or you go home at night and you can’t relax because you an enormous amount of things going through your mind, all the stuff that you forgot to do or failed to do or should start or might do or whatever.
Marshall Lichty: And you literally never have a moment to breathe. And using technology effectively in some of these other tactics can just start to build a little bit of breathing room.
Marshall Lichty: So I want to talk about a couple of other things that you’ve mentioned elsewhere and I’ll just list through them. You’ve talked about practicing meditation and mindfulness as a powerful tool, decluttering your space, setting boundaries to maintain organization, controlling your calendar, saying no…
Marshall Lichty: I love the idea of saying no. Every day, try to say it every day at least a couple of times because as an attorney, as a law student, there are always going to be people who ask you for things that you could provide if you said yes. And being mindful about what you say no to and why is is I think really powerful.
Marshall Lichty: There are some of those other blocking and tackling and just taking care of our bodies, things that can have profound impacts on ADHD, like sleep, exercise, diet, nutrition. I know you’ve mentioned those in the book and I know you’ve also mentioned the book “Transforming ADHD” and that’s a resource that you rely on and recommend to people.
Shawn Healy, PhD: I do highly recommend that book. It’s got great practical suggestions as well as if you wanted to do a deep dive into research. They’ve got the research in there too, and it’s one of those books where you don’t have to read cover to cover, you can pick it up and sort of start anywhere and benefit from it.
Marshall Lichty: We’ll link to that in the show notes as well. And then the other thing that I suspect that Dr. Healey is as enthusiastic about this as I am, but let me on his behalf, share that your State Bar has resources and programs available. Every state has Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers or its equivalent. They can look very, very different. And Oregon, Massachusetts, Minnesota are among the leaders in providing services for folks with ADHD, but lean on resources that you have available to you, whether it’s through a state or local bar. An extraordinary program like the Massachusetts Bar and LCL has with Dr. Healy. And actually I, I think you’ve got at least a couple of other docs on staff?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Yeah. We have one other psychologist and we have a clinical social worker.
Marshall Lichty: You know, that is extraordinary and I can’t encourage you enough to look for those resources and find a community of people who is willing to be vulnerable.
Marshall Lichty: The self interested me says, come “Hang out with us! Hang out here. Join the mailing list. Do the things that we’re doing at JDHD!”
Marshall Lichty: But I I don’t care. I don’t care if you come to spend time with us. Find someone. Find Dr. Healy. Find a friend. Find a neighbor, find a confidant in your business to start creating some vulnerability and some relationships that are sturdy enough to help you with tactical ways to work through struggles that you’re having, whether it’s some diagnosable condition like ADHD or depression or anxiety or not.
Marshall Lichty: Or it’s just, “Yeah, I have imposter syndrome. Not the super-powered kind, just ‘I’m a young lawyer and I’m nervous about going to do this thing and I’m afraid that if I ask this question, I’m going to be skewered by a partner or skewered by a colleague or skewered by the bar.’ “
Marshall Lichty: And that kind of stuff is the kind of thing that you can start building scaffolding for before it reaches the point of old ball blown, gut wrenching depression or crippling anxiety or untreated and undiagnosed ADHD, which can of course be a superpower and it can also gut you. And so being mindful about starting to build that infrastructure before it becomes a big problem is critical.
Marshall Lichty: Is there anything else, doctor, that you want to make sure people understand or that they’re thinking about when it comes to ADHD for lawyers?
Shawn Healy, PhD: The one thought that I was rattling around in my head a couple of times throughout this conversation was sort of related to that building of the scaffolding. Oftentimes it’s the internal messages in our heads that say, “You know, I can’t do that or that’s not possible.”
Shawn Healy, PhD: And I want to first and foremost recognize that there are practical limitations given your situation. So some of the techniques or recommendations that were thrown out there today, if you’re in a setting where, you know, you’re a big law firm and you feel like, “I can’t shut off my email, that’s just, that’s an expectation and there’s real consequences if I don’t do that.” Fair enough. But my, my strong recommendation is instead of going with that thought of this isn’t possible or I can’t do that, or that’s just not practical for me to, to just slightly change that thought and think about if it was practical, if it was possible, what might it look like?
Shawn Healy, PhD: Right? So that you’re not just shutting off options, but you’re thinking more creatively about it. Because sometimes if we can’t see a clear road to a particular outcome we’ll just tell ourselves that it’s not possible and and just need to give up on that when in fact, there’s oftentimes multiple roads to multiple options.
Shawn Healy, PhD: So that’s my strong recommendation is, you might have been listening to us talk about THIS might be helpful, THIS might be helpful. And if the thought was, “I can’t do that,” it comes into your head, just spend some more time thinking about what it might look like or what could it look like if if you could do that or if you could get closer to that thing that would be helpful.
Marshall Lichty: I love that. And I actually think that that is what true innovation is. I think that is true growth. I think that’s true creativity. We are not charged with starting something new from scratch. We are charged with building off of the things that people have built before us. And if there is a way that your business does things and it is not working for you, you do not need blow the whole thing up.
Marshall Lichty: You may be able to make a small, incremental, thoughtful, mindful change that makes the world better for you. And who knows? Maybe other people too. And so I can’t thank you enough for that advice, doctor.
Marshall Lichty: Before we go, I’m going to ask what I think are my two favorite questions. You’ve got a magic wand there on your desk (you have a standing desk, so it’s not actually ‘in’ your desk, it’s on it in a very decluttered way) and you have the magic wand and if you could take that magic wand and wave it over all of the people in all of the places, what is the one thing that you would disappear about ADHD? One feature, one part of it that you would wave and forever have it go away?
Shawn Healy, PhD: I would say the one thing across the board that I’d want to make disappear would be lack of self confidence. That’s often true for people with ADHD (and other struggles as well). I think that is one of the things that keeps people down the most is just thinking that “I can’t” or “I’m less than” because of my experiences or my abilities and if that was gone and people had more confidence, it would be amazing to see how things could instantly change, not just for that person, but for everybody around them.
Marshall Lichty: All right. The other drawer, the other magic wand. And this time, the question is, what is the one thing about ADHD, a feature, a superpower of ADHD that if you could wave it over the whole entire world, the whole entire population, what is the one thing about ADHD that you think it would be beneficial for everyone to have?
Shawn Healy, PhD: I think that for, for some people with ADHD that creative thinking… To think about something from a different perspective, it’s not that that typical cookie cutter perspective. I think that is amazingly beneficial. And I wish that I had that ability in my life with things that seem like struggles to me. And I think that would, yeah, that’d be great to see more creative thinking across the board. And I can only imagine how many problems could be solved with an influx of creativity.
Marshall Lichty: I love it.
Marshall Lichty: Doctor, I am deeply thankful for your time. I made a promise about when we would finish and we didn’t. We’ve gone over it and I’m thankful for your extra time. I’m thankful that you’ve given it to me, but (less selfishly) to a whole bunch of folks who are going to benefit from not just the work that you’re doing in Massachusetts and with individual clients or with your support group. Not just the work of talking about depression and de-stigmatizing depression in your book. Not just the work that you’re doing more broadly on the East coast and speaking on podcasts and writing blog posts, but for your vulnerability, your ability to help people with real tactical fixes to things. These are not things that will break you. They are things that we can build support for, scaffolding around and try to minimize so that we can really take advantage of those super powers.
Marshall Lichty: Those things that, you know, Dr. Healy rightly points out our creativity can change the world. And that is not just me being enthusiastic and naive. It is me thinking about innovation and creativity in a stoic and staid profession that desperately needs people to step up and say, what if we did it just a little bit differently?
Marshall Lichty: And I cannot thank you enough for encouraging people to do that doctor and for all the work that you’ve done. So if you want to find Dr. Healy, you can find him in a couple of places. Mostly if you look up Massachusetts LCL, you’re going to find him. He is there all over the place. But he’s also on Twitter @shawnhealyphd or email email@example.com. That’s SHAWN. He’s on LinkedIn, he’s got a YouTube channel with the Massachusetts LCL and Massachusetts Bar Association. And you’re gonna find a whole bunch of other valuable notes, including a link to his book, a link to “David and Goliath,” by Malcolm Gladwell, a link to “Spark,” and a link to a bunch of other things. So doctor, thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much and keep up the great work.
Shawn Healy, PhD: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Marshall Lichty: That is noted at Red Sox baseball fan and Dr. Shawn Healy, a PhD psychologist from the Massachusetts Bar and Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. Thanks to Dr. Healy’s perspective, this episode featured this thread where we explored how lawyers with ADHD view themselves and their roles in the world and the practices and the businesses and the support systems that they build up around themselves. My plea to you is that you start doing the work to build a support system around yourself.
Marshall Lichty: Just yesterday I sat down with a friend I’ve known for a very long time. He is a role model for me in a lot of ways as a human being and as a business owner and a lawyer, and we talked about his business and some professional introspection and it became clear to me that his vulnerability—not my willingness to help, but his vulnerability—was the key to getting better.
Marshall Lichty: I can want to help all day long and I do. I’m a helper and nothing brings me more joy, but it wasn’t until my friend opened himself up to me to share his anxieties and his vulnerabilities that we could really connect with each other.
Marshall Lichty: I want to connect with you. I’m in the final days of building a new mastermind group for lawyers with ADHD. If you would be so generous as to share what you think a good mastermind group for lawyers would look like, please go to https://TheJDHD.com/mastermind-survey. There’s no commitment at all. It’s just a way for me to collect ideas and build something that I hope will help us all.
Marshall Lichty: Finally, would you do me a huge favor? People who subscribe to this podcast are worth my weight in gold (and that’s a lot of gold). Would you take a minute right this second to go to your favorite podcast player to subscribe first of all, but then also to rate and review this podcast? It helps other people find me, people who are curious about being a lawyer with ADHD, and it would mean the world to me. We don’t have to do this alone. And, thanks to Dr. Healy and the work of lots and lots of people around this country that I get to meet every day, we can make ADHD easier. Because law is hard enough. We’ll see you next week.
Magically, Dr. Shawn Healy of LCL-Massachusetts and I weave together Muggsy Bogues, the itty-bitty shitty committee
Erin Keyes and Marshall Lichty talk about how law students and lawyers with ADHD to keep themselves healthy and how to “do” law school as a law student with ADHD.